Friday, 2 October 2015

Foodie Parcels in the Post - September 2015

Although the calendar says October I'm sticking my head in the sand about how far through the year we are. Don't even mention the "C" word. There is a definite Autumnal feel in the air, tattie holidays are looming and the clocks will be falling back. October also brings my birthday. No chance of stopping time so I'm just going to embrace it whilst looking back at the Foodie Parcels In the Post that arrived in September.

Foodie Loon doesn't often show much excitement when yet another parcel arrives for me, however his ears pricked up at the mention of a box of brew. Beer 52 is the UK's largest and fastest-growing beer club. For £24 every month members receive a selection of 8-10 beers, a snack and a copy of Ferment magazine. Alas my popcorn crisps had burst open in the post but thankfully all the beers arrived in one piece (if I was a subscriber I'd have received a credit/refund or replacement). Expert tasters choose the contents for each monthly box which enables members to experience beers that they wouldn't normally come across plus providing great exposure to superb small breweries. I was delighted to see a bottle from my local Stonehaven brewery Six Degrees North. There was a good mixture of styles both light and dark in the selection, all were eminently drinkable and the magazine provided an informative read. If you fancy joining the craft beer discover club discount code QUINE10 will get you £10 off your first box at

A fishbox isn't a new concept for me as I already subscribe to one from Coast & Glen, however I was interested to see what Peterhead based Skippers Choice could offer in their recently launched product. The skipper in question is none other than Jimmy Buchan who along with his trawler Amity II starred in the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning Trawlermen TV series. I received a Starter Selection Box priced at £49 which contained 2.9k of haddock, smoked haddock, fish pie mix, and salmon plus an extra 2 fillets of Honey Roast Salmon. It arrived well insulated and vacuum packed direct to my door and was ready for cooking instantly or freezing for later. As well as listing the contents, the delivery note gave detailed instructions of how to keep the fish in prime condition.The haddock fillets were Angel Cut which comes from smaller haddock with both sides of the fish folded out flat. Personally I prefer the larger fish flakes from a select cut, but both the standard and smoked haddock were very tasty. The latter found its way into a hearty Cullen Skink for American visitors. The salmon fillets were huge and my daughter absolutely loved them and said they were the biggest she'd seen. Whilst the rest of the catch comes from boats landing at Peterhead - Europe's biggest white fish port - the salmon is sourced from carefully selected freedom salmon farms on the West Coast of Scotland. I can see that Skippers Choice would be a great option for those who are perhaps less experimental and adventurous in their fishy tastes than I am. If you like top quality fresh sustainable white fish, yellow fish and salmon it's the perfect choice.

Having recently returned from 10 days in Singapore, a box of oriental snacks from Chimasu was a very welcome Foodie Parcel In The Post. I'm always fascinated by the sheer variety and apparent quirkiness of far eastern foods. From £14 - £18 per month Chimasu subscribers receive 12-15 original snacks from countries such as Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. I received a mixed selection but you can state your preference as love, like or no thanks for Biscuits & Cakes, Crisps, Candy, Nuts, Peas and Seeds, Noodles & Soups, Tea, Fruits and Seafoods. I absolutely adored the savoury goodies in particular the shrimp crackers. My kids loved the Hello Pandas. All the products come with English translations of contents and ingredients so you know exactly what you are getting. Use discount code CHIMASU15 to get £5 off your first box at

BBQ season is almost over for the year. If truth be told you could almost say that it hasn't really ever begun. The Grill Mates range from Schwartz means that you can have the flavour of barbeque in your kitchen all year round even if the weather gods aren't shining. They all work equally well under the grill, in the oven or on a griddle pan. As well as the marinades we're absolutely loving the Perfect Shake Chips seasoning blend with paprika, onion and garlic. You can see how I used the Deep South Brown Sugar Marinade Mix in this awesome recipe for Jack Daniels Bourbon Shot Steak Sandwiches.

