CHOPSTICK KEBABS + CREAMY POTATO SALAD

chopstick kebabs + creamy potato salad | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

I am craving summer… swimming at the river, barbeques at the beach, and juicy summer fruit. To settle my yearnings we have been barbequing a fair amount around here recently.

Luckily my children love mince, especially with homemade tomato sauce and pasta (I think they are pretty normal in this respect). They also like burgers and things they can hold in their hot little hands. While going through our kitchen drawers I came across a handful of takeaway chopsticks and had the idea for chopstick kebabs inspired by my travels in Bali. Although I am not using Balinese flavours here, this is a traditional technique for making ‘satay’ sticks.

Creamy Potato Salad

It is the olives and gherkins that really give this salad a nice kick to match the potatoes. My children like strong flavours, however, you could hold back on the olives and gherkins. Or they could be sprinkled over for those who like them.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg desiree potatoes or similar all-purpose potato variety
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • approx. 6 green olives roughly chopped
  • 3-4 gherkins roughly chopped
  • handful of parsley chopped
  • lemon or lime juice to taste
  • 2 free range eggs hard-boiled then roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to season

Instructions

  • Wash and chop the potatoes into 1.5cm cubes. We like mouthful sized chunks but they could be bigger if you like. We also leave the skin on, but again up to you. Put the chopped potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water (if using new potatoes, use boiling water). Add the salt (1/2 teaspoon) and bring to the boil then simmer for about 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Drain in a colander and refresh under cold water. Tip - To save on pots I add the eggs to the potatoes (once the water is boiling) for exactly 5 minutes (use a timer) then scoop them out and cover with cold water to cool.
  • Meanwhile combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, olives, gherkins and parsley in a bowl. Check the taste and adjust with lemon juice and seasoning.
  • Once the potatoes are cool-ish (luke warm is OK), combine with the chopped eggs and dressing. Finally check the seasoning. This salad can be made ahead of time and covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

chopstick kebabs + creamy potato salad | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

And I made a pretty yum potato salad to accompany the kebabs… First I will share a little secret. Potatoes need salt. Salt has two purposes 1. to lock in the flavour (and nutrients) and 2. help hold the shape of the potato cubes (no one likes a mushy potato salad). When I was training as a chef my tutor Serge used to often tell me to ‘add more salt’. Now, being brought up in a very ‘healthy eating’ family (my parents were doctors and followed the Prikitin Diet) I just couldn’t get my head around this new concept of salting food.

chopstick kebabs + creamy potato salad | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

As good things eventually stick, I gradually I began to understand the role of salt in food for flavour. And when I studied nutrition I learnt about its ability to lock in nutrients, particularly when boiling vegetables. Of-course their is a case for too much salt in our diet. Generally speaking, the culprit is not the home cook salting her/his food, but processed foods (packaged, canned). These foods are laden in sodium chloride (table salt) rather than the traditional forms of salt – sea salt, rock salt – that contain a plethora of extra minerals. For our family kitchen I make a sea salt/ kelp blend by combining 3 parts sea salt with 1 part kelp. The kelp adds extra iodine otherwise deficient in New Zealand soils (and many other parts of the world). So keep that salt coming, a small pinch at a time until a dish tastes great, however, it shouldn’t taste ‘salty’.

Creamy Potato Salad

It is the olives and gherkins that really give this salad a nice kick to match the potatoes. My children like strong flavours, however, you could hold back on the olives and gherkins. Or they could be sprinkled over for those who like them.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg desiree potatoes or similar all-purpose potato variety
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • approx. 6 green olives roughly chopped
  • 3-4 gherkins roughly chopped
  • handful of parsley chopped
  • lemon or lime juice to taste
  • 2 free range eggs hard-boiled then roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to season

Instructions

  • Wash and chop the potatoes into 1.5cm cubes. We like mouthful sized chunks but they could be bigger if you like. We also leave the skin on, but again up to you. Put the chopped potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water (if using new potatoes, use boiling water). Add the salt (1/2 teaspoon) and bring to the boil then simmer for about 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Drain in a colander and refresh under cold water. Tip - To save on pots I add the eggs to the potatoes (once the water is boiling) for exactly 5 minutes (use a timer) then scoop them out and cover with cold water to cool.
  • Meanwhile combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, olives, gherkins and parsley in a bowl. Check the taste and adjust with lemon juice and seasoning.
  • Once the potatoes are cool-ish (luke warm is OK), combine with the chopped eggs and dressing. Finally check the seasoning. This salad can be made ahead of time and covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

