Food and drink, Uncategorized

Tolbooth Restaurant, Stonehaven

We were given a voucher for Stonehaven’s Tolbooth restaurant at Christmas and have waited for a sunny weekend all summer to use it. Our thinking is that it would be a shame to waste the trip to Stoney without being able to sit outside afterwords having a few speciality beers from The Marine. Well, summer came and went with barely a glimmer of sunshine on a free Saturday to get us over the hill so we decided to just book a table and hope for the best.

The restaurant lives right on the harbour in the upstairs of the old tolbooth jailhouse. Every seaside town needs to have a good seafood restaurant sitting right on the pier. Certainly every town with a fishing heritage like Stonehaven’s deserves one. Continue reading “Tolbooth Restaurant, Stonehaven”

Advertisements
Food and drink

Sea Bass with Tomato and Olive Spaghetti

What am I going to have for tea tonight? That’s a question that takes up a lot of my time. For inspiration I’ll grab a few books and flick through them or trawl recipe websites hoping something jumps out of the screen. But often the best inspiration is my own memory of a dish I’ve eaten somewhere. This sea bass dish is my version of a restaurant dish I had at Sea Breezes on Skye. They used crushed tatties but I’ve done it with spaghetti for a slightly more mediterranean feel. Continue reading “Sea Bass with Tomato and Olive Spaghetti”

Recipe

Pan fried coley with lemon beurre blanc

In another effort to increase my sauce experience I had a quick go at a beurre blanc to go with some coley I was having for tea.

I again turned to Michelle Roux’s excellent Sauces book for the basic recipe. The original recipe was for twice as much sauce and used cream but I decided for the fish that a lemon zing was more suitable. Continue reading “Pan fried coley with lemon beurre blanc”

Food and drink

A local classic – Cullen Skink

I always want to feature more Scottish food, especially recipes from the north-east where I’ve lived my whole life. Cullen is a small village on the Moray coast, north of Aberdeen which is famous for one particular dish. A soup made of fish, milk, tatties and onion – Cullen Skink.

This is a very simple dish to make. You can knock it up in under half an hour if you’re efficient and have everything ready to go. I had a read through my books and found I had at least 5 recipes for this in my small collection. Most of them followed the same general pattern, with the River Cottage Fish book deviating the most and Leith’s Cookery Bible strangely adding tomato into the mix. The recipe below most closely follows Nick Nairn’s from New Scottish Cookery. Continue reading “A local classic – Cullen Skink”

Drink, Review

An afternoon in Brewdog and The Athenaeum

Saturday was the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup. Aberdeen played Celtic and lost 4-1, as the penalty which lead to the fourth goal was awarded I made my way out of a packed Irish pub in an Aberdeen side street with my brother, disgusted at the 30 minutes of football we’d just witnessed. Giving up on the game we decided to try to find a better way to spend the afternoon.

I haven’t written about Brewdog despite them being a big local (and national) story over the last couple of years. That’s because I’m not really a big fan of their beer. I love their attitude and they certainly have a fantastic knack for promotion. The Fraserburgh based brewery has been a huge success since they began in 2007 and have done a superb job of getting up the noses of the more established brands and the booze establishment. They seem to have caught the general public’s imagination and are converting a large number of young drinkers into fans of IPA and steering them away from bland, commercial lager. Continue reading “An afternoon in Brewdog and The Athenaeum”

Recipe

Steamed and braised haddock with colcannon

It’s been a while since I chose a recipe out of a book and then set out to buy the necessary ingredients and follow it as closely as possible. Post-Christmas, having received a few books as presents it’s time to break out of the making it up as I go along groove I”ve been in lately.

The excellent River Cottage Fish book is the one I decided would supply tonight’s dinner and I settled on a recipe for steamed/braised ling. Because Tesco’s is shit and it didn’t have any of the white fish Hugh recommended I decided to go for haddock. It was either that or Vietnamese cobbler. Seemed a better idea to go for the fish that had only travelled a few hundred miles instead of a few thousand. Continue reading “Steamed and braised haddock with colcannon”

Thoughts

Cookbooks from Santa

How was everyone’s Christmas? Was Santa good to you?

I was lucky enough to receive not one, not two, but three new cookbooks for Christmas! Ok, one of them isn’t a recipe book as such – The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit is an excellent reference for matching ingredients which also included a short description of the 99 pairings in the book. I’m really looking forward to using it as a spark for new ideas in 2011. Continue reading “Cookbooks from Santa”