Regular readers will know that I have a soft spot for vintage kitchenalia. I simply cannot walk past a charity shop without popping in for a sneaky peek at the bric-a-brac shelf. Enamelware is one of my favourite finds however for many reasons vintage items aren't always usable in a modern kitchen. Prestige has just launched a Vintage Kitchenware Collection which unites their iconic heritage and classic design with the features and benefits that we expect from cookware today. The retro collection comes in a red/white or blue/white colourway and comprises of stunning cookware and counter top accessories, crafted from a variety of materials including enamel coated steel and ceramic. The nostalgic 21cm Casserole Dish can be used in the oven and hob (alas not on my induction hob) and its also dishwasher and freezer safe. rrp £29.99 To win the entire range worth £340 in either red or blue share your favourite kitchen memory on the Prestige Facebook Page

I'm a big fan of the innovative Oxo Good Grips range of products and already have a lot of them working hard for me in my kitchen. I've not yet cooked a roast chicken to try it out on but I can already tell how useful the Poultry Lifter is going to be. I've currently got large forks that I use to transfer roast birds but this will be great for a one handed operation without piercing and damaging the skin. As always with Good Grips products there's a comfy ergonomic non slip handle.
The new GreenSaver Collection has been designed to help keep your produce fresher longer. Made from coconuts, an all natural, non-toxic activated carbon filter located in the products absorbs ethylene gas and slows down the ageing process. I'm going to be trying out a Crisper Insert and Produce Keeper over the next month and will report back with my findings. #WatchThisSpace

When a parcel of jelly making goodies arrived from Hartley's including some sachets of their new What's Your Flavour jelly crystals with instructions to 'mix with your favourite drink' there was only one thing for it. Gin & Tonic Jelly. My kids meanwhile were more excited about making Vimto Jelly and Cream Soda Jelly. Of course you've always been able to make a boozy jelly just by adding a slug of alcohol but this no flavour base enables you to get more creative. One sachet of What's Your Flavour, 300ml boiling water and 200ml of squash, fruit cordial or fizzy drink and Bob's your uncle. Really simple to make and fantastic results. The kids swore that theirs actually tasted fizzy - I'm not so sure. My G&T jelly was fab but I think I was perhaps a wee bit heavy handed with the quantity of Gin as boy was it strong. Next up is Irn Bru Jelly, Coca Cola Jelly and Beer Jelly. So much wibbly wobbly fun.

Bacon tastes good. Fact. This is Bacon are a Kent-based producer of traditionally made, free-range, hand-rubbed and air-dried bacon. However they don't just stop at damn fine bacon but also make a range of flavoured bacons and bacon made from animals other than pork. What?! I sampled their Naked Bacon - standard pork bacon from a rare breed pig hand rubbed with a salt and spice mixture, 7 day cure and 4 hours smoking. Beef Bacon - made from beef belly with a 10 day cure and 10 days air dried. Lastly was the quacking (sorry!) Duck bacon which was my absolute favourite. 5 days curing and 1 day air drying. It's healthy too with a third less fat than pork bacon. They're just about to launch a Crowdfunding initiative to enable them to step up production levels and bring more awesome bacon through more UK letterboxes. #thebaconiscoming The crowdfunder will go live on 7th October at

Disclosure : Thanks to Beers52, Skippers Choice, Chimasu, Schwartz, Prestige, Oxo, Hartleys and This Is Bacon for providing the above products. I was not obliged to review positively in return. All views expressed are my own. This is not a paid post. 

If you're a brand who'd like to have your product featured here, please do get in touch

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

River Cottage Edible Flower Butter Roulade

Those who follow me on my Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts may have spotted the #BlogCampRiverCottage hashtag putting in a number of appearances last week. Back in May, Foodies 100 announced that they would be running a food bloggers event at River Cottage HQ in the Autumn. I duly applied for a place and crossed my fingers and toes. When I received the email to say I was on the guest list I'm sure my excited scream could be heard all 600 miles away in Devon. I would definitely be the furthest travelled blogger at this event!

If there was one thing that encompassed for me the whole ethos and excitement of the day it had to be making an Edible Flower Butter Roulade. I've made my own butter on numerous occasions, often in jam jars as part of my children's cookery classes and outdoor food and foraging events. However at River Cottage we went one step further and filled the butter with beautiful edible flowers from their stunning Victorian vegetable garden. Instructions of how to make your own at the end of the post but firstly some photos that sum up a fantastic day. 

Our day comprised of three group sessions alongside networking with fellow bloggers and a sumptuous two course lunch. First up was Food Styling and Photography with the lovely Capture by Lucy of whom it was a delight to finally meet having stalked her online for so long. The Bread and Butter Cookery session was led by Group Head Chef Gill Meller (The bread part will be revealed in future post - I promise it's worth the wait) whilst Head Gardener Will Livingstone took us on a farm and garden tour. 

