Category Archives: Food talks

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.

Appetising Alternatives to the Classic Christmas Roast

Although turkey is the traditional Christmas meat of choice, sometimes it’s nice to do an alternative.

This festive season you could try something a bit different; here are a few delicious meal centrepiece suggestions so you can too.

Salmon En-Croute(image: © Eating Out at Home)

Salmon En-Croute: A Recipe

Fresh salmon can make an ideal roast alternative, and we promise this recipe for salmon en-croute will not disappoint.

It is very easy to make, you will need:

  • 1 John Ross Jr. fresh Scottish salmon fillet
  • 750g puff pastry
  • 125g mascarpone cheese
  • 100g watercress
  • 1 egg
  • The zest of two lemons

Start by preheating the oven to 400°F/200°C or gas mark 6. Using a food processor, blend the watercress until smooth and paste-like. Once the desired consistency is achieved, add the mascarpone, lemon zest and a little seasoning to taste.

Gently dry the salmon and cover one side with the watercress mixture. Then lay the fish in the centre of a sheet of pastry (make your own or use store bought – it’s up to you).

Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush it around the salmon using a pastry brush. Lay the second sheet of pastry on top of the salmon, and smooth down onto the egg wash so it sticks and forms a seal. When doing this, make sure there are no air pockets.

Trim off any excess pastry so there is only about an inch border around the salmon and seal by pressing with a fork all the way around. If you like, you can now decorate the top with the left-over pastry – some simple leaf designs work a treat!

Place on a baking paper lined tray and leave in the refrigerator to cool for around half an hour. This will allow for your creation to firm up a bit.

Once this time has passed, remove it from the fridge and brush with any leftover egg. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crispy. Slice into portions when you are ready to serve, and plate with festive greens and a glass of great dry white wine.

This is a delicious and impressive pescetarian alternative recipe to the classic Christmas roast.

Chestnut Loaf(image:© The Kitchn)

Chestnut Loaf

A chestnut loaf is a popular vegetarian and vegan alternative to the classic Christmas roast, and it smells delightful – just like horse chestnuts roasting on an open fire!

You may not be serving turkey, but you can keep the cranberry sauce. It goes just as well with chestnut loaf, and adds an extra dimension of fruity flavour. Check out our post on noel nibbles, for a tantalising twist on the classic cranberry sauce recipe.

Beef Fillet with Prosciutto(image: © Archie MacDonald52 under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Beef Fillet with Prosciutto

Beef is a family favourite on Sundays, so why not serve it for Christmas too?

Our fresh Scottish beef fillets are tender, with a melt in the mouth quality thanks to the fact that they are aged to perfection. Beef fillets are considered one of the best cuts of meat, and therefore are ideal for an indulgent Christmas.

You can make the beef extra special by wrapping it with wafer thin prosciutto ham for an added subtle flavour, or maybe some mushrooms for an earthy element. Either way, remember we eat with our eyes, so dress the plate to look fabulous.

If you are looking for more festive food, check out our John Ross Jr Christmas product section. We’re sure you’ll find a great starter to accompany one of these mains.

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!

The future’s orange… with smoked salmon

Yes, we know. It’s not necessarily two ingredients that you’d typically put together. Well, we did. And it works.

Not only that but it’s yet another recipe (to add to our growing catalogue) that’s so easy to make yet likely to get tongues wagging around the dinner table as a result of its unusual pairing.

Finally, both smoked salmon and oranges provide those really Chirstmassy flavours. So, if you’re planning to buy smoked salmon then add Clementines to your shopping trolley and you’ll have an ideal Christmas (or New Year’s Eve) party starter.

