Monday, 28 January 2019

Trad Burns Night

I have done many variations on a Burns theme- Vegan Burns, fusion Franco-Scots Burns, Burns Night out of a tin and Burns Supper leftovers. Just search 'haggis' in the list on the right hand side of this blog for a plethora of recipes.

This year, I decided to go traditional- with haggis, neeps and tatties and Cranachan for dessert.
A couple of problems though...would the haggis make it through security in my hand luggage?
As it turns out, yes, no problem. Nestled happily in a cool bag, ne'er an eyebrow was raised by the customs men. ( Well, perhaps Rabbie's ghost was guiding them as a former excise man himself)

Image result for lavoute chilhac in the snow
Our village in the snow
Next problem- as we arrived in the Auvergne, so did the snow.
No chance of taking the little Peugeot to the nearest supermarket. It was the village store or nothing.
Loulou's Shop in sunnier times
We all moan about the village shopkeeper, with his out-of-date and overpriced stock- but when it snows..boy are we glad he's there.
He even had neeps.

So,with neeps, tatties and haggis I was ready for the main course and a pumpkin from the cellar gave us a warming soup accompanied by cheese scones.

Cheese Scones (makes 10)
225g flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp fromage frais or natural yoghurt
60g butter
100g grated cheese
pinch salt
1 tsp mustard
milk to mix

1. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and butter in a food processor and blitz to crumbs ( or rub in with your fingertips)
2. Add the cheese, mustard and yoghurt and blitz to a soft dough, adding a little milk if too dry.

Scone dough in the processor

3. Tip out onto a floured board and press to a thickness of 3-4 cm.
4. Cut out rounds using a cutter or jar lid.

Cut out round shapes 3-4 cm thick

4. Place on a greased baking tray, brush with milk and sprinkle with either more grated cheese, paprika or seeds and bake at 175 degrees for 15 minutes or so until risen and golden.

Cheese Scones
I jazzed up the main course with an onion gravy:

1. Chop an onion or 2-3 shallots finely and place in a saucepan with a little oil, a knob of butter and a pinch each of sugar and salt.
2. Cover with a butter paper cartouche and leave to caramelize and soften.

Cover simmering onions with a butter paper
3. Add a tbsp of balsamic vinegar and 150 ml of red wine and boil for 5 minutes until reduced.
4. Add 250ml of water and leave to simmer until you are ready to eat.
5. Adjust seasoning and thicken with cornflour or gravy granules.

Glossy onion gravy

Pudding however gave me problem number 3.
Loulous store yielded no oats, no porridge, not even muesli. A frantic rummage in the larder netted me two packets of Oats so Simple and a bit of muesli..  Could they fix it? Yes, they could.

I toasted the various oats in the oven on a baking dish, mixed with 2 tbsp honey and a knob of butter.
For the Cranachan dessert, I whipped up 250 ml of whipping cream with a sachet of vanilla sugar and 2 tsp of whisky.
In dessert glasses, I layered up oaty crumbs, raspberries ( some peaches too as I didn't have a lot of raspberries left in the freezer) and whipped cream.
This was all topped off with more oaty crumbs and a few whole raspberries. Yum!

And so ends my annual  homage to the Scottish bard. I hope you've enjoyed the few extra recipes I have added here to enhance the usual triumvirate of haggis, neeps and tatties.
Now for a tot of whisky to toast the man himself... but which one to choose?