River Cottage HQ is a 90 acre certified Organic mixed farm. Livestock wise they have beef cattle, large black pigs, sheep, chicken, ducks, guinea fowl and bees. Everything grown on the farm stays on the farm and there is a 30 mile food sourcing policy for their additional requirements. Vegetables are grown in two poly tunnels and the kitchen garden. The Victorian style garden is divided into four plots with a Mulberry tree in the middle (alas there were no takers when I suggested we dance around it). Brassicas, legumes, roots and onions and 'everything else' are rotated annually to help reduce pests and diseases and avoid the depletion of nutrients. The farm aims to be as sustainable as possible with a wind turbine, solar panels, reed bed system for sewerage and biomass generator for heating and hot water. As he showed us around and answered our many questions Will's passion for local, seasonal, organic food shone through, as it did with the whole River Cottage HQ team throughout our day. At last it was time to head to the cook school and get hands on. 

River Cottage Edible Flower Butter Roulade

500ml Double Cream
Sea Salt Flakes
Culinary Herbs
Edible Flowers e.g. nasturtiums, marigolds, chives, borage, pansy, violets. Check the Royal Horticultural Society Guide before including anything you're unsure of 

Whip the cream with an electric whisk until it starts to split and looks a bit like scrambled eggs.
Use a wooden spoon to continue to beat and press against the side of the bowl until you have butter and buttermilk.
Take small balls of the butter into your (ideally cool) hands and squeeze out excess buttermilk.
(At this point you may wish to refrigerate the butter for a short time if it's rather soft)
Wash the butter in iced water to help prolong its life before squishing it out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper to form a rectangle.
Sprinkle with salt if desired and top with edible herbs and flowers.
Run a knife between the butter and the baking parchment before rolling the butter up "swiss roll" style.
Place the butter roulade on a fresh sheet of parchment and wrap it up like a Christmas cracker, twisting the ends to secure.
Refrigerate until solid then slice and serve.

Of course I now had the added complication of requiring to transport my butter 600 miles home. It made it safely back to my B&B, the gorgeous Fingle in Uplyme, Lyme Regis. My landlady Jane kept it in the fridge for me and I enjoyed a slice of it on toast for breakfast on my final day in Devon. Alas by the time it spent the day in a suitcase in the boot of my hire car and onwards to Exeter, Manchester and Aberdeen airports it didn't look quite so pretty!

Thanks to Time To Be An Adult, Lovely Appetite, Supper In The Suburbs, Sophia's Choice and Jen's Food for allowing me share a montage of their beautiful butters above. I'm a wee bit obsessed with this whole idea now and the possibilities are endless. You don't necessarily even need to make your own butter from scratch, just soften and squish out a block of shop bought butter. Fill with edible flowers, herbs, pesto, tapenade, chilli, garlic, lemon & lime zest, wholegrain mustard - my mind is now in overdrive with potential fillings. Its uses are equally plentiful. Beautiful spread on bread or toast but also on top of meat, fish or pasta. The perfect idea to take away from a perfect day. It could only have been better if HFW himself had put in an appearance. However I suspect he has bigger (sustainable) fish to fry than an excitable group of 50 food bloggers

Disclosure - I attended #BlogCampRiver Cottage as a guest of Foodies 100 and River Cottage HQ. All views expressed are my own.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Making Butteries and Pancakes at JG Ross for Craft Bakers Week

The iconic regional speciality food of the North East corner of Scotland has got to be the Buttery. Depending on where you're from you might call it a Rowie or an Aberdeen Roll. Terry Wogan caused outrage when he branded the local delicacy as tasting “like a mouthful of seaweed”. If you've never tasted one and haven't a clue what I'm on about, listen to me and not Mr Wogan. They can best be described as a dense, round, flaky, flattened, buttery, salty kinda croissant! They were originally made for Aberdeen fishermen who needed a roll that would not become stale during the two weeks plus that they were at sea. The high fat content, traditionally from lard, also meant they provided an immediate energy boost.

When I was offered the opportunity to be a baker for a few hours as part of the celebrations for Craft Bakers Week I jumped at the chance to visit the JG Ross headquarters in Inverurie and try my hand at buttery making. The general consensus of most Aberdonians is that they are made purely of lard, salt and calories! Would their secrets be revealed?!

