Category Archives: Complimentary sides

Smoked salmon and melted chocolate

You’ll be relieved to know that this isn’t one of our recipe recommendations.

In fact, it’s highly unlikely to be anyone’s recipe recommendation (at least we hope not). Instead, it’s a reference to recent weather reports that this Easter weekend is set to be the hottest on record.

Of course, we’ve heard this before, but when it comes to Easter picnics, by failing to prepare you’re preparing to fail. So, to make sure that you’re armed with an inspiring selection of picnic ideas for Easter – even if it rains – we’ve shortlisted some of our favourites when it comes to dining out(side).

Just remember that if you are planning to buy smoked salmon from John Ross Jr then make sure you order before Monday 30th March so that it arrives before Good Friday.

Smoked Salmon Picnic Hamper

The perfect picnic hamper

  • Everyone loves a Scotch egg. And this recipe, which features on the BBC’s website, is delicious. Just make sure you make – and pack – enough.
  • Smoked salmon sandwiches on wholemeal bread are a staple. The beauty is that not only are they delicious, but they’re so quick and easy to prepare. Just make sure you pack fresh lemon to sprinkle over the top of the smoked salmon before eating!
  • Pork Pies (a bit like the rain) are a very British menu item. But they do taste so good. This recipe for small pork pies with Quail’s eggs provides a fantastic twist on what is a traditional British snack.
  • Scones are like the sweet relation of the pork pie in as much as you can’t get enough of them, particularly if they’re freshly baked and served with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
  • If anyone has the skills to make a fantastic quiche it’s Mary Berry. Fortunately, she’s shared her secret to making a Quiche Lorraine with everyone else, too.
  • If you’re prepared to indulge in a little chocolate this Easter then why not go all out and make sure you’ve packed cheese and pickle, too. Our favourite cheese buying experience to date has been at Neal’s Yard in London. However, if you can’t get to the shop then you can buy some of the world’s most interesting, tastiest and smelliest (poor postie) cheeses.
  • Wine. This needs no explanation.
    For that perfect picnic, also make sure everything’s well chilled – particularly if it does turn out to be that scorcher that everyone’s hoping for. So, whether you’re picnicking, eating in or eating out this Easter, enjoy your Easter weekend from everyone at John Ross Jr.

A shot of smoked salmon this Christmas

John Ross_029906_A shot of ChristmasThis simple party starter (or prelude to the Christmas dinner) couldn’t be any easier to make.

How many you make really depends on how much smoked salmon pate and bread sticks you have available.

So, if you’re planning to buy smoked salmon for the festive season, then make sure you buy enough of our smoked salmon pate to cater for your guests, too.


  • 500g tub of John Ross Jr’s Smoked Salmon Pate
  • 100g pack of John Ross Jr’s Traditional Smoked Salmon
  • Good quality breadsticks
  • Enough spring onion to garnish the number of shots you wish to serve
  • One lemon, chopped into fine segments (see photo)


Take your shot glasses and line them up. Simply fill each shot glass with the smoked salmon pate so they’re full up to approximately 1cm from the top.

Take the Traditional Smoked Salmon and chop into squares between 1.5 – 2cm in size before either folding or rolling each piece and delicately placing it in the centre of the glass and on top of the pate.

Break the breadsticks into smaller pieces, each around 6cm in length, and then insert into the pate at the side of each of the glasses.

Lay one piece of the finely cut lemon segment next to the piece of smoked salmon before sprinkling on the finely chopped spring onion. And there you have it!

Boxing Day Smoked Salmon Bagels

John Ross_029976 Boxing Day BagelsIf cold turkey sandwiches aren’t going to satisfy your post-Christmas Day cravings, then this simple snack is guaranteed to hit the spot. Just make sure that if you are planning to buy smoked salmon for Christmas day, you save enough for Boxing Day.

Serves 2

  • 100g John Ross Jr’s Traditional Smoked Salmon
  • 4 tablespoons of cream cheese
  • 3 sprigs of dill (1 finely chopped, 2 for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bagel (cut in half)
  • 1 tablespoon milk (optional)

Mix the cream cheese, chopped dill and parsley together in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and, if you prefer a finer consistency, add the splash of milk.

Spread the mixture on each half of the bagel. Then halve the smoked salmon and place 50g on each piece.

Top off with a slice of lemon, a sprig of dill and serve with a glass of something cold. It is Christmas, after all.

Smoked salmon on rye bread

John Ross_030059_A Rye TreatIf our Boxing Day Bagel recipe is too much and you’re looking for something a little lighter (and healthier!), then why not give our smoked salmon on rye bread a go.

