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Friday, April 2, 2010

Scottish Cuisine

Scottish cuisine shares a lot with British cuisine but has distinctive attributes and recipes of its own which result from foreign and local influences both ancient and modern.Traditional Scottish cooking is based on their own locally available game, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables.

In Scottish cuisine appetizers come in quite a large variety and they may include Scotch smoked salmon, Finnan haddie, or Haddie-stuffed artichokes. The basic ingredients are flour, fish, butter or spices. Appetizers are served before meals and some may be spicy because of pepper or other condiment to give them a specific flavor.

Appetizers: Scotch Eggs – hard boiled eggs which are wrapped in lean ground pork or turkey, rolled in egg and breaded then baked. Barbequed Piggy Scallops – large scallops coated in melted butter, lemon juice, pepper and parsley then each scallop is wrapped in bacon and grilled over hot coals. Stuffed meatballs – minced beef mixed with spices and egg, a chunk of mozzarella cheese put in the center and rolled into balls which are baked or fried.

Soups in Scotland are usually served at lunch. The ingredients are fresh and natural. There are wonderful combinations of flavors such as Scottish tomato and apple soup which can be served hot or cold. Scottish broth is another traditional dish with ingredients such as bacon, leeks and onions and is rich in proteins and vitamins.

Soups: Bonfire Warmer Soup made with carrots, onions, bacon, butter, milk and chicken stock. Cullen skink (Finnan haddock and potato soup) comes form a small town on the Moray Firth coast called Cullen. Traditionally it is made with Finnan Haddock on the bone but a boneless smoked haddock or other smoked white fish can also be used. The soup is made with potatoes, onion and Finnan haddock with milk added to the fish stock. Golden Vegetable Soup with carrots, celery, rutabagas, cauliflower and onions. Highland Chicken Soup made with a slice of thick white bread, milk, boneless chicken breasts, ground almonds, hard-boiled egg yolks, chicken broth and heavy cream. The Shetland Islands are in close proximity to Scandinavia so the Norse influence is evident in the food traditions of the Shetlanders as in the soup Lentil Bro made with lentils, carrots, onions, celery, turnip, and ham stock. Potato-Leek-Mushroom Soup made with leeks, potatoes, cremini mushrooms, garlic, butter, milk or cream. Scotch Broth consists of lamb breast or stewing lamb (with bone), pearl barley, carrots, turnip, celery ribs and onion. In Scotland the Harvest Festival takes place in September. At the thanksgiving service offerings of fruit and vegetables are placed around the church altar to make sure there is a good crop for the next year. Congregation members who do not grow their own vegetables or fruit bring canned goods. After the service the offerings are given to those less fortunate. From this tradition comes the Scottish Harvest Festival Soup made with potatoes, onions, leeks, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, beef or chicken stock and lamb or beef stew meat.

Scottish salads are sometimes served as appetizers or as garnish to a meal and most of them are high in vitamins and very consistent. Scottish salads are very healthy made of vegetables, fruits or even a mixture of fruits and vegetables or vegetables with meat. Some are even made with fish and seaweed. Preparing these salads, olive oil, lemon juice or wine is required.

Salads: The county of Ayrshire grows the best potatoes. Arran Chief is a particularly good, waxy variety, ideal for salads. Arran Potato Salad waxy potatoes diced, fresh peas, cooked beetroot, onion, parsley and salad dressing or salad cream. Britannic Coleslaw with apples, lemon juice, cabbage, carrots, onions, Edam cheese, parsley, and sour cream. Carse if Gowrie Fruit Salad a summer salad made with peaches, apricots, an orange, bananas, raspberries, redcurrants and cherries in a syrup made of sugar, water, red wine, lemon and sherry. Herb Salad with Chicken Liver made with milk, chicken stock, polenta, chicken livers, onions, baby capers, gherkins and parsley.

One of the main elements of any Scottish meal is meat and the other is fish. Both saltwater fish like herring and inland water fish like trout or salmon are prepared in hundreds of ways. Veal and lamb are often used as well as pork. Lamb is roasted or used in stews, curries, casseroles or mutton pies. In the north and west, some people eat game, such as grouse, pheasant, venison, woodcock or hare.

