Monday, 26 January 2015

Breakfast Week - Shake Up Your Wake Up!

Breakfast. The most important meal of the day or so the saying goes. During the week its often a case of throwing some toast or cereal down your throat as you rush around organising the family and trying to get everyone out the door, but at the weekend it can be a more relaxed and much more impressive affair. The annual Breakfast Week celebration this year runs from 25th - 31st January and champions the importance of breakfast.


To kick off the celebrations I received a fantastic Breakfast pack from award winning online butchers Donald Russell. Arbroath Smokies, Smoked Haddock, Smoked & Unsmoked Back Bacon, Smoked Streaky Bacon, Beef Sausages, Pork Sausages, Artisan Pork Sausages and Diced Streaky Bacon. First to get eaten was the streaky bacon. Forget bacon on pancakes, bacon IN pancakes is where its at.



BACON IN PANCAKES

The basic pancake recipe is my Grandmothers (she of the famous Grandma Monearn's Shortbread) hence the imperial measurements. Not sure what she'd make of my adaptation.

200g Donald Russell Smoked Streaky Bacon
4oz Plain Flour
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp Bicarb of Soda
pinch of salt
1 beaten egg
Milk

Grill or fry the bacon until cooked and set aside. 
Sieve together all the dry ingredients and make a well. Add beaten egg and mix. Gradually add milk whisking well until you reach a dropping consistency. 
Preheat a buttered griddle or frying pan on the hob. 
Dip a bacon rasher into the pancake mixture until well coated, allow any excess batter to drip off before placing in the pan. 
Once the pancake starts to bubble turn over with a palette knife to cook the other side. 
Drizzle with maple syrup, eat and enjoy!

I'm not sure if its just a Scottish thing but in the Foodie Quine household Tattie Scones are always a must when it comes to a cooked breakfast. Home made ones taste so much better than shop bought. Very simple and economical make especially if you have some leftover mashed potato lurking at the back of the fridge. Give them a try, once you do you'll never look back.
TATTIE SCONES
Makes 8 scones

200g mashed potato
25g butter
50g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
good pinch of salt

Mash the butter into the potato (you may need to warm it if its leftovers) 
Sift in the flour, salt and baking powder and mix until thoroughly combined. 
Divide into two balls and chill in the fridge.
Liberally flour your surface and roll out gently to form two circles about 1/4" thick. 
Cut the circles into quarters and prick with a fork.
Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan. 
Smear on some butter with kitchen roll. 
Once hot cook scones for about 3-4mins on each side until golden brown.

Baking Mad sent me a lovely selection of Billingtons Sugars and Glace Cherries, Allison Flours and a bottle of Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract. With these I whipped up the most fantastic Cheese, Bacon & Tomato breakfast muffins using Allinson Flour and Billington's Sugar. Miranda may not be a fan of the savoury muffin concept but I most definitely am. Great for breakfast, served with soups or simply as a snack. There are lots more fab baking recipes at www.bakingmad.com for me to try out the rest of the ingredients. I wonder if I could get away with Chocolate Cherry Cake for breakfast?
I'm a member of the Happy Eggs Taste 100 Blogger Network and was very intrigued by the sound of the January recipe on their 'Nice Pecks' calendar for Thai Scrambled Eggs. Scrambled Eggs are a fantastic choice for a healthy, fuelling breakfast, but can sometimes get forgotten about or thought to be a bit bland. However I assure you that when combined with chilli, ginger and coconut, the humble scrambled egg becomes truly awesome! The January #HappyEggsTastemakers challenge was to come up with my own twist on the breakfast classic.

SMOKED HADDOCK SCRAMBLED EGGS
Serves 4

2 fillets Donald Russell smoked haddock
1/4 pint milk
2 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
8 Happy Egg Co eggs 
Salt & pepper.
Butter
Smoked paprika
Snipped chives or spring onions

Poach the smoked haddock fillets in a frying pan along with the milk, bay leaves and black peppercorns. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes then take off the heat and set aside whilst you prepare the eggs.
Lightly whisk together the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a non stick pan and melt a generous knob of butter in it. 
Pour in the egg mixture and lightly scramble.
Remove the smoked haddock from the pan and flake. Mix half through the scrambled eggs as they finish cooking.
Serve up the eggs and top with the remaining smoked haddock and a sprinkle of smoked paprika and spring onions or chives.