For the past fifty years, craft baker JG Ross has been servicing the bakery needs of the North East of Scotland and beyond with baked goods. Traditional recipes, ingredients, skills and most importantly hand crafted methods are what make them a Craft Baker rather than a mass producing factory bakery. A second generation family business, under the watchful eye of the founder Mr Ross, they produce to quality rather than price and will always work that way. Local butchers and producers supply them with meat, oats and rapeseed oil and they take pride in serving the local community. Throughout my visit I was amazed at how extremely hands on everything was and impressed with the skill, passion and pride that all the staff showed in their work.

I donned my glamorous white coat and shoes and coordinating blue hairnet and gloves (essential due to my nail varnish - you don't want any of that in your buttery!) The dough had already been made and was waiting my arrival. The batch that I was baking were vegetarian so no lard in them. There are no secrets behind the buttery's few humble ingredients – flour, yeast, water, fat, sugar and salt. Alas Foreman Baker Roger Cooper wasn't about to reveal to me the quantities and proportions of each that go into a JG Ross Buttery. Everything is combined by hand in a very physical process to make a soft and sticky dough. It was at this point that I was let loose to form the 2kg lumps of dough into balls ready to go through the hand divider which formed 36 equal pieces.

24 Butteries went onto each tin and were pressed out into their traditional shape. Every dimple on the top of one is created by fingers and knuckles on a human hand. Not something that any machine could ever successfully replicate. Into the prover for 40 minutes so the heat and humidity can work their magic before heading into a very hot oven to bake for 12-14 minutes. The smell at this point was amazing. In fact it was the first thing I noticed when I got out of my car in the car park however all the staff told me that they quickly became oblivious to it. With the butteries cooling it was time for my next task. Large American style pancakes. 

With the pancake batter already prepared all I had to do was cook and flip. How difficult could that be?! Two squeezes on the handle of the batter dispenser deposited exactly the right amount of mixture for a consistent size. I'm going to have to get me one of these for home. Roger demonstrated a batch of 8 pancakes and then it was my turn. But I had to fill the whole hotplate. It really was hot work. 

I reckon I didn't do too bad for a first attempt although I did have a couple that were a wee bit too close together and another spilling off the edge. Flipping was done with what looked to me like a wallpaper scraper. It did the job much better than a palette knife. Something else for my wish list. After a shaky start I managed to get into a bit of a rhythm and discovered that approaching the pancakes from the side rather than the front was the way to go.

The final part of the process requires asbestos fingers. Collecting up a pile of four hot pancakes in one hand and transferring them to a cooling rack. If I'd have known that I'd get the stack of dodgy ones to take home with me I'd have made more mistakes. My next task was to decorate a celebration cake. This was undoubtedly the part of the visit that I was least looking forward to. I'm a reasonably proficient cook and baker but simply don't have the skill or patience for the pretty stuff. This did not bode well.

Confectioner Cheryl Cooper, Rogers daughter, showed me the ropes and let me loose with a piping bag. I simply don't do Birthday Cakes for my children. Supermarket novelty cakes all the way. But with my daughter's 11th Birthday only days away I couldn't miss out on the opportunity to ice her a cake. Pink was my colour of choice although the final hue was somewhat more vivid than the look I was initially going for as I was a bit heavy handed with the gel colouring. 

After attaching my ribbon, Cheryl demonstrated on the work surface how to ice around the base. She made it look so easy. My attempts looked very amateurish in comparison. I decided just to go for it and with the cake on the turntable I managed a full circle of pink and white. Next up the writing. Lets just say that the photos make my efforts look rather better than they did in real life. My hands would just not stop shaking but I managed to fit all the letters in, spelt everything correctly and kept it all reasonably straight. Really glad I gave my daughter a short name. 

More piping round the top to finish it off before being let loose with a lustre spray to make it all sparkly and professional looking. Kinda like a soft focus for cakes. My final job for the morning, before I could actually eat some of the fruits of my labours was a short stint on packaging and labelling section. 

Time to remove the hairnet and gloves and hand back my white coat and shoes before heading down to the Coffee Shop. Over a pot of tea and a warm buttery with homemade raspberry jam Marketing Manager Dianne Smith filled me in on some of my unanswered questions. Firstly the thorny subject of exactly how calorific a buttery is. Clearly not all butteries are created equal, but for JG Ross ones I was surprised (and a wee bit delighted) to learn that they shape up as follows: Buttery 181 calories, Banffshire Buttery (made with locally milled oats, 15% less fat & 20% less salt) 163 calories, Veggie Buttery 152 calories. In comparison a JG Ross oven scone is 212 calories and a Mars bar is a whopping 280 calories. 150,000 Butteries are produced every week on average by JG Ross. This includes their popular Friday speciality Butteries which rotate between Haggis, Bacon, Cheese and Cheese & Bacon. During the upcoming Craft Bakers Week, JG Ross will be highlighting their handcrafted products and using it as a focus week to show the heritage and the traditional methods and tools that they use. From what I saw during my visit they have every reason to be proud of their passion and history. Long may they continue with their slogan Baking for you since '62.

