Friday, 6 July 2012

{Guest post} Bean and Potato Salad by Nisha of Look who's cooking too

I am travelling home tomorrow (27th june)and I am going to be there for quite a while. Packing, cleaning, arranging stuffs, last bits of shopping everything is over and here I am sitting totally exhausted, with least of energy to do anything. But hey, I am not going to be sitting here all night typing out another recipe in my lethargic mood but we have someone very special to share her recipe with you. A very special person, Nisha of Kitchenantics (Look who's cooking too) is our special guest today.

We’ve known each other for a while and we have a lot on common. Since we both blog from UK, we tend to notify each other anything blog related. I would have to par with whatever she has said here because that’s exactly what I would want to say as well. We communicate quite often, either by phone or messages. Our conversation has mainly been of props, where to look out for them for a cheaper rate, deals or offers or when we stumble up on interesting sites or blogs. She is a very good friend of mine and is just the type of girl I would love to hang around with. How I wish she lived nearby.

Nisha is a wonderful person, very friendly, charming and full of energy. Her witty way of writing and her open mindedness is what got me attracted to her. She claims she is not a great cook and hasn’t got any patience. But you see, her blog will prove otherwise. She’s got some great recipes, amazing photographs and fantastic writing. Each of these takes real long time and it requires lot of patience and interest. So And apart from all that, if I need to relax and have something to read, I would go to Kitchenantics for a laugh. That being said, I don’t read all blogs, but very very few, and Nisha’s blog tops them all. Don’t forget to check her blog out. Nisha, Thank you so much for doing this post for me, and I am so ever glad that you could it. Salad looks awesome, and I am sure to try it. 

If there is one blogger I can say I have a lot in common with, that is definitely Shabeena (Shabs as we fondly call her) of Shab's Cuisine. I can’t remember how or when I stumbled upon her blog, but she was the first UK blogger I started following. It is a big deal because majority of the bloggers I follow are based out of the US or India and discovering that Shab was from this side of the pond was indeed something worth being excited about.

She has been blogging for many years now and somewhere along the way I discovered I had a lot in common with her. Thanks to Facebook, we send each other looong messages regarding our blogs and have the longest chat sessions, that too at 11 and 12 at night. From endless discussions about prop shopping to charity store finds to ebay auctions to photography tips and new blog discoveries, the topic is forever flowing. Sales and deals at stores are immediately passed on and we make sure we check it out and get back with our inputs. It’s like shopping with your girlfriends, but virtually :)

I recently did a birthday cake for a friend and I must say that I couldn’t have done it without Shab's help. I used to keep calling her up each and every time I had a doubt about fondant, frosting etc and she would be such a sweetheart and help me out whatsoever. It is indeed great knowing that I have a blogger friend just a phone call away to solve all my doubts and more importantly to sit and talk mindlessly about props and painting boards and photography, instead of forcing the husband to listen to my blog issues. So I didn’t think twice when Shab asked me about a guest post, because there was no way I was gonna pass. We decided on a salad and so, here's an easy peacy summer recipe- A bean and potato salad, which is a favourite over at our place.

We have picnics in the park during summer and deciding on what to take is always an issue, especially because only some parks allow barbecues and they are almost always the ones that are far away which makes us think twice about heading there in the first place. So food items that are super duper easy to pack and tastes good when eaten cold are given priority. Sandwiches and salad mostly win after all the discussion and this salad is my first choice. It is so easy to put together and tastes so good, you would have to try hard to stop yourself from eating spoonfuls while preparing it. It is also a very forgiving recipe and you can add more ingredients or adapt them to your liking without compromising on taste. It is great eaten warm or cold, so there is no issue there. When I make it at home, I usually pair it with some grilled chicken and its a perfect meal and quite filling, I must add. 

So without further ado, here is the recipe for a super delicious, easy-to-prepare bean and potato salad.

Bean and Potato Salad

500 gms (2 large) Potatoes
300 gms Fine beans
1 small Shallot- finely chopped
3 tbsp Mayonnaise
3 tbsp Creme fraiche
1 tsp Mustard sauce
1 to 2 tsp Milk(optional)
1 tsp Vinegar
Salt and pepper- to season

1.Peel and slice the potatoes into bit size cubes and pre cook it boiling water till they are soft and tender, but not mushy and falling apart. Drain and keep aside.

