Monthly Archives: July 2012

Potato, Avocado & Pickled Jalapeños Salad

Whenever I don’t feel like doing too much in the kitchen after work, I don’t mind buying a roast chicken from the supermarket as my quick dinner fix. Sometimes, I will also buy a side salad and potato salad is often my favourite pick.

Roast chicken and potato salad… you can’t beat this combination.

For today’s dinner, I resorted to the garlic and chilli roast chicken from Woolworths. But instead of getting the potato salad from there, I’ve decided to make my own with an addition of avocado and pickled jalapeños.

Avocado has a similar consistency as cooked potatoes. That’s why I thought it will work in my creamy potato salad.

I like to have pickled ingredients in my potato salad…simply to distract myself from the fact that this is a carb laden salad. ;)

Potato, Avocado & Pickled Jalapeños Salad

Quantity is enough to fill a Pyrex Storage Fridge 1.1L Rectangular Storage Plus

What you’ll need:-

  • 3 large potatoes (I used red skin potatoes)
  • A recently boiled hot water to cook the potatoes
  • 1 Hass avocado
  • Juice from half a lemon – to
  • 1 French shallot (you can buy it from Coles, Woolworths or Harris Farm)
  • 6 pieces pickled Jalapeños *adjust to taste*
  • 3 – 4 tbsps mayonnaise
  • A handful of parsley
  • Ground paprika for garnish *optional*

 (1) Boil whole potatoes (skin on) until soften when prick through using a satay stick – see Note 1.  Cool, peel the skin, cut into cubes and transfer them into a large salad bowl – See Note 2. (2) Finely chop a French shallot and pickled pickled Jalapeños. Add them to the salad bowl with the potatoes. (3) Cut the avocado in half and remove its pit – see Note 3. (4) Squeeze some lemon juice over the cut side up. With one half of the avocado cradles in your hand, use the tip of a knife and score the avocado vertically and then horizontally, to form score multiples of cubes (be careful not to score all the way, thus breaking the skin). Then use a spoon and scoop the cubed avocado out gently onto the potatoes. (5) Add 3 to 4 tbsps of mayo (depending on how creamy you like your potato salad to be) and use a fork and spoon to mix all the ingredients together. (6) Mix in chopped parsley and garnish with a sprinkling of paprika if you wish.

Note 1 – It took me about 40 minutes to cook the whole potatoes to my preferred “softness”. If you are pressed for time, you can peel and dice the potatoes first and then boil them. This ensures more surface area. Translation – less cooking time.

Note 2 – I cut them into fairly large chunks so that when I mix the potatoes with the mayo at the later stage, the potatoes do not turn into a big mash potato instead. The potatoes will mash a little when you toss them around with the dressing. Also, to speed up the cooling process, I actually “rinsed” the cooked potatoes under running cold water.

Note 3 – You can lift the seed out gently with a spoon or you can hit the seed with a knife and twist to lift it out. [information source: ehow]. I have also found another way depicted by the Nutrition Diva to be intriguing. It is actually a similar way to how I remove the flesh of a mango from its skin. This probably works well if the avocado isn’t too ripe. So select whichever way that will work for you! :)

 

Lemon and Coconut “Brownies”

Clearly, I’m using the term “brownies” loosely in this context. I love brownies because of the chocolate.

But do I still love them without any chocolate? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. :)

I found this recipe from taste.com.au. These lemon and coconut brownies have all the attributes of why I love brownies, minus the chocolate factor. It is easy to bake and tastes moist and rich. But not too rich that you stop eating after one piece. ;)  For this recipe, it has a refreshing factor.  Yes I used the word refreshing because of the lemons. And the desiccated coconut in the recipe brings out the flavour of the lemon perfectly. Not to mention in the last 10 minutes of baking, it made my kitchen smelled like vacation. :) (Maybe a sign of me craving for one? hehe…)

Lemon and Coconut “Brownies”

(Recipe from taste.com.au)

Makes about 15, depending how you cut it

What you’ll need:-

  • 250g butter
  • 430g (2 cups) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour (I mixed between plain and wholemeal flour as I ran out of the plain one)
  • 85g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 3 tsp finely grated lemon rind ( I used the rind of 3 small lemons)
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice (I used 2.5 small lemons)
  • Icing sugar, to dust

(1) Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a 20 x 30cm (base measurement) slab pan with non-stick baking paper and grease the sides which aren’t covered with  baking paper – see note 1. (2) Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and stir until mixture is thick and glossy. (3) Sift (I did mine without sifting) the flour over the egg mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in coconut, lemon rind and lemon juice ( I think it is important to add lemon juice towards the end to avoid splitting the batter). Spread over base of prepared pan. (4) Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool completely – see Note 2. Cut into pieces. Dust with icing sugar.

Note 1 – As I don’t have the specified pan size, I used a square pan instead. Hence the end result seemed a little thicker than the photo shown on the original recipe.

Note 2 – It is important to let is cool completely before removing it from the pan and cutting it.  It was quite fluffy and easily broken into pieces when it was removed from the oven after finished baking. As it cools its texture will become dense and firm.