Mini Salmon Caesar Salad Cups

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Caesar salad has been a favorite of mine since I was a little kid. I slightly change the dressing recipe depending on what I feel at the time, using mayo or Greek yogurt. This time I went for half & half, and skipped on the Parmesan to make it a bit health“ish”. If you want to go all Greek yogurt, you need to adjust the seasoning a bit since it is not as flavorsome as mayo. Since they are mini portions, they are perfect for a BBQ or dinner party!

This recipe makes about 17 mini cups.

Ingredients:

For the Salmon:

450grs of salmon, minced with a knife

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

½ teaspoon of celery salt

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of cayenne

1 ½ tablespoons of Greek yogurt

½ cup of breadcrumbs

Pinch of salt

1 egg yolk

1 egg

Zest of 1 lime

Pinch of black pepper

1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

For the dressing:

½ cup of mayonnaise

Juice of 1 lime

5 anchovy fillets, minced

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

Small pinch of garlic powder

½ cup of Greek yogurt

Pinch of salt

Extras:

4 mini little gem lettuce (cleaned, dried and leaves separated)

½ cup of olive oil for pan-frying the salmon

9 quail eggs

 

Start by making the dressing. Place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it till it emulsifies. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the salmon cakes, place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Then form small balls with about ¼ of a cup of the salmon mixture. Once all the salmon cakes are assembled, keep them in the fridge until ready to fry.

In the meanwhile cook the quail eggs. What I normally do is boil some water in a kettle, place the quail eggs in a saucepan and then carefully pour in the boiling water. Cook over medium heat for about 2 ½ minutes. Then rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking. Peel them, slice them in half and set them aside.

Pour the olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the salmon cakes for about 2 minutes per side, pressing a bit with a spatula to flatten them. I did it in 2 batches.

To assemble the salad, place one salmon cake over each lettuce leave. Add half of a quail egg and drizzle some of the sauce. Enjoy!

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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When I lived in Dallas I would often stop at Pei Wei with friends and eat their chicken lettuce wraps.  For the lack of one in Amsterdam, I now make my own version at home.  I add black fungus because I like its texture. When I was a kid and we would go to a Chinese restaurant, my mom, sister and I would pick them out of the stir-fries and eat them first.

Ingredients:

500gr chicken breast (skinless and boneless)

2 tablespoons of flour

1 bell pepper, chopped into small cubes

1 cup of shredded carrot

1 cup of chopped water chestnuts ( I get them frozen)

2 spring onions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of ginger, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

25gr black fungus (Cloud ear fungus) optional

100gr of cellophane noodles (optional)

1 iceberg lettuce, separate the leaves

Vegetable oil

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon of hoisin

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of oyster sauce

¼ cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

 

Soak the fungus in boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain and chop it into small pieces. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat about 2 cups of vegetable oil.  Try to break off the cellophane noodles into smaller pieces. Once the oil is hot, fry the noodles and press them so they are covered in the oil. Fry them until they puff up. It will only take a few seconds.  Then drain them on paper towels.

Chop all the veggies and set them aside.

Mince the chicken and then mix it with the flour.

Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.

Heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pan or wok.  Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir trying to separate the pieces as much as you can.  Cook for about 3 minutes and then add the bell pepper, ginger, chili, spring onion, fungus, garlic, water chestnuts and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add sauce. Stir fry for another 2 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Serve with the crispy noodles and the lettuce.