Meat dishes: Forfar Birdie a type of Scottish meat pastry or pie, originally made in the town of Forfar and is similar in shape to a Cornish pasty. It is made of minced beef, sometimes with onions and spices then placed on a rolled-out pastry, folded and baked in an oven. Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish. The most common ingredients are a sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, mixed with stock and traditionally boiled in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours. Head cheese (Am.E.) or brawn (Br.E.) is a cold cut originating in Europe. In fact, it is not a cheese but meat pieces from the head of a calf or pig, in aspic, with onion, black pepper, allspice, bay leaf, salt and or vinegar. It may include meat from the feet, tongue or heart and is usually eaten cold. Stovies a traditional Scottish dish. Recipes and ingredients vary between regions. It usually consists of potatoes, onions and some form of cold meat (especially sausages or leftover roast, mince or corned beef in the east). The potatoes are cooked by stewing with fat stove being the old Scots word for an oven.

Fish: The Arbroath Smokie originally came from the small fishing village of Auchmithie which is three miles north-east of Arbroath. Legend has it that a store caught fire one night destroying barrels of haddock preserved in salt. The next morning, the people of Auchmithie came to help clean up and found that some of the barrels had caught fire, cooking the haddock inside. Upon further inspection it appeared that the haddock was edible and quite tasty. Arbroath Smokies are prepared using traditional methods that date back to the late 1800s. They are salted to preserve them, left overnight to dry then hung over wood to smoke. Cabbie Claw a traditional dish from the North-East of Scotland and Orkney. It is made with whole cod or other whitefish, sea salt, parsley, horseradish and mashed potato in a sauce consisting of butter, flour, milk, and hard-boiled eggs. Rollmops refer to pickled herring fillets rolled up into a cylindrical shape around a piece of pickled gherkin or an onion and held together with one or two small wooden skewers. The marinade usually consists of water, white vinegar, salt, a bit of sugar, onion rings, peppercorns and mustard seeds.

Drinks: Drambuie a honey and herb flavored golden scotch whisky liqueur made from aged malt whisky, heather honey and a secret blend of herbs and spices. Its flavor suggests saffron, honey, anise, nutmeg and herbs. Produced in Broxburn, Scotland it can be served straight-up, on ice or used in a mixed drink. The name Drambuie comes from the Scottish Gaelic phrase an dram buidheach, which means the drink that satisfies. First coined at the Broadford Inn in 1893 where it was sold to patrons. Ginger Wine a fortified wine which is made from a fermented blend of ground ginger and raisins that was first produced in England. It can be drunk on its own or over ice. Most famously it is drunk as "Whisky Mac" when mixed with whisky but it can also be drunk with lemonade or other mixers. Scotch whisky is simply whisky made in Scotland. In Britain, the term whisky is taken to mean Scotch unless otherwise specified. In other English-speaking countries, it is often referred to as "Scotch". It is divided into four distinct categories: single malt, vatted malt (also called "pure malt"), blended and single grain.

Lentil Bro
1 ounce butter
8 ounces Lentils
1 carrot, diced
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 small Swede or turnip, diced
freshly ground black pepper
48-50 fluid ounces Ham stock (or other stock)
freshly chopped parsley
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the Lentils and all the vegetables.
Season with salt and black pepper and add the stock.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours.
Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve garnished with parsley.

Carse of Gowrie Fruit Salad
Sugar - 225g (8 oz)
water - 300 ml (½ pint)
red wine - 1 wineglass
lemon - 1, juice only
sherry - dash
Fresh peaches - 2
Fresh apricots - 2
orange - 1
bananas - 2
raspberries - 110g (4 oz)
Redcurrants - 110g (4 oz)
cherries - 110g (4 oz)
Put the Sugar, water and wine in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes.
Allow to cool, then pour this syrup into a nice bowl and stir in the lemon juice and sherry.
Dip the peaches and apricots very briefly in boiling water and then skin them carefully.
Slice them and put them immediately into the syrup.
Pare the skin and pith from the orange with a sharp knife and cut it into slices, catching the juice on a plate.
Put the orange slices and juice into the salad. Slice the bananas and add them too.
Lastly put in the raspberries, redcurrants stripped of their stalks and cherries, halved and stoned.
Spoon some of the liquid over the fruit and chill thoroughly before serving with or without whipped cream.
Fruit liqueur, rum, or sherry may be added. By Rasma Raisters

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