I couldn't blog about breakfast without mentioning one of my favourite breakfast experiences. Cooked breakfast on the shovel of a steam train. Read all about it on Footplate Fryup at Deeside Railway. Definitely not a breakfast I'll forget in a hurry. 

Donald Russel have provided a promo code for readers of Foodie Quine to use. FQ1501 will give you 10% off your order. Valid until 31/12/15, Order must be over £30, Offer excludes half price boxes. www.donaldrussell.com

"Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a Pauper" 


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Disclosure : Thanks to Donald Russell, Baking Mad and The Happy Egg Co for providing me with products for inclusion in this post.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Burns Night Recipe Roundup - Haggis, Neeps, Shortbread, Puddocks & Irn Bru

To celebrate Burns Night, which falls on 25th January, I've decided to do a roundup of my Haggis and Scottish Recipes. Some previously published on my blog plus a couple of new ones. Hopefully you'll find something here to whet your appetite and get you in the mood for some serious Burns. Remember Haggis is for life not just Burns Night!




HAGGIS & BLACK PUDDING "PUDDOCKS IN THE HOLE"
Makes 8 Puddocks
(A Puddock or taid is a craitur seemilar tae a frog/toad that bides on laund an in fresh watter. Growen puddocks can lowp faur wi their lang shanks)

125g plain flour

pinch salt
75ml milk
75ml water
2 free-range eggs, beaten
lard or dripping (I used Magzalita Lard from Sunnyside Home Farm)
black pudding
haggis

Preheat the oven to 230c
Sift the flour into a large bowl with a generous pinch of salt. Combine the milk and cold water in a jug.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs. Pour in a little milk and water, and then whisk the lot together to make a smooth batter. 
Leave at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
Put 2 x 4 hole yorkshire pudding tins, greased liberally with lard or dripping, on a high shelf and leave for 10 minutes to heat up.
Cut the haggis and black pudding into 8 slices each and stack one on top of the other.
Remove the tin from the oven, ladle in the batter and place a haggis/black pudding stack in the middle of each hole.  
Put the puddings into the oven and cook for 15–20 minutes until well risen and golden. Keep an eye on them towards the end of the cooking time, but do not be tempted to open the door until they look ready or they'll sink.


GRANDMA MONEARN'S SHORTBREAD
This was my Granny's recipe hence the imperial measurements. She was a fantastic baker and won many prizes at the WRI. She served her baking to her many B&B visitors until well into her 80's. 

12 oz plain flour
8 oz butter (room temp)
4 oz caster sugar
2 oz cornflour

Put everything in a food processor and blitz until it comes together.
Divide into four equal pieces and roll out on a floured surface to form rounds. Pinch the edges and cut into eighths to form petticoat tails.
Alternatively roll out on a floured surface and cut into circles/shapes using cutters.
Transfer on to a baking tray and prick with a fork.
Cook for 30 minutes at 150 degrees.
Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar.


MEATBALL AND BEETROOT THISTLES
I developed these for the Good Family Food Facebook Page on St Andrews Day but they would work equally well for Burns Night.
Simply skewer some Scotch Beef meatballs onto cocktail sticks. Peel and slice raw beetroot into thistle flower head shapes (disposable gloves will save you from purple fingers!) Top the skewers with the beetroot, brush with Scottish Rapeseed Oil and roast in the oven


HAGGIS TATTIE SCONES
175g Riced or Mashed Potato
100g Haggis
50g Plain Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

Warm the haggis to soften and mix it well into the potato.
Sift in the flour and baking powder and thoroughly combine. 
Liberally flour your surface and roll out gently to form two circles about 1/4" thick. 
Cut the circles into quarters.
Heat a gridle or heavy frying pan. 
Smear on some butter with kitchen roll. 
Once hot, cook scones for about 3-4mins on each side until golden brown.


HAGGIS OATCAKES
1 Cup Oatmeal
100g Haggis
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Bicarbonate of Soda
Boiling Water

Mix the oatmeal, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Warm the haggis to soften and add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Gradually add boiling water and mix to a soft consistency. Turn on to a worksurface or board sprinkled with oatmeal and divide into two. Form each half into a round and roll as thin as possible without cracking. Cut into eight and bake on a griddle over a low heat until the edges start to curl up. 


WHISKY NEEPS
700g neep (swede) peeled and cubed
50g butter
4 Tbsp demerara sugar
2 Tbsp Whisky
S&P

Place cubed neep in a pan with the butter, sugar, whisky and enough water to cover.
Bring to the boil and cook uncovered over a high heat until the water has evaporated to leave a buttery glaze. This will take around 30 minutes.
Season, serve and enjoy.


