Recently a friend asked me “Do you guys ever make anything bad? Do you ever screw up?” Though I would like to have answered “No. Never. We’re perfect. In every way,” that is far from the truth. Neil and I love to cook but we have a ton to learn and we do, of course, sometimes screw up. A Parmesan ice cream incident and a tofu cupcake mishap are among two of the worst. We just don’t post about the screw-ups!
I know it may also appear that we’re constantly busy cooking up delicious things, but just like most other regular day-job-holding home cooks we have our moments of “Let’s just order a pizza” or frequent nights when we’ll get home from work, look at each other and say “What should we do for dinner? I don’t feel like cooking.” That’s usually followed by blank stares and silence, followed by whining (mostly be me), and usually ending with Neil suggesting take out sushi from our favorite place or burgers from one of the many burger joints in the east end and me vying for vegetarian or Moroccan food from around our hood.
Sometimes we’re in the mood to eat at home, but are more interested in easily assembling something instead of actually cooking. We have a few go-to meals for such occasions, and one of those is dilled potatoes with smoked salmon and a very leafy green side salad.
I once saw my celeb crush Jamie Oliver make this easy meal on his beautiful show Jamie at Home. I didn’t write down the recipe (because there really isn’t one) but the idea stuck with me and we’ve been making it ever since. Jamie is known for using really fresh, simple ingredients and producing dishes that are bursting with flavor. I love how he just adores every ingredient he throws into a dish and speaks of each one like they’re all his little muses.
This meal is not fancy or fussy but it tastes amazing and is really quick to throw together if you have all the ingredients in your fridge. It took us 20 minutes from starting to sitting down at the table.
If you’re wondering what’s up with the rainbow smoked salmon in the photos, we decided to try President’s Choice Vodka Beet Smoked Atlantic Salmon, mostly because it was on sale, but also because we were curious. It’s really beautiful and would go over well for a nice brunch or dinner party, but we didn’t really think it added much to our dinner, aside from some nice color on the plate. The taste is really no different from their regular smoked salmon, though it may have been a bit less smoky-flavored. I actually like to use gravlax for this meal because it’s thinner and more delicate and kind of melts in your mouth, but any smoked salmon will do.
Don’t skimp on the herbs for the potatoes though – they really make the dish. And I find that the horseradish sauce just brings it all together nicely. We’re big fans of horseradish sauces for lots of different dishes, as evidenced here and here.
The other night when we made this, we served it with a simple raw kale salad dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and a touch of maple syrup. And I have to say, this dinner pairs well with a really good cold beer on the side. We had Beau’s All Natural Lug Tread Lagered Ale (we’re really loving their beer as well as their cool packaging) and it was the perfect complement to our simple but fulfilling Jamie O-inspired meal.
Smoked Salmon with Dilled Potatoes
Plain yogurt or sour cream
Prepared white horseradish
A bunch of red or white mini potatoes
Good quality extra virgin olive oil
White balsamic or apple cider vinegar
If you’re using frozen smoked salmon, take it out of the freezer a few hours before eating and let it thaw in the fridge.
We like to cut the potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Place potatoes in a steamer and steam until soft. We actually steam ours in the microwave for approximately 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. I never measure; just use your judgment and adjust to your taste.
Get your herbs and oil and vinegar ready so you can quickly work with the potatoes while they’re steaming hot. Prepare your salad.
Once the potatoes are done, transfer them to a big bowl, add in the herbs, drizzle in olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and a good amount of sea salt.
Bring everything to the table and let everyone serve themselves. The best way to eat this meal is to take a heaping spoonful of potatoes and then top them with pieces of smoked salmon and a little bit of sauce. Try to get a little bit of everything in each bite.