Easy Tapas Recipe: Russian Salad

Discovering Tapas

In considering my first experience with this easy tapas recipe. I remember the first time I went to Spain. I had just finished my first year of university and had agreed to travel with friends, two of them Spanish, for a few weeks to the Costa Del Sol. We landed and were immediately whisked by the Spanish families to a back street restaurant where Tapas was the order of the day. Upon arrival we had an ice cold glass of beer as Olives were served to the tables. Then came the first dish, Russian Salad, a masterpiece in Spanish simplicity.

The Beginnings Of A Love Affair

I fell in love instantly, in love with the food, the culture, the people and eating Al Fresco. This boys eyes were opened to a world of food and a way of life that can be summed up in a single sun drenched word ‘Mediterranean’.

If this is the first time you have come across Russian salad, then welcome to a wonderful recipe. Russian salad is a simple, fun dish everyone should try at least once in their lives; then realise that its something they need to try again and again.

East Tapas Recipe
A Glorious Summer Dish

This easy tapas recipe will guide you step by step through the process of arranging and presenting the ingredients to make a magical dish; the wonderfully versatile Ensalada Rusa. 

This dish is a wonderful example of simple, summer food; the kind of meal that can breathe life into a BBQ or dinner party; an easy tapas recipe, for anyone, anywhere.

Russian salad is a wonderful tapas dish and lends itself well to cooking and eating outdoors.  It is also a staple dish in the fun cooking, or fun food category; a Spanish dish with a mediterranean flare.  

In this recipe, Russian salad is accompanied by a spatchcock chicken, beautifully seasoned and served alongside its cool salad counterpart for this recipe.

‘Me Gusto Mucho – I Loved It’

Step-By-Step – Easy Tapas Recipe

For a full recipe, or to check out our other dishes, please visit our website www.absolutefoody.com 

Step-By-Step Video Guide To Making Russian Salad

The Ingredients

Ingredients:

Russian Salad:

3 x Tins of Tuna 

1 x Pack of Sweet Peppers

Breadsticks

9 x New Potatoes 

1 x Large Tub Of Mayonnaise 

2 x Handfuls of Gherkins

6 x Medium Eggs (always free range) 

The above ingredients filled the bowl I had to mix and serve.  

Spatchcock Chicken:

1 x Medium Chicken

1 x Cup of garlic and herb seasoning (was made a few weeks ago out of leftover bits blended and dried).

Easy Tapas Recipe
A Match Made in Heaven – Spatchcock Chicken and Russian Salad

The Method

Put on some music you enjoy, something from your teenage years or something that evokes a sense of fun. Then proceed to gather all of the ingredients with a little spring in your stride.  If you are at a loss then I would put something on thats a Rhumba or Latin flavour to get you in the mood for the meal to come.  

Peel and slice the potatoes into quarters and add them to a pan of salted boiling water.  Make sure you use a pan with enough room for the eggs, to be added later; and enough water. Cook them for 20 minutes and during this time start to slice and dice the ingredients for the mix.

Chop the sweet peppers and the gherkins and add them to a bowl, open the tinned tuna and add the contents to another bowl and drizzle with the olive oil.

Spatchcock Chicken Tactics

If you have time I would move to the spatchcocking of the chicken, although ideally this can be done the night before to allow the seasoning flavours to soak into the skin and meat of the chicken.  

Turn the heat off of the pan and add the eggs covering the pan and leaving for 10 mins to allow the eggs to hard boil.  If you need to add extra water to the pan leave the heat on for 5 minutes and then cover and turn heat off.

Once the potatoes and eggs are cooked, drain the hot water and replace with cold.  Do this a few times if needed, to cool the contents quicker so they can be added to the mix. 

Then peel the eggs, and slice in half ready to be added at the very end of the dish for decorative and flavour effect.

Mix the potatoes in a bowl with three quarters of the peppers and gherkins.  Mix the contents well and then add the tuna.  Add half of a tub of mayo to the mix and gently stir into the contents.  

Add the remaining peppers and gherkins to the mix and then add another few heaped tablespoons of mayo. This part of the recipe depends on the size of the bowl.  The end product should be a nice smooth consistency, full of the beautiful ingredients.  Then add the eggs, with the yolks facing up, press the eggs into the mix so that the colours add to the presentation as well as the flavour.

