In my last few weeks in the UK, there were quite a few things to celebrate – my nephews’ birthdays, jubilee barbecues and farewell lunches. Aside from my standard Corn & Bean Salsa, potato salad has become one of my regular contributions. This is such a classic favorite of mine as my mom always made a huge bowl of it for family barbecues – specifically around the 4th of July. I’m going to make a huge assumption and say that for Americans it’s a given that potato salad will have eggs in it. It adds flavor and color and just wouldn’t be potato salad without it. But this is a novelty for my British family and friends. It went down very well though and I kept telling everyone it’s so easy to make. So I thought I’d share a couple of recipes.
The great thing about potato salad though is that it’s not a dish you need to measure. There’s no right combination really as I think it’s really down to preference. Some like it creamier, some like it spicier with more mustard, etc. My basic ingredients are:
- Potatoes (I prefer baby new potatoes, skin on)
- Hard boiled eggs
- Red/white onion or celery
- Chives or spring/green onion
- Mayonnaise and/or (British) salad cream and/or sour cream
- Dijon mustard (or English mustard if need be)
- Lots of salt & pepper
Boil the potatoes until they fall off a knife when you poke into one. There are a couple of ways to boil the eggs. One way is to put them in cold water, bring it to a boil, switch off the heat, cover and let sit for 10-12 minutes. Drain and fill with cold water to cool before peeling. Finely dice the onion or celery and chives. Go light on the mustard at first as it’s quite strong. For all the ingredients, just add to your taste preference and enjoy! To present this at a buffet or at a party, transfer it to a clean bowl and sprinkle with chives. My mom always covered the top with thin slices of hard boiled egg. This is best chilled before serving.
Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans!
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For a quick and healthy dinner, couscous is always a perfect solution. Since it can be a bit bland, using stock is a great way to enhance. Also, While chicken breasts are healthier, thighs are definitely cheaper and have more flavor. This dinner is so fast and would be good for leftovers too! This recipe is for four.
Package of boneless chicken thighs (about 2-3 per person)
1 red onion
~2 cups chopped green beans (two large handfuls)
~couple tbsp hot sauce
~300g hot water/stock
1 chicken stock cube
~2 tbsp cumin (add to taste)
1 can chickpeas strained
1 yellow onion
~large handful cilantro/coriander
~3-4 stalks spring/green onion
Optional : chorizo
Put the couscous into a large mixing bowl and add the cumin and stock cube. Stir to combine and add the hot water or chicken broth/stock. Cover and set aside. Roughly chop the yellow onion and chorizo if using. Heat a touch of oil in a large frying pan and add the chorizo. Fry for a couple minutes. Spoon out the sausage to a side bowl, leaving the oil. Add the onion to the oil and fry for a couple minutes. Add the can of strained chickpeas and chorizo. Add a couple tbsp of water and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile fluff the couscous with a fork. Chop the spring onion and cilantro/coriander. Add to the pan of chorizo onion and stir through. Then pour over the couscous and combine gently. Cover again and set aside.
For the chicken, chop the green beans and onion roughly. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and into a small bowl. Mix in a pinch of salt, black pepper and the hot sauce. Heat the same large frying pan with oil and add the onion and beans. Cook a couple minutes and add the chicken into an even later. Cook a couple minutes on medium/high heat. Turn over and cook another 3 or so minutes. Cut open one of the larger pieces to check it’s cooked. Remove from the heat and stir in more hot sauce to taste. Serve the couscous onto large plates and top with the chicken. Garnish with more cilantro/coriander and serve!
If you want or need to make this dish simpler, skip the chorizo, onions and even the chickpeas. The spring onion and cilantro will add plenty of flavor. Be sure to taste it though and add salt to your taste!
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