The nation’s bakers are calling on the public to show them some love during this autumn’s Craft Bakers’ Week (28th September – 3rd October). This national celebration will showcase the skills bakers use every day, to make a host of foods including breads, cakes, pies and more. Bakeries have been a feature of many high streets for generations and businesses are often passed down through the family – along with baking know-how, regional specialities and even secret recipes.

Follow @craftbakersweek on Twitter
Like Craft Bakers Week on Facebook

Disclosure : This is a sponsored post commissioned by Craft Bakers Week. All views expressed are my own. Many thanks to JG Ross for facilitating my visit.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Roast Duck with Fig, Port and Star Anise

Figs seem to be popping up everywhere I look at the moment. They're all over my Instagram feed and beautiful boxes of them are tempting me in the supermarket. I know how Adam and Eve must have felt. When Gressingham Duck, the remarkable duck people, asked me to come up with a twist on the usual fruity sauces served with roast duck, figs immediately sprang to mind. This fruit is worthy of much more than the humble Fig Roll.

Combining fruit with meat is a bit of a Marmite thing for some folk. With the exception of a Ham and Pineapple pizza I'm generally in the love camp. In some cases its a real match made in heaven. Pork & Apple being a perfect example. The sharpness of the fruit cuts through the fattiness of the meat and makes the perfect combination. Duck is often paired with Plumb, Orange and Cherry sauces. Time for an in-season figgy twist.


1 Whole Gressingham Duck
8 Fresh Figs
150ml Port
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Star Anise
25g Demerara Sugar
Salt & Pepper

Roast Duck
Pre-heat your oven to 220°C, Fan 200°C, Gas Mark 7
Remove all packaging. Take bag of giblets out of the body cavity (they’re useful for stock)
Weigh the duck without the giblets. It’s important to do this – don’t just use the weight on the bag, as this includes the giblets
Place on a rack in the roasting tin, prick the skin all over an rub a teaspoon of salt into the skin
Roast in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes per 500g, plus 20 minutes extra
Cut a cross in the top of 4 of the figs, going only 3/4 of the way down. Nestle these in the corner of the roasting tin with the duck for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Rest the duck for 10-20 minutes before serving.

Fig Sauce
Chop up four of the figs into 0.5cm cubes and place in a small pan with the star anise, port, balsamic vinegar and sugar. 
Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until syrupy and jammy.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve alongside the roast duck and roasted figs.

For further inspiration take a look at these 10 quacking (sorry!) recipes from fellow food bloggers plus a couple more from me. Lots more to be found in the recipe section of

Gressingham Duck have provided have provided a fantastic hamper worth almost £60 as a giveaway for readers of Foodie Quine. It contains:

• 2 x duck steaks (£4.75 each)
• 2 x duck legs (£4.00 each)
• A whole duck (£8.99)
• Mini fillets (£4.00)
• Duck breast (£8.49)
• Pulled duck legs (£4.00)
• A Gressingham Apron (RRP £15.00)
• A Gressingham Thermometer (RRP £5.00)

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below. To enter, let me know in a comment "What's your favourite way to eat duck?" For additional bonus entries you can follow me on Twitter, Tweet about the Giveaway or like me on Facebook. Giveaway ends 12th October 2015 12:00am. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure - Gressingham Duck provided me with product and vouchers in return for this post. All views expressed are my own.

Link up your recipe of the week

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sweet Potato Crispy topped Fish Pie for the Young Fish Pie Master Challenge

Today's recipe comes courtesy of my 13 year old son Kyle. A few weeks ago a friend tagged me in a facebook post about a Young Fish Pie Master Cooking Challenge taking place at Macduff Marine Aquarium as part of their Fish Fest weekend. As she'd thought, this was right up his street and he set to work creating a recipe. The contest was open for participants aged 12-17 with the Young Fish Pie Master title to be awarded to the contestant who created the best fish pie, using local or sustainably sourced seafood ingredients. The pie could be traditional, a family recipe or a new creation but had to include locally sourced/sustainable fish, a sauce and a topping. The selected finalists would each have a work station with 2 single gas burners and access to an oven. Competitors could prepare the raw ingredients in advance but must assemble and cook the pie during the cook off. Competitors would have one hour to cook their pies.