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  1. Hi Nicola
    Thanks for the great info. I also have some home kill meat but find it hard to come up with ideas for all the sausages ( apart from the BBQ ) – any tips?
    With the roast meats if i wanted them turned into mince is there a way i can do this? Or any other suggestions with what to do with them
    Thanks Anna

    1. Hi Anna, we make a yummy sausage casserole, a recipe from my nana. I will share it on here sometime but it is more of a winter dish. You could make what we call ‘cheats’ meatballs. Cut the sausage casing and squeeze the sausage mix out and roll into balls. Brown the meat balls off then add a can or two of tomatoes. Cook until nice and saucy. Add garlic and herbs to taste. Serve with pasta or bread, and salad. Not sure what to do about the roasts. You could try cutting into small cubes then mincing in a food processor but you don’t want to overproccess or the meat will be tough. I have seen hand mincers at second hand shops at times… Good luck!

  2. I’ve just prepared these for my dinner tonight. Looking forward to eating them! I love picking fresh herbs or veges from my garden and then going straight to my kitchen and using them to prepare healthy meals for my family – just makes me feel good! My little boy is 16mths old and such a great eater – thanks to your advice and ideas in your Feeding Little Tummies book. I’m sure I would have been lost without it! Thank you for helping me to provide my family with fresh and healthy meals.

    1. Thanks so much Kama. I love getting feedback about my book and recipes. It makes it all worth while. Enjoy cooking and growing yummy food for your family.
      Nicola

  3. I think the chopsticks are the best part.

    Totally going to try these, perhaps subbing in some caribou or moose mince, and cook them on the stove inside (the bbq is under 3 feet of snow…). Love the idea of sharing locally raised cow to stock the freezer. We have really enjoyed the wild meat here which is much more like NZ meat than normal Canadian meat – ie it feeds off grass not corn and is lean due to the mountains rather than indoor sheds. Potatoes do grow well up here (during the short summer) so would love to try out that pot salad too.

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Yum, wild moose meat. Lucky you. I have made these with wild goat mince too and they worked well. Yes, Canadian meat is a little on the bland side compared to our grass-fed NZ beef. It might be tender but no flavour! Happy cooking

  4. Delighted to see you have a potato salad recipe, my girls are not big on salads but would love this one with eggs yogurt and mayo. I would love to go into the draw to win your new book . your first book is one of our most enjoyed books, it has so many go to recipes for our family meals. Thanks Sarah

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Hi Sarah. Enjoy the potato salad recipe. It is a good one for all the family as it is creamy and crunchy with the gherkins which my children love. Thanks for stopping by, I will add your name to the draw. 🙂

  5. Just a note to say that we tried out your fish ball soup … fantastic, the girls (1.5yrs and 3.5yrs) absolutely loved it and we did too … I love your recipes. Tomorrow we’re having these kebabs and the creamy potato salad, can’t wait.
    Thanks!

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Awesome Sarah. Always like hear when a recipe is enjoyed especially by little ones because they can be so hard to please at times! Nice to hear from you again 🙂

  6. Hi Nicola,

    Thank you so much for the advice about the salt. I have been following your website for a few months and think your recipes are great – nutritious for the kids and possible to cook for a non professional (the apricot bars particularly are a regular lunchbox feature in our house, would love to try the corn tortillas but not sure I could cook them properly to be honest, but my kids love wraps and would be nice to up the nutrition content). Anyway, back to the salt – my husband is always wanting more salt in food (health was not a big factor in his “food upbringing”) but my Mum hasn’t cooked with salt for as long as I can remember so I have never added it thinking that was best from a health point of view. Thank you again, this will make both of us happy!

    Kirsty

    1. Hi Kirtsy, thanks for your comment. The apricot bars are also a favourite in our hours. I keep thinking I should come up with a new muesli bar recipe but why if I already have a good one! I am glad you find the info about salt helpful. As I said the main concern with salt in the modern diet is from processed food but used moderately in home cooking it makes all the difference! I was also bought up with very little salt in the house so it took me some time to really grasp the idea of adding salt to bring out the flavour but now I can’t imagine food without it. Happy cooking 🙂

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