Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Taste of Scotland

I have always wanted to visit Scotland but now that I've discovered that my ancestors lived there once upon a time, it makes me want to go even more. Just to be able to walk the land as they did hundreds of years ago, the culture that surrounded them, their lifestyles, and even the food they they may have eaten. I want to experience Scotland's history and their culture, I want to stand on the picturesque landscapes where my ancestors may have stood, I also want to be a part of the events they may celebrate, eat the food and drink with the local people. But I must say, I don't have much of a taste for whiskey! I want to experience this all first hand; and maybe one day I will. But in the mean time, my adventures will all have to be of the online variety.

Scotland's Culture

Scotland has a myriad of different types of festivals ranging anywhere from the arts and comedy to the more traditional forms of entertainment. One of Scotland's winter festivals is called Hogmanay, which is a fire festival of sorts, and a street party of live music and fireworks.

If you are like me and have yet to visit Scotland, have you ever wondered what some of Scotland's food may taste like? How about trying out a recipe? Are you brave enough to try your cooking skills? If you are, then try this recipe and let me know how you liked this particular one and if you would like to share a photo of how it turned out, family responses to the meal and so on.

Cullen Skink Soup


(Serves 4)

1tbsp olive or vegetable oil 
1 leek, well- rinsed, chopped and cut into rough 2cm cubes
1 liter homemade fish stock or reduced-salt fish stock cube (or half standard stock cube) dissolved in 1 liter of water
200g of peeled waxy potatoes cut into roughly 2cm cubes
300g undyed smoked haddock fillet
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground pepper
2tbs whipping cream
Roughly chopped chives

Warm the oil in a pan, add the chopped leek, cover and gently cook for a few minutes until soft.
Add the stock, bay leaf, potato and haddock. Season lightly with black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the haddock from the pan with a slotted spoon. When the fish is cool enough to handle, remove any skin and bones, then flake the haddock back into the pan.
Blend a ladle full of the soup in a liquidizer and return to the pan.
Stir in the double cream and simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes.
Add more black pepper if necessary, then sprinkle with the chopped chives and serve.

***Serve with chunks of fresh wholemeal or grain bread.***

Recipes provided by Andrew Fairlie, chef at the world-famous Gleneagles Hotel.


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