Sweet Potato Crispy topped Fish Pie for the Young Fish Pie Master Challenge

Recipe development commenced and with a practice pie made and some tweaks to the recipe he submitted his entry.

About You and Your Fish Pie: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your fish pie recipe – for example, is it handed down the generations of your family or your own twist on a traditional dish?
My name is Kyle Jessiman and I am 13 years old. I live in Newtonhill and go to Portlethen Academy. I love cooking and baking especially with seafood, my favourite would be shellfish. Every month we get a Fish Box from Coast and Glen and I always really look forward to it. In there I have had live lobster, crab, oysters and scallops which I have had to shuck plus many more fishy things. I have made up this recipe because I think that it all works well together. I think that using mascarpone as the sauce just changes it slightly from a usual white sauce and the sweet potato complements the dish nicely and the crisps add a bit more texture.

He emailed off his entry form just in the nick of time to meet the deadline and waited patiently to see if he'd secured a coveted place in the final. Much excitement when at last an email arrived and he found out that he was one of the chosen finalists. CONGRATULATIONS! Your fish pie recipe has made it to the final of the Young Fish Pie Master competition.

At this point big thanks must go to Coast & Glen who scheduled a special Fish Box delivery so Kyle had ingredients to practice with use on the big day itself. 

Kyle’s Sweet Potato Crispy Topped Fish Pie
Finalist in the Young Fish Pie Master Cooking Challenge at Macduff Marine Aquarium

650g sweet potatoes
3 spring onions
250g mascarpone
50g frozen peas
100g ready salted crisps
300g Coast & Glen Fish Pie Mix - smoked haddock, salmon & haddock
3 hard boiled eggs
50g grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to season 

Cook the sweet potatoes in salted boiling water for aprox 15min then drain. Put through a ricer or mash until smooth. Set aside in a bowl and mix through 1 Tbsp of the mascarpone.
Preheat your oven to 200c 
Finely chop the spring onions, wash well and place in a bowl.
Add the mascarpone to the spring onions and beat until soft. Mix through the frozen peas,
Chop the fish into bite sized pieces and add to the mascarpone mix. Fold in the fish along with a pinch of salt and a good scrunch of black pepper
Now place the fish mix into an oven proof dish and spread evenly, nestle in quartered hard boiled eggs then cover with the sweet potato mash.
Finally sprinkle crushed crisps over, then the cheese and cook for 35 – 40 min.
(Alternatively make four individual pies and cook for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling)

All five contestants coped extremely well in the pressure of the tent. A cut finger, forgotten ingredient and an under performing oven didn't ruffle the feathers of any of the young chefs. All too soon time was up and the judges made their rounds to sample the finished pies. There was a real mix of traditional and more exciting ingredients including coconut oil, mustard seeds, cumin, chilli, olives, pesto and basil. The judges duly deliberated, cogitated and digested and with positive feedback and constructive comments made to all, the winner was announced as Pheobe's Italian Inspired Fish Pie.

Many congratulations to Pheobe who was awarded the inaugural "Young Fish Pie Master" trophy. Her fish pie recipe will now be included as a special on the menu at the Banff Springs Hotel and will be published on the Macduff Marine Aquarium website. All the competitors received a goody bag and with the assistance of the River Cottage Fish cookbook which was part of its contents Kyle's already started planning his 2016 entry! Despite not winning he thoroughly enjoyed the experience of taking part something which I'm not altogether sure I'd have had the confidence to do at that age. Although I did cook a meal for the late Charles Kennedy MP at around the same age so perhaps it's a case of like mother, like son after all. (I never did manage to become a professional chef and they spelled my name wrong!)

For further Fish Pie inspiration here are some tasty recipes from fellow food bloggers

A Comfort Food Fish Pie by It's Not Easy Being Greedy
Fish Pie with Scallops by Farmersgirl Kitchen
Crumble Topped Ocean Pie by Supper in The Suburbs
Soy Sauce Fishermans Pie with Miso Mash by Emily's Recipe & Reviews
Weaning Recipe for Dairy free, Cornish hake fish pie by Penelope's Pantry

Fish Pie by Fab Food 4 All
Frugal Freezer Fish Pie by Elizabeths Kitchen Diary

Link up your recipe of the week