2. Similarly, wash and trim the beans and chop them to about 1 inch in length. Blanch them - bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and tip in the beans. Keep boiling for about 3 to 4 minutes after which you drain into a colander and run ice cold water over it to stop the cooking process. This retains the bright green colour of the beans- and keep aside.

3. In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, creme fraiche and mustard sauce. If it's too thick, loosen it up with some milk, adding only in instalments. 

4. Season with enough salt and pepper, give a stir and mix it all in.

5. Transfer the drained potatoes and beans into a large salad bowl. Make sure they are not hot or the cream is going to curdle.

6. Add the shallot and the salad dressing and carefully fold it all in, making sure you don't mash the potatoes.

7. Do a taste test, add more salt and pepper if needed and either dig in immediately or cover with a cling film and refrigerate till ready to use.

1. Additions to this salad would be baby tomatoes, bell pepper, boiled egg and even cooked chicken.
2. If you have spring onion in hand, use the white parts alone instead of shallot and it makes a world of a difference.

3. Also, for a low fat version, use Greek yoghurt instead of creme fraiche. You can also use double cream instead of CF, although not necessarily a low fat version :)

4. Add a pinch of mustard if you don't have the sauce, which is a less stronger version.

5. Once again, thank you Shab for having me over and here's to blogging and shopping and above all the friendship we have developed :)


Turmeric n Spice said...

Got here thru nisha's blog thanks nisha for introducing me to shab . You have a wonderful blog and u will definitely find me as a regular visitor .

jehanne@thecookingdoctor said...

Hey Shabs, I love these guest post series of yours, Nisha is one of my fav bloggers too. Btw check out my site for KK May round up, there's a lil surpise there waiting for you;-)

Archana said...

Lovely salad. I do not enjoy beans but now I am changing my mind.
I am hosting Kitchen Chronicles Theme Go Nuts... till 15th July.Do send me your entries

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halal foodie said...

beautiful post, salad looks delicious

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Mr__Gus said...

Just stumbled upon your blog via vanillamart, loving the no nonsense mix of recipes from all over! ..perfect dabbling material for myself (as a male) ..the more process pictures the better therefore!

I love to cook & bake with my 8yr old who has developed quite a palate looking forward to doing some "cub-scout" cooking with her starting with your potatoe & bean salad & the mouthwatering egg kebab / scotch egg ..I always try to tie in similarities to work out & beyond the original recipe as we work through a cooking / food exploration! ..looks like great hike picnic food, & I cannot wait to read through & dabble.

We started her baking "properly" from the age of 5 & find that it works best to do this just with me Dad,(& mum gets to rest).
we try to incorporate, hob, grill & campfire cooking as well as the microwave (it does have it's uses after all & it's not going away)! as well as making slow cook pot meals on top of our wood-burner in the winter months.

As a result of involving her in food from an early age (she was a self imposed vegetarian till 5 & had such a limited "like" for food till she discovered surimi & sushi, since then she prefers to go food shopping with Dad as we are more "try, talk, & buy" rather than shopping with purpose of a mother getting in the food-stock for a week, ..Result, a kid who will give everything a try (whether it's a thumbs up or not) ..& will already gut fish, cut meat, handle & chop heart & offal, & is getting there on her own basic veg chopping prep).

we'll be trying the Beetroot Thoran as soon as possible! ...a food i'd previously neglected (hated from youth) then had raw on salad & enjoyed.

I'm now passing the idea onto her that "we don't hate different foods we simply may not have found a way to eat them that is pleasurable YET"! far it's working

Our weekly cooking expeditions are about to take a new turn!

..Thanks again

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Cardamom Hills said...

HI Shab,
Since you said you are travelling home, does tat mean UAE? :) I think you told me ones that your family was here. I was on this very very long blog break :) and yes your feed is still dead :-( You need to fix that asap. Maybe this happen after the upgrades from blogger itself. Playing around with the html coding wont affect the feed. try to delete the old one and set it up again. Your posts dont appear on the reader either. Tc and do catch up!!

Cardamom Hills said...

Yup! its done :)

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj said...

very nice to know about both of you... n here only got to know about new follower Nisha...
salad is yummy...

divya said...

Wow... Looks delicious and very tempting dear :)

divya said...

Wow... Looks delicious and very tempting dear :)

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