Serves 20

  • 200g John Ross Jr Traditional Smoked Salmon
  • 2 x packs of cream cheese
  • 1 pack of the best rye bread you can find
  • A handful of dill, chopped into ‘mini sprigs’

If unsliced, slice the rye bread into slices approximately 4-5mm thick.

Lay out the slices and then take a round object, such as a tall yet thin glass, and place it on the bread before cutting around it so that you’re left with a small, circular piece of rye bread.

Take a teaspoon of the cream cheese and spread on each of the pieces of rye bread before taking the smoked salmon (200g cut into approximately 20 pieces) and laying it on top.

Finish by placing a small segment of dill on each of the pieces. Place on a large dish with two lemon halves to serve.

Celebrate Christmas Brunch With Class

Looking to start Christmas Day the right way? Put the porridge and toast away for the day, the festive season is all about indulgences, and these brunch recipes are just that. Whether eggs benedict, cinnamon swirl scones or French toast, these dishes will make your Christmas morning spent with family extra special.

Here are a few ideas to inspire your Christmas brunch menu:

Smoked salmon Tortillas

Smoked salmon Tortillas(image: © BBC Good Food)

This may technically be more of an omelette than a tortilla, but it doesn’t make it any less delicious. Energise yourself with this protein-packed breakfast on Christmas morning, and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family too.

Mascarpone complements the smoky flavour of the salmon perfectly, and the peas add a little colour pop to this delightful dish.


Kedgeree(image: © Endurance Sports Nutritionist)

Kedgeree is another flavourful brunch recipe that unites smoked salmon and eggs. Rice may not be your immediate choice for breakfast, but when teamed with the warm flavour of the spices and the smokiness of the salmon, we’re sure you’ll be convinced.

Serve with sliced hard boiled eggs, smoked salmon and a sprig of coriander for that extra touch. Enjoy with the subtle taste of a fruit tea for a light, but satisfying brunch before your lunchtime feast.

Eggs benedict

Eggs benedict(image: © Paul Goyette under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Eggs Benedict, a classic creamy breakfast from across the pond in America, will really spoil your taste buds this Christmas. Serve warm English muffins with bacon (or our hot smoked salmon) and poached eggs, drizzled in this thick hollandaise sauce, for a comforting brunch treat.

A homemade hollandaise sauce is easier to make than you may first think, and it will taste much better than a store bought alternative. Give it a try!

Cinnamon Swirl Scones

Cinnamon Swirl Scones(image: © CBC)

There is something about cinnamon that just reminds us of Christmas. And these scones are just like a cinnamon bun, but much quicker to make.

With the flaky and buttery characteristics of a scone and cinnamon’s spicy flavour, these breakfast pastries are a Christmas treat made even better with a strong cup of quality coffee and a side of fresh berries.

French Toast

French Toast(image: © WomansDay)

If you have a sweet tooth, then this French toast may make the perfect brunch treat for you. Even the smell is mesmerising; just imagine it drifting around your home on an early winter morning. And with a light sprinkling of icing sugar on top, it almost looks like snow!

Top with a spoonful of maple candied peaches, a drizzle of syrup and a good dollop of thick cream for a decadent Christmas brunch meal with style.

Do you have a mouth-watering idea for a Christmas Day brunch? We’d love to hear it, especially if it uses one of our traditional Scottish fine foods. Send us your pictures on Facebook!

Luxury Prawn Cocktail Launched for Christmas

Luxury Prawn CocktailSome things never go out of style and the 1980s dinner party classic of prawn cocktail is one of these. That’s why here at John Ross Jr. we’ve decided to launch our very own version of this seafood favourite ready for the festive season. And it tastes amazing with our traditional smoked salmon too!

Our John Ross Jr. luxury prawn cocktail uses only the finest North Atlantic prawns in a rich and creamy sauce to accentuate their full flavour. And with our larger-than-normal 400g pots they are the perfect size for entertaining over the run-up and during the Christmas period.

Vicky Leigh-Pearson, John Ross Jr.’s Sales Director, comments: “Prawn cocktail is a timeless classic and one that never fails to please. Whilst we’ve respected the essence of this traditional dish we’ve given it an extra layer of depth by using the highest quality and tastiest prawns available and combined it with a rich and creamy sauce that’s of a quality that people now come to expect from John Ross Jr.”

Not sold on this classic dish? Here are a few nutritional facts that may make a difference:

  • Prawns are very good for you. They are crammed full of vitamin E, and contain around 20 times more than is found in beef and chicken. This vitamin E is a fat soluble and is a powerful antioxidant, some evidence suggests that it can even prevent cardiovascular disease and stop some forms of cancer.
  • There is very little fat in prawns. In fact, 100g of prawns has 18 times less than the same sized serving of salmon.
  • Unlike some meats, eating shellfish does not raise blood cholesterol.

