Tag Archives: Recipes

Making Scottish Fare In America: A Delicious Dinner

For ex-pats missing traditional Scottish fare, or for Americans wishing to give the cuisine a try, it can be difficult to recreate Scottish recipes with only American ingredients. But hae nae fear! The American-Scottish Foundation has written up a three- part guide to cooking up Scottish eats- even here in the USA.

Dinner Is Served!

Image via balfourcastle.co.uk

Image via balfourcastle.co.uk

Dinner in Scotland is a hearty affair, where plentiful meat and potatoes are usually present to ensure that diners leave feeling satisfied.

Traditionally, Scottish meals feature ingredients including meats, fish, dairy, and produce all native to Scottish soil. Traditional dishes are typically delicious yet simple, as, historically, exotic spices were rare and expensive to come by. 

The American-Scottish Foundation has collected a set of recipes for you to try at home to help you serve up a decadent four-course meal with traditional Scottish flair. 

First Course: Cullen Skink 

Image via cooklowfodmap.com

Image via cooklowfodmap.com

Start your dinner off with a traditional Scottish soup.

Cullen skink is a hearty soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. A local specialty, the soup hails from the town of Cullen in Moray.

Try your hand at this simple recipe from bbcgoodfood.com:


One tablespoon of butter

One medium onion

Two medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

300ml of water

250g of smoked haddock

250ml of milk

Salt and Pepper 

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley or chives


1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and fry gently until transparent. Cook for about 5 minutes, before the onion browns.

2. Add potatoes and water, bringing to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

3. In another pan, cover the haddock with milk and cook gently for about five minutes until tender. Remove from the milk and flake gently into large pieces while removing bones.

4. Add the milk and flaked fish to the saucepan containing potatoes and onion and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and parsley/chives.

This soup is traditionally served with a side of crusty bread and butter.

Second Course: Salad with Whisky Dressing

Image via telegraph.co.uk

Image via telegraph.co.uk

For a delightfully Scottish salad, top a bed of fresh greens with a dressing flavoured with whisky.

Whisk up this aromatic recipe from whiskyboys.com:


1/3 cup Whisky of your choice

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil 

4-6 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1/2-1 tsp of brown sugar

1/2 tsp of salt

1-2 tbsp of chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp of fresh cracked pepper

A dash of cayenne

1/2 clove of garlic chopped extremely fine

Mix all of the ingredients together in a jar and shake well. Chill and pour over salad when ready to serve. This dressing goes exceptionally well with a wee dram on the side.


Main Course: Individual Scottish Pies

Image via goodfoodrevolution.com

Image via goodfoodrevolution.com

For a filling main course, meat pies are a classic and delicious dish.

They come in many different assortments and flavors, including vegetarian options.

Try out this recipe for individual minced mutton pies from telegraph.co.uk:


1/2 tsp of nutmeg 

2 tsp of black pepper

1/4 tsp of salt

1/2-1 tsp of brown sugar

One onion, finely diced

125ml of pre-made gravy

500g of minced mutton (preferably leg)

For the hot water pastry:

175g of lard

225ml of water

500g of plain flour


1. Sauté the onion in a saucepan. After five minutes, add the nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Remove when the onions are caramelised and put in a bowl. Add the gravy. Mix. When cool add the minced mutton.

3. Heat the lard with water. Once combined, put flour in a bowl. Make a hole and add the liquid. Mix with a spoon, gently breaking down the lumps of flour and bringing together.

4. When cool, knead and smooth dough. Roll out the pastry until slightly thicker than a pound coin and set aside.

5. Lightly oil the outside of 4 ramekins. Wrap pastry around the outside of the ramekins. Refrigerate for 20-30 mins then peel off, keeping the shape. Snip around each pastry case to neaten the edges.

6. Add the meat filling two thirds high. Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut out tops for the pastry cases and push on top, leaving a small space. Glaze the pastry with milk or egg wash. Bake at 300°F for 45 minutes.

Serve the warm meat pies with a heaping side of green peas and mashed potatoes.

Dessert Course: Dundee Cake

Image via realfood.tesco.com

Image via realfood.tesco.com

For your final course you’re sure to want something sweet.

A traditional Dundee Cake will hit the spot. The famous Scottish fruitcake, which originated in 19th century Scotland, is made with cherries, sultanas, almonds, and a sweet glaze.

