From Russia to Spain to Perth!
I am in Seville, Spain, making my way to Granada to see the Alhambra.
My plan was to visit Ronda, one of the most beautiful white towns of Andalusia also known for its food, wines and bull fighting. I drove through the wonderful countryside and all along among these magnificent hills there were beautiful white towns and villages in all shapes and sizes. On arriving at Ronda, I couldn’t get in …. there was the last bull fight of the season and the town was full.
I drove off feeling sad, disappointed and very hungry. Far away inside these hills I saw another tiny village and there and then I decided that this is where I was going to eat. I drove in and sure enough it was a one way street village. I thought the village was having its siesta because there was only one door open. I went in and here was a real Spanish restaurant serving real Spanish food within a Spanish jovial and family atmosphere. There were no Paellas or bad versions of tapas. The menu consisted of locally produced ingredients. There was goat, lamb, goat’s cheese, salomillo, pecadillo (broth soup with rice and egg), and an amazing variety of Ensaladas Rusas.
I have eaten and made so many versions of this salad but this was one of the best I have ever tasted.
In case you were wondering the name of the town is “Cuevas del Becerro” and the restaurant didn’t have a name but the number on top of the front door was 49.
Take the road less travelled …. you never know what you will discover.
The recipe for this Ensalada Rusa is to die for. Make your own mayonnaise, don’t add peas or carrots. Decorate your salad with flowers!
- 1 kg potatoes
- 1/2 kg prawns
- sweet paprika
- rind of one lemon
- a few drops of lemon juice (adjust to your taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for the Mayonnaise
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon of mustard ( I used Dijon)
- 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar (optional)
- 250ml of oil ( use vegetable oil, I used Canola)
- salt and pepper to taste
Method for the Mayonnaise
1- In a small bowl add, salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar and egg yolks. With a stick mixer beat these ingredients for a few seconds and then slowly add the vegetable oil. Once the mayonnaise is done adjust the flavour by adding the lemon rind, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Method for the Potatoes
1- Wash the potatoes, covered them with cold water and salt. Bring to the boil and cook until they are just tender. Let them cool completely, remove the skin and cut into cubes.
2- Add the raw prawns to a pot of boiling water with salt and a bit of sugar. Cook them for 2 to 3 minutes. Take them out and put them into a bowl with ice and cold water. Peel and clean them when they are cool. Slice each of them diagonally.
3- In a big bowl put half of the cooked potatoes and prawns and add 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Fold the ingredients well with a spoon. Add the rest of the potatoes and prawns and then add more mayonnaise until the salad looks and tastes creamy. Add salt and pepper and gently fold again with a spoon.
4- Put the salad in a beautiful bowl or serving plate. Sprinkle the salad with sweet paprika and decorate with flowers.
- Ensalada Rusa is typically served cold in the warmer months in Spain, while in Russia it is actually part of the Christmas dinner.