Food and drink

Poached Egg and Asparagus

I like to think I can turn my hand to most basic cooking techniques after a few minutes research. I learn quickly and most techniques tend to work as described. But there’s one that has always failed me every single time I’ve tried it. Not just me either. This supposedly simple cooking method has ended in wails of frustration and an empty stomach for millions of us. Of course the technique in question is poaching an egg.

It’s gently cooking an egg in water. How hard can it be!? Yet every time I’ve tried it in the past I end up with an unpleasant pan full of eggy soup. Bits of cooked white floating all over the place while a single ball of yolk hides in a corner, doing its own thing. Even more frustrating is the fact that those people who have master this technique appear to be able to turn then out at will. Their number includes my brother. Frankly that was the final straw. I had to get back on the horse. Continue reading “Poached Egg and Asparagus”

Food and drink

Pork chop with garlic mushrooms and olives

I had some olives and a pork chop leftover (from separate meals) and was looking for something to use them up. So I came up with this simple dish of mushrooms with garlic, tomatoes and olives and a pan fried pork chop. Great for a quick midweek meal as the whole thing just takes 15 minutes. Continue reading “Pork chop with garlic mushrooms and olives”

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”

Food and drink

Homemade Butteries

I don’t normally do requests but on this occasion I’ll make an exception. An expat friend of mine demanded that I post a recipe for butteries after my snapshot post on them last week. The sight of Aitken’s finest produce on my frontpage reminded him how much he missed them for breakfast. I can’t blame him really.

Butteries or rowies are a speciality of north-east Scotland. Similar to a flat croissant, they’re high in fat and salt with a large amount of butter and lard in the recipe. This isn’t health food! They were originally developed as food that would keep for a few days on a fishing boat; hence the high salt content. Don’t be put off by their unhealthy reputation though. As an occasional treat they’re delicious. As long as they’re fresh then I’ll eat them plain but most people like them lightly toasted with butter and jam.
Continue reading “Homemade Butteries”

Food and drink

Black Pudding, Apple and Green Bean Salad

On Saturday I found myself standing in the co-op staring blankly at a wall of ready-made sandwiches contemplating lunch. I eat a lot of ready-made sandwiches – mostly during the working week – and they’re almost universally disappointing. Faced with this sad choice again I looked around for something a little different and as I paced up and down the aisle I noticed a packet of trimmed green beans sitting in the veg section. Seeing the packet made me think of a warm salad of black pudding, apple and beans that I’d had a year ago in an Edinburgh restaurant and really enjoyed. It was just the kind of dish that would make a really quick and easy weekend lunch. Continue reading “Black Pudding, Apple and Green Bean Salad”

Food and drink

Chestnust and Pancetta Barley Risotto

For the last few years I’ve taken over making the starter for our Christmas dinner. It helps take some of the pressure of my Mum on the day and gives me a chance to show off a bit. In the past I’ve done stuffed mushrooms, chicken pate and last year I made smoked mackerel pate. This year I’m going to make this chestnut and pancetta barley risotto. Continue reading “Chestnust and Pancetta Barley Risotto”

Recipe

Tarte Tatin

You know a few years ago I hardly ever ate dessert. It just wasn’t something I was into. I never saw the appeal of ice cream, tarts or cooked fruit. Exceptions were made for chocolate based desserts of course. Over the last couple of years I’ve been slowly converted to the dessert cause and now its one of the main reasons I have to do so much exercise!

I absolutely adore warm apple tarts with cold vanilla ice cream. A great tarte tatin with caramelised apples and crisp pastry is a cause of much delight especially when it’s served hot with a great big lump of ice cream melting all over it. When I received a copy of Michelle Roux’s Pastry for my birthday recently this had to be the first recipe I tried. Continue reading “Tarte Tatin”