IRN BRU HAM
With apologies to Nigella and thanks to Crumbs & Petals for the inspiration.



For the Ham
2 kilograms mild-cure gammon joint
1 onion (peeled and quartered)
2 litres Irn Bru

For the Glaze
2 Tbsp Whisky Marmalade
2 Tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
2 Tbsp demerara sugar

Put the gammon in a pan (skin-side down if it fits like that) add the onion, then pour over the Irn Bru.

Bring to the boil, reduce to a good simmer, put the lid on, though not tightly, and cook for just under 2½ hours. If your joint is larger or smaller, work out timing by reckoning on an hour per kilo.

When the ham's had its time take it out of the pan and let cool a little for ease of handling. Then remove the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat with a sharp knife to make fairly large diamond shapes. 

Mix together the marmalade, mustard and sugar and spread it over the fat. 

Preheat the oven to 240c. Cook in a lined roasting tin for foil-lined roasting tin for approximately 10 minutes or until the glaze is burnished and bubbly.

If you want to do the braising stage in advance and then let the ham cool, give it 30-40 minutes, from room temperature, at 180c turning up the heat towards the end if you think it needs it.





Lastly a couple of links to some great online resources from www.scotland.org to help you host the perfect Burns Supper.
Robert Burns App - An app’s an app for a’ that
Try on some Tartan - Kilt Up
Rhyme with Rabbie Burns


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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Spring Woodland, Hedgerow and Coastal Foraging in Aberdeenshire

I'm delighted to announce my first foraging weekend for 2015 when I'm teaming up again with Scotland's only full time forager Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. We're heading back to Stonehaven and getting the best of both worlds over two days. Coastal at Skatie Shore on the Saturday and Woodland and Hedgerow at Dunnottar Woods on the Sunday. Take your pick or join us for both.




Skatie Shore, Stonehaven
SATURDAY 4th April 2015
1pm - 5pm
£50 per person

Dunnottar Woods, Stonehaven
SUNDAY 5th April 2015
1pm - 5pm
£50 per person

Booking is via Eventbrite and to get a further idea of what to expect form the day take a look at the blog posts some of our previous joint events via the links below.


Skatie Shore - Spring

Tollohill Wood - Autumn


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Shortest Day Food in the Wood with BBQ'd Tunnocks Teacakes

100 people in the woods, 4 days before Christmas on the darkest day of the year. It sounded like a really good idea when Mandy from Mudpies suggested it back in October! Out of all the joint events we've run so far this one sold out the quickest. All spaces gone within 3 days. On top of my own personal Christmas shopping, I added the rather random list of 8 Panettone, 108 Tunnocks Teacakes, 4 loaves of bread, 8 litres of apple juice, 4 dozen eggs, tangerines, cinnamon and maple syrup. A kind of alternative version of the 12 days of Christmas.
I invested in a trolley to help make the journey from the car boot to our woodland clearing a bit easier. Should have got one with headlights for the shortest day. We added some woodland crafts to the mix for this event as the time of year meant that foraging was limited. Saying that, there was lots of wood sorrel to nibble along the way. It seems to flourish at Counteswells Woods all year round.
Fire lighting is always a big attraction with everyone wanting a turn to make sparks with the Flint and Steel. This time round we had our trusty dustbin lid and washing machine drum and with the fires lit it was time to get cooking and crafting.
First on the menu was Panettone French Toast or Eggy Bread. It tasted fantastic and even moreso when sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or doused in maple syrup.
We made sure we had plenty of hot drinks of offer for a cold December day. There was the usual tea, coffee and hot Ribena but we also went festive with some Mulled Apple Juice. Smoke infused Copella warmed over the fire along with sliced tangerines and cinnamon sticks. It could only have been improved by a slug of brandy!
There was lots of excitement about the appearance of Tunnocks Teacakes which were to be transformed into Scottish S'Mores over the campfire. They only require a couple of minutes barbecuing and once you see them begin to puff up you'll know that they are ready. Sticky, gooey, chocolatey, biscuity awesomeness. 
Whilst on our wander through the woods and in between jumping in muddy puddles lots of evergreens and cones were collected. Back at base camp these were used to create wonderful natural Christmas decorations along with willow, raffia and ribbon. There were some truly beautiful hearts and stars crafted which no doubt took pride of place at many homes. Really disappointed that I never got round to making my own.
Corn popped and tangerines hidden and found again the shortest day began to show itself with darkening skies. We'd suggested the folk at the afternoon session to bring along a torch for a game of torch tag on the way back to the car. It was at this point that I could have done with some headlights on my trolley. It was pitch black by the time we got the last loads back to the car. 
We've no firm plans yet for our next adventure but to ensure you don't miss out make sure that you are on the Mudpies mailing list by signing up to the newsletter. (we promise to never share your information with third parties)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Ginuary, Peanut Butter and a Raspberry Gin Trifle