Serve with crusty bread and a nice glass of chilled white wine.

More Like This

For more recipes like this please visit our home page for other great recipes. Or if, fun outdoor cooking is your thing then click here for another outstanding recipe.

How To Make Devilishly Dirty Fries

Disclaimer – this recipe and the process of making it are a lot of fun. Set aside an hour, put on your favourite music, fix yourself a drink. Enjoy the process of cooking and eating and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Treat Saturday

We were driving away for the weekend and myself and Jodi discussed what to cook, on what has become known as “Treat Saturday”.

The premise being to eat relatively healthy all week and then on Saturday, throw caution to wind and have some fun. In fact, the fun food aspect was the inspiration behind this blog. Cook with your heart, enjoy the process and all of its delights and then revel in the end product.

Needless to say, Jodi had a glint in her eye before she uttered the magic words “dirty fries”. I nodded with a smile, as a child would when a parent suggests ice cream.

It then dawned on me that this is something I had never cooked before, and after some careful thought; settled on a tantalising recipe; working out how to make dirty fries. Then settling on the basis of using three different types of cheese.

I love the concept of multiple cheeses, purely because it’s devilish and sits superbly with a treat Saturday. Then I thought of how well nachos are smothered and the rest of the recipe practically wrote itself:

Dirty Fries Ingredients

✓ Chips or Fries (300g)

✓ Garlic and Herb Seasoning (1 tablespoon)

✓ Monterey Jack Cheese (125g)

✓ Medium Cheddar Cheese (125g)

✓ Buffalo mozzarella (1 ball)

✓ Jalapeños (handful)

✓ Bacon (4 rashers)

✓ BBQ sauce (4 tablespoons)

✓ 3 x Spring onions

✓ Sour cream to serve (1 Tablespoon)

✓ Sirloin Steak

✓ 2 x Free Range Eggs

✓ Garlic and Herb Seasoning

✓ Olive Oil (good glug)

✓ Salt and Pepper

✓ Chives

The above recipe includes a sirloin steak and a fried egg. A simple and superb combination to sit next to our dirty fries.

The Method

Buffalo Mozzarella has caught me out over the years, leaking water into recipes, acting as a kind of a saboteur of sorts. So beforehand, drain of fluid, wrap in a couple of layers of paper towel and place in a colander – on a plate or bowl. Place something heavy on the top and leave for half an hour or so.

Then it’s time to start chopping. Finely slice the spring onions and chives. Cut the Monterey Jack into cubes and grate the cheddar.

Put the chips in the oven to cook and slice the bacon into thick chunks so it retains its form in the mix.

Once the chips are two thirds cooked take them out and add the bacon and throw back in the over for 10 mins. Then take out and add the seasoning and toss it all together. Then add half the BBQ Sauce. It’s then time for the cheeses – ripping the Mozzarella into smaller chunks and spreading over the chips and bacon; followed by the Cheddar and then the Jack – spread evenly.

Then drizzle the remaining BBQ Sauce, add the Jalapeños, spring onions and chives and put back in the oven on a low heat until the steaks are done.

Season the steak well on both sides with salt and pepper, put a dry pan on the heat and get it smoking hot. Add the oil to the pan and then the steaks frying for approximately 2.5 minutes on each side and then turn on each side for a minute more and rest. This is to get Sirloin steaks medium rare, to caramelise the fats and leave you with a juicy pink middle.

I used to have all of my steak rare, but now tweak this based on the cut of meat. For sirloin, it has to be medium rare. It works so well with the cut.

Turn the heat off the pan and crack two eggs in and let them cook while you get your Dirty fries out of the oven.

Place them on the table and let your guests help themselves, add the egg(s) to the plate with the steak. Table the sour cream to add as required.

After The Meal

I really loved cooking this dish, I think that the blend of the three cheeses worked beautifully together. The cool creamy mozzarella blends beautifully with the middle of the road taste and texture of the Jack and then the richness of the cheddar. It’s nice to get all of the ingredients together and then throw them on the chips.

Make dirty fries as something a little different for a bbq. Or just to treat yourself as required.

Watch On You Tube

To watch a video of this dish being made, please check out our vlog

The finished plate of dirty fries