Serves: 4

  • 600g John Ross Jr Traditional Smoked Salmon (you can either buy a 454g and a 200g pack or go for the whole smoked salmon side so you have extra)
  • Two large handfuls of watercress or rocket, depending on preference
  • Three boxes of cress (just the snipped ends will do)
  • 8 clementines (two of which juiced to serve), thinly sliced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Generous pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Enough wholemeal bread (freshly baked, if possible) for four people

Carefully lay the smoked salmon slices on a large serving plate in a style that suits you.
In a bowl, mix the watercress or rocket in a bowl with the sliced clementines and pour the juice over the top. Season with the salt and pepper, mix in a dash of olive oil and then cover the bowl and toss the salad. Serve the salad over the top of the smoked salmon and then place the lemon wedges around the plate. Cut the bread into triangles for guests and serve with butter.

It’s so easy to prepare that it’s likely to take you longer to eat it then prepare it!

John Ross Jr. Christmas RecipeJohn Ross Jr’s smoked salmon with a clementine salad is a delicious combination.

(Image: © John Ross Junior)

St Andrew’s Day 2014: a non-moveable feast

Now, there’s nothing we love more than a feast, which is why St Andrew’s Day, taking place this Sunday (30th November), is a particularly important day for us.

Not only is it a day to celebrate Scotland, but as a feast day, it’s also a time what we can officially celebrate Scottish food. It really couldn’t be better, could it?

There will be Scottish dancing, dance festivals, the reciting and writing of poems to commemorate the day and, of course, any Scottish celebratory day wouldn’t be the same without perhaps one of the most iconic Scottish activities; bagpipe playing. And lots of it, too.

So, aside from celebrating Scottish culture, music and dance, it’s a time to eat. And, if you’re planning to buy smoked salmon, what better way of helping to get you in the spirit (regardless of whether your Scottish or not) is there than to give you a simple Scottish food banqueting idea to feast your eyes on.

St Andrew’s Roulade

Serves 25

  • 300g cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon chopped dill
  • A pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 4 flour tortillas (large)
  • 350g John Ross Jr’s Traditional Smoked Salmon
  • Handful of fresh dill and generous helping of rocket (to serve)
  • Capers (for decorative purposes)
  • Sparklers – optional

This is a really simple recipe that take’s 10 minutes to make, so you can spend less time preparing food and more time celebrating St Andrew’s Day.

Take the cream cheese, lemon juice, a handful of chopped dill and the black pepper and mix it in a suitable bowl. Lie out the four tortillas, spread the mixture over the entire surface of each tortilla before laying out the smoked salmon on top, making sure to cover the area as much as possible. Roll each tortilla up, as if you were making a Swiss Roll, and cut to your desired thickness. Serve on a large plate, with extra dill and the rocket leaves, for everyone to help themselves.

John Ross_030132To make it extra special we used star shape sparklers, which are available from most supermarkets.

Now go and join the party!

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!

What to Expect From the London Restaurant Food Festival

If you are a lover of great food and are living in the south east then there is nowhere better to spend your time this October than the London Restaurant Festival.

London Restaurant Festival(image: © Tehbus)

What is the London Restaurant Festival?

The London Restaurant Festival will run from the 8th to 27th October 2014 as a celebration of great food and wonderful dining experiences. This festival aims to raise the profile of the restaurants and cooks taking part, and show the true melting pot of different cuisines on offer in the capital.

For three weeks, festival participants – from Michelin starred restaurants to small, independent bistros – will be preparing special festival menus and events in a citywide celebration of eating out.

This is the 6th year of the festival, and over the past years it has seen great success. This year, as well as tasting delicacies from special festival menus, visitors can also expect a variety of tours on a culinary theme, through areas such as Carnaby and Chinatown.

Where Can I Eat John Ross Jr’s Food?

Are you a fan of John Ross Jr. produce? Well, if you attend the London Restaurant Festival you’ll be able to taste our traditional Scottish fine foods in a number of different locations.

These include:

SMITHS of Smithfield – Top Floor

This stunning roof top restaurant offers terrace dining with panoramic views across the city. It has a luxurious atmosphere that is chilled and laid back. It is known for its use of only the best fish, rare breed beef and cocktails.
Here you can enjoy 2 courses for £27.50 per person during the festival.