Two of my favourite things are Gin and Peanut Butter. I've yet to come across a way of combining them both but they did feature strongly over Christmas in food, drink and gifts. Desert on Christmas Eve was a Raspberry Gin Trifle. I spotted a photo of a Gin Trifle on the Edinburgh Gin twitter account and knew I had to make my own retro-tastic version.

EDINBURGH GIN RASPBERRY TRIFLE
Recipe, quantities and method for this are somewhat arbitrary!


350g Pack Frozen Raspberries - defrosted
1 Pack Raspberry Jelly
Edinburgh Raspberry Gin Liqueur
2 x Raspberry Swiss Roll
1 Pint Custard
Double Cream
Cherries, Almonds, Edible Glitter & Silver Balls to decorate

Drain the defrosted raspberries in a sieve and reserve the liquid. Set both aside.
Slice the swiss rolls and use them to line the base and half way up the sides of a glass bowl.
Soak the sponge with as much (or as little!) Edinburgh Raspberry Gin Liqueur as you desire.
Make up the jelly to 1/2 a pint with boiling water, add the liquid from the raspberries to make 3/4 pint plus a little water if required.
Top the sponge with the raspberries and then pour over the jelly. Put in the fridge to set.
Make up a pint of custard and leave to cool slightly (or use pre-made) Pour over the top of the set jelly and put back in the fridge.
Whip double cream and pipe or swirl on top.
Decorate in traditional trifle fashion with cherries, almonds, angelica, glitter, silver balls or hundreds and thousands.


Just prior to Christmas @eatscottish were running a #12GinsOfXmas promotion on Twitter and I was chosen to receive a mixology kit. It contained a miniature bottle of Darnley's View Spiced Gin and a Ginspiration bag of flavours. With it I made a Gin Hot Toddy, sure to cure whatever ails you!

Warm some cloudy apple juice in a pan along with a cinnamon stick, handful of black peppercorns, nugget of chrystalised ginger, a slice of apple and a slice of orange. Don't let it boil but let the flavours infuse for 5 minutes or so before pouring it over a serving of Darnley's View Spiced Gin.
Gin was also on the menu as an alternative to Brandy Butter alongside Mincemeat Pies. I spotted Christmas Sloe Gin Butter in the Fortnum & Mason Store at St Pancras Station on my return from Brussels on the Eurostar. There was no way I could pass it by and it tasted fab with my mini mince pies and the Christmas Pudding.
Arriving just in time for Christmas was my first delivery from Tipplebox the innovative new Edinburgh based Cocktails by Post subscription scheme. It contained enough ingredients to make 6 glasses each of Lady Marmalade and Strawberry Tipple. William Chase Gin was the base for the Strawberry Tipple which was shaken up along with Strawberry Jam and Fever Tree Tonic. Looking forward to the January delivery which will be featuring spirits from Slipsmith Sam.
I didn't do to bad in the pressie haul either when it came to Gin and this is also when the Peanut Butter starts to appear. It helped that my Sister had just returned from San Fransisco. The US definitely has the market cornered in peanut butter goodies. Reese's Trees, Bells, Peanut Butter M&M's, White Chocolate Reese's Cups, Peanut Butter Twix and Reese's Shell for Ice Cream. Top top it off a 101 things to do cookbook and Peanut Butter Lip Balm.
New Gins on the horizon included full sized bottles of Rock Rose and Eden Mill Hop Gin. A selection of miniatures from Warner Edwards, Plymouth, Monkey 47, London Hill and Bedrock also added to the ginventary. For teetotal days a gin mug, gin and tonic popcorn and gin and tonic lip balm. Definitely no Dry January here. More of a Ginuary.
Lastly a virtual version of the favourite Christmas cards that I bought this year. Gin Gull Bells by Cat's Print Shop. I'll never sing Jingle Bells in quite the same way again.
Back to the big question. How do I best go about combining both of my loves? Is a Gin and Peanut Butter Cocktail a possibility or do I just wear both lipsalves at once?!



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