It's been a little while since I shared a Secret Recipe Club (**) post with you. We've been on a brief hiatus over Christmas, but I'm excited that my group is back to posting this week.
* So what's this Secret Recipe Club you may ask? The club has over a hundred members, divided into four groups, and each month one member is assigned (in secret) to another member from their group. That person then selects a recipe (or more) to make, photograph, and prepare a blog post - all in secret. Then everyone in the group posts their recipe on the same day, and of course the secret is then out. It's a always a thrill to find out who has posted something from your own blog, and to meet and discover some new blogs. If you are a food blogger and interested in joining the Secret Recipe Club, be sure to check out the Join SRC page.
Because we've been on a bit of a break, I've had an extra long time to explore and get to know my assigned blog, which this month is Sew You Think You Can Cook, hosted by Lauren who lives in Ohio with her husband and son. Lauren is an aerospace engineer, and hopes to one day realise her food dream and become a caterer. As well as her obvious passion for food and blogging, Lauren also loves quilting and cross stitching, which is evident in the quilt-block tutorials you will find on her blog along with all her great recipes.
There were several recipes from Lauren's blog I bookmarked to try: Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon Raisin Energy Balls, Coconut Shrimp with Bloody Mary Dip, and Lemony Shrimp Scampy with Orzo. In the end, I decided Lauren's Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing was the best fit with the healthy eating plan I'm trying to follow this month.
I did make a couple of changes to fit my current food habits and available ingredients. Firstly I replaced chicken with salmon, since I'm not eating any meat at the moment and, as a clean out of my fridge revealed a jar of jerk paste needing to be used up, I marinated my salmon with some of that instead of the ancho chilli powder which is not readily available here. I couldn't get any spinach at the market this week, so I've used cos lettuce instead; I replaced coriander (cilantro) with mint because that's what I had in the garden; and I replaced apple cider vinegar with fresh lime juice, again because that's what I had on hand. I increased the amount of chilli in the dressing as well, and let me tell you that this dressing is so good I could just drink it on it's own. The combination of sweet pineapple, hot chilli, fresh mint and sour lime is positively irresistible, and was the perfect foil to the oily, spicy salmon. Thanks for a great recipe, Lauren - this is definitely one I will be repeating.
Jerk Salmon Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing Recipe
adapted from this recipe
at Sew You Think You Can Cook
Serves 2 as a main meal
2x fillets of salmon, pin bones removed
2 teaspoons of jerk paste
1/2 a fresh pineapple, core & skin removed and discarded
generous handful of fresh mint leaves
1x clove garlic
1x green chilli, roughly chopped (remove seeds if you prefer)
juice of 1/2 an orange
2 tablespoons lime juice
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
salad leaves of your choice
thinly sliced red & yellow peppers
Rub jerk paste all over salmon fillets, and set aside in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
Meanwhile, make the spicy pineapple dressing. Cut the fresh pineapple into chunks, and put half of the chunks into a blender - reserve the rest of the pineapple chunks for the salad. Add the mint leaves, garlic, chilli, orange juice, lime juice, salt and pepper to the blender and blitz until smooth. Then with the blender running, add extra virgin olive oil in a thin stream, until dressing is smooth and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Place salmon in a lightly greased ovenproof dish, drizzle with a little olive oil, and place in the preheated oven until cooked through - about 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your fillets.
While the salmon is cooking, toss salad leaves, red & yellow peppers, and chunks of pineapple together. Arrange on a serving platter, and drizzle over the dressing. Remove salmon from the oven, place on top of the salad and drizzle with a little more dressing. Serve immediately.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.