Posts Tagged ‘entree’

Recipe: Hot Smoked Salmon Cocktail

This recipe came about because one of my friends had depleted adrenals. I didn’t actually know that one could deplete your adrenals until she told me 😮 (don’t try it at home, it’s not recommended). As she comes over for dinner regularly, and I do like a culinary challenge: I went on a hunt for recipes that will help replete (if that’s even a word) her adrenals.

After some googling, I discovered that the following foods are good to help replete adrenals (can we just make replete happen, because I can’t be bothered typing restore even though they are the same letter count and #ironically I just typed it):

  • Foods high in vitamin B, e.g. tuna, oats, Brazil nuts, bananas, potatoes, avocados and legumes.
  • Foods high in vitamin C, e.g. citrus fruits, berries, peaches, mangoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spring greens and tomatoes.
  • Foods high in tyrosine, e.g. fish, chicken, pork, whole grains, oats, dairy, avocados, bananas, legumes, nuts and seeds.

And you should avoid white flour, sugar, sodas, refined foods, caffeine, alcohol, smoking and environmental toxins PLUS learn to relax, avoid stress and exercise regularly; moderate exercise helps stimulate the adrenal glands. (Sources are my good friend Gwyneth, and a health coach in Vancouver.)

Now I generally don’t include environmental toxins or exercise in a dinner plan,  but I felt I could put together a “Restoring Your Adrenals” menu as part of my CHALLENGE ACCEPTED dinner.

I did include some smoking in this recipe, but since the fish was smoking and not us (and fish are high in tyrosine), I felt this was an acceptable form of smoking…?

Looking into the distance

Hot smoked salmon is more like a chunky salmon fillet, than the very thinly sliced cold smoked salmon you are probably used to. It normally has the skin on (you take that off for this meal).


  • 2 fillets of hot smoked salmon (take the skin off, cut it up and feed it to your cat; flake the rest into chunks about 1-1.5cm in size and do not give that to your cat no matter how much they insist they should have it)
  • 2 avocado diced
  • 1 handful of fresh rocket
  • 1  handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1-2 tbsp mild olive oil
  • couple of drops of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sushi vinegar
  • 1-1.5cm squeeze of wasabi (yes: the green one, in the tube #notfancy)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Pop the olive oil, sesame oil, sushi vinegar, wasabi and some salt and pepper into a jar, attach lid and shake until everything is combined and emulsified. Set aside.

In two low tumblers, assemble your Hot Smoked Salmon cocktail: layer avocado, rocket, salmon chunks, cherry tomato quarters until each tumbler is full. Drizzle the dressing all over it, and serve!

Serves 2.

Smoking Hot Smoked Salmon Cocktail.

Read Full Post »



I don’t often think about peas as being the hero of any dish. To me, they are a little like curly-leafed parsley: they operate as more of a necessary garnish of green than an actual flavour.

But as I compiled my menu for DIY Dad’s retirement party (more about that in later posts), I discovered a recipe that served peas with pancetta on croustades (croustades are basically a little cup made out of crispy filo pastry). I made it for the retirement shindig and came away with two learnings:

  • Filo pastry is too fiddly, fragile and too prone to going limp even after you’ve crisped it, and
  • I needed to rethink my attitude about peas

Peas definitely need strong, and salty, flavours. On their own they are quite rich and creamy, so things like feta and pancetta cut through the richness and add balance.

What I came up with was to serve the peas garnished with crispy pancetta, feta and mint on top of crispy italian bread rubbed with garlic; so basically pea, feta, mint and pancetta bruschetta. Minus the pancetta and the dish is vegetarian, so it can easily be adapted.


Peas can be cool


  • 300gm frozen peas (don’t.use.minted.peas)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Italian bread (4 slices)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Olive Oil spray
  • 4 thin slices pancetta (or proscuitto) (optional)
  • 50gm feta, cubed
  • handful of mint leaves, stems removed
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil for serving

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Boil water in a saucepan, add the peas and cook until just ready (5 minutes): the peas should still be richly green, so no over-cooking. Drain the peas and add to a food processor along with the 4 tbsp of olive oil, then process. I have a tiny food processor attachment to my stick mixer, the perfect size for this.

Pop the slices of pancetta (or proscuitto) onto a sheet of baking paper and then straight onto a rack in the oven, they will take about 5-10 minutes to crisp dependent on how hot your oven is. When you remove them, they might still be a little pliable but as they cool they will become crispier. When cooled, break up each piece into little shards.

Mix the feta and mint leaves together and leave until needed.

Each slice of bread should be no bigger than a bread plate, the bread I choose was too big so I cut each slice in half. Spray with olive olive then pop on a tray in the oven. Toast until golden, turn over and do the same. When golden on both sides, take the bread out of the oven and rub each side with the clove of garlic. Pop each slice on a bread plate.

Portion out the peas onto each piece of bread (this makes enough for 4-5 slices of bruschetta). Mound the peas, don’t spread (this isn’t a play lunch).

Add the pancentta/proscuitto to the feta and mint (do this at the last minute otherwise the crisoy pancetta/proscuitto shards will go soggy), then sprinkle on top of the mound of peas.

Garnish with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.


Leftovers never looked so good

Read Full Post »