“Smiths” of Smithfield – Dining Room

One floor down you will find the more informal dining room. This massive open plan area with timber beams and open clay oven area, has a friendly feel and is always lively. Here in the dining room you can have 2 courses for an affordable £17.50.

Axis at One Aldwych

For a formal dinner in the tourist centre that is Covent Garden, Axis at One Aldwych is a stylish choice. Food here is created under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Dominic Teague, with the aim of using fresh seasonal produce and the best of British.
Enjoy a 2 course dinner for £20 per person or 3 courses for £25.

The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant

The Rib Room in the 5 star Carlton Tower Hotel, in Knightsbridge has for over 50 years been the home to exquisite fine dining and some of the best of British cuisine. The dining room is designed by Martin Brudnizki and the menu is compiled by well-respected chef Ian Rudge. Here you can taste a 3 course lunch or dinner for £30 per person.

Winter Garden at The Landmark London Hotel

If you are looking for a meal in an awe-inspiring location then the Winter Garden wins time and time again. Situated at the centre of an enormous eight-story glass atrium, it is open all day, but famed for its Afternoon Tea.

If you would like to enjoy a meal at the 2 AA Rosette restaurant during the festival you will pay £35 for a 3 course dinner per person.

For more information on the London Restaurant Festival or any of the locations that use our products, feel free to get in contact. We’re always happy to talk fine foods.

A Pescatarian Life

Salmon Fillets on slateboardFor those who enjoy a fish dish and are looking to improve their diet pescatarianism may be an option. But what are the benefits? Fish certainly tastes delicious!

What is a Pescatarian Diet?

Pescatarianism is the practise of consuming a diet including fish and seafood, but no meat. The term comes from the Italian word for fish ‘pesce’ and the English term ‘vegetarian’. Many see this as a healthy medium between being a carnivore and vegetarian.

Why Become Pescatarian?

The main advantage of adopting this way of eating is for its health benefits. There’s plenty of reasons why fish is good for you:

Plenty of Protein

Fish is full of protein, which could decrease the risk of heart disease as well as some cancers. A 2012 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that those who get their protein from fish and plants rather than meat, are less likely to die prematurely. So technically, pescatarianism can make you live longer!

Lots of Vitamins

Many people who enjoy a vegetarian diet find they are lacking in many vitamins and minerals, and end up taking supplements to replenish these deficiencies. Pescatarians are less likely to suffer from this thanks to the goodness of fish.

Did you know, that an average portion of salmon has 100% of an adult’s daily recommended dose of vitamin B-12, it’s high in vitamin D and includes zinc too. Whereas cod and tuna are high in iodine – even if they come out of a tin!

Fish can also add a healthy amount of iron to your diet and therefore pescatarians have a low risk of developing iron deficiency, anaemia.

Full of Fatty Acids

You may think that fat is a bad thing, but don’t worry, this is the good kind. Fish and seafood are full of fatty acids and are a brilliant source of omega-3 and EPAs (eicosapenentaenoic acid) in particular. These are the good types of fat that can help decrease the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, amongst a myriad of other medical conditions.

These fatty acids can lessen the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis, prevent heart attacks and even treat those with depression. Introducing one fish meal into your diet a week can make a significant difference. And here at John Ross Jr. we have plenty of recipes for you to try if you are a novice fish fanatic!

So Why Cut Out Meat?

A delicious steak is a favourite meal for many. But although there are many benefits of eating meat, non-lean red meats are high in saturated fats, choline and carnitine, which can be detrimental to those with heart conditions. Fish and seafood is low in fat and cholesterol, compared to meats in general, so is a great substitute to any diet.

Could pescatarianism be an option for you? There are plenty of different types of fish, so you’ll never get bored. Take a look at a few of our recipes and serving suggestions for some inspiration!