Would you love to try our luxury prawn cocktail? Then purchase some from our online shop here, we’re sure you’ll love it and be indulging this Christmas in a classic prawn cocktail. And don’t forget to let us know what you think on Facebook!

Chablis, Blush or Pinot? Wines to Accompany Your Salmon

Whether fruity, dry or aromatic a great glass of wine is the perfect complement to our smoked salmon dishes. And if you have read our previous blog ‘Six Drinks that Complement Smoked Salmon’ you’ll know champagne, beer and vodka also work well.
Generally, white wine is associated with fish, so here we will explore our favourite bouquets, and explain why you should pair them with our serving suggestion recipes.

Glass of WineChablis

Chardonnay is a great accompaniment to a recipe which emphasises a buttery or creamy flavour, such as our John Ross Jr smoked salmon chowder. The oaky undertones will bring out the textures of the fish and the full body will improve any sauce.

This strong white would overpower most white fish, but we’re confident our lusciously rich smoked salmon is a good match to accompany it… our smoked salmon can handle it.

(image: © Nemo under CC0 1.0)


This German white is another dry wine, but it has a noticeably more aromatic perfume. Riesling has a high acidity level with citrus undertones, making it the perfect tipple to pair with smoked fish.

Riesling also goes well with poached fish and spicy foods, so if you are cooking an Asian inspired dish, like our Thai smoked salmon salad, we’d recommend you give it a try.

Sauvignon Blanc

Do you enjoy serving your salmon with plenty of fresh herbs, like the traditional complement of dill and lemon segment? Then you’re sure to enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with your smoked salmon. Sauvignon Blanc has herbaceous notes and its minerality makes it a crisp sip.

This is a light and refreshing white wine that is perfect for a long lunch on a sunny summer afternoon.


Gewurztraminer has a strong flavour and is quite floral, but it makes an unusual and successful pairing with the smoky flavour of salmon. This is especially tasty if you have a recipe which uses sweet flavourings, such as brown sugar or syrup, and it works well with ginger and garlic too.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is similar to a Riesling in the sense it has more of a rich flavour. This is a full bodied wine, with undertones of peach and pear, and goes well with smoked salmon, as well as many side dishes. It’s not as good good with white fish or seafood though.

A Hint of Red – Pinot Noir

If you are not a fan of white, and would prefer a succulent red, then try a light vino like a Pinot Noir. It tastes amazing with a herb filled smoked salmon dish or salmon cooked on a barbeque. It really brings out the flavours of the fish, while maintaining its freshness.

Or you could always try a rosé like a Tavel or Vin Gris. Rosé will go with most salmon dishes thanks to its combination of dry and fruity flavours, and an acute acidity.

Whether you’d prefer a Chablis, Riesling or Pinot, you are sure to enjoy our John Ross Jr traditional smoked salmon. Or why not try one of our infused flavours?

Six drinks that complement smoked salmon.

Let’s be honest. When wine and food is mentioned in the context of ‘food pairing’, most people would probably associate red wine with red meat and white wine with fish or white meat.

So, if you’re looking to buy smoked salmon and wondering if there’s anything other than champagne that complements its wonderful, smoky flavour then look no further. Here are six drinks that work exceptionally well with smoked salmon – and there are probably a couple of surprises in here, too.

John Ross Jr has launched the Original Classic Smoked Salmon to celebrate the Coronation Festival, which takes place on 11 - 14 July


This refined dry white is well known for its distinctive and crisp taste, which provides the perfect balance to the natural oils found in smoked salmon. A winner every time.


This is, without question, one of our favourites (second to Champagne, of course). Its deep and structured flavour make it smoked salmon’s ideal partner, preferably when the smoked salmon is served on its own with a sprinkling of lemon juice. You simply can’t go wrong with this fabulous twosome.


An unusual but successful pairing. This white is extremely aromatic and floral yet its flavours tend to round off the flavours of the fish. Certainly worth a try.

Dry Riesling

Although this German white is the most perfumed and aromatic of our selection it also has a high acidity level, which makes the contrast between wine and smoked salmon an interesting tasting experience.


Yes, you’ve read it right. Beer does go well with smoked salmon – although not just any beer. It needs to be ale that complements smoked salmon by providing a light and crisp contrast. We would recommend something light and snappy such as a Pilsner, Weissbier or even a smoked beer.


Vodka isn’t just a party drink. In fact its clean notes work incredibly well with smoked salmon, too. In our experience the higher the quality of Vodka used the better the tasting experience. Just make sure it’s chilled before serving!
This selection should keep you busy although don’t be afraid to experiment. And, if you come across any interesting combinations then let us know at


In the meantime, happy pairing.