Try out this recipe from bbcgoodfood.com:


100g of blanched almonds

180g of unsalted butter

180g of light muscovado sugar

Zest of 1 large orange

3 tbsp of apricot jam or marmalade

225g of plain flour

1 tsp of  baking powder

3 large eggs, beaten

100g of ground almond

2 tbsp of milk

500g of mixed dried fruit

100g of whole glacé cherry

For the Glaze:

1 tbsp of milk

2 tsp of caster sugar


1. Place almonds into a small bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave for 5 mins then drain in a sieve and leave to dry. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.

2. Put butter in a large bowl and beat well until soft. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the orange zest and apricot jam.

3. Sieve together the flour and baking powder. Add eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, a little at a time, beating well. If mixture starts to curdle, stir in a little flour.

4. Add the remaining flour and ground almonds and mix well. Mix in milk and then add fruit and cherries and mix gently together.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread level using the back of a spoon. Arrange the whole almonds close together in neat circles on the top of the cake. Bake in the oven for 45 mins.

6. Lower the oven temperature and cook for a further 60–80 minutes. Check the cake after 50 minutes by inserting a wooden or metal skewer into the cake. When it’s done it should have just a few crumbs attached.

7. When cooked, remove the cake briefly from the oven, put the milk and sugar into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Brush over the top of the cake and return the cake to the oven for 2-3 mins.

8. Remove and allow the cake to cool in the tin. When cold remove from the tin, wrap in foil and keep for at least 2 days before cutting.

There you have it: a delicious and decadent four-course meal bursting with flavor and Scottish tradition. You’re now ready to host your very own Scottish dinner party. As Robert Burns once wrote, “We hae meat and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thankit.”

Making Scottish Fare in America: Fish n’ Chips

For ex-pats missing traditional Scottish fare, or for Americans wishing to give the cuisine a try, it can be difficult to recreate Scottish recipes with only American ingredients. But hae nae fear! The American-Scottish Foundation has written up a three- part guide to cooking up Scottish eats- even here in the USA.

Time For Lunch!

Scotland is famous for its fish and chips. From gourmet restaurants to the local corner store, there are countless places to pick up a quick “Chippy” throughout the country. 

Image via flickriver.com

Image via flickriver.com

Although there are restaurants in the United States that try to recreate the famous British dish, few can come close to the kind of fish and chips you’d encounter at a sea-side shop in Scotland. 

The American-Scottish Foundation has collected recipes for you to try at home, so you can fry up your own Scottish lunch. Just remember before you serve up your “Chippy” that newspaper wrapping is essential!

Many delicious fish fries use a beer-batter technique, in which thin filets are deep-fried in a tasty batter with a beer base. Try your hand at this simple recipe for Beer-Battered fish from rampantscotland.com.


Thin fish fillets (Cod, haddock and flounder are all good options.)
Oil with a high smoke point, such as groundnut oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil.
One egg white, whisked.
One cup of all purpose flour.
½ pint of beer or lager.
½ teaspoon baking powder.
Extra flour to dust the fish.

Image via dailymail.co.uk

Image via dailymail.co.uk


1. Heat the oil and prepare the batter ingredients for mixing. Microwave the fish, flipping it while it heats, so the inside is hot. Microwave until the fish is hot and looks half-cooked.

2. Mix the flour, egg white, and beer. Pat a fish dry with a paper towel, then lightly dust it with flour, making it truly dry. Dip the fish, and your hand, into the batter, coating them well. (The batter will help protect your hand from splatter.) Hold the fish above the oil and gently slide it in. Use tongs to nudge the fish as needed, keeping it from sticking to the bottom. Turn the fish over as it cooks.

3. Remove the fish when it looks nicely crisped. It is ready to serve with a bit of lemon juice.

No fish fry is complete without a hearty helping of Scottish chips! Use this recipe, from food.com, to make your own chips, so different from American french-fries!


2lbs of “old” potatoes, peeled and cut into thick sticks.
Oil for frying (You can also use deep fat.)


1. Take your potatoes (which are peeled and cut into sticks about 1cm thick and 8cm long) and soak them in cold water, removing excess starch before frying. Drain and dry.

2. Heat oil or deep fat in a chip pan. Put a layer of potatoes in the bottom of a wire basket and lower into pan.

3. Fry until the chips are pale golden. Remove them from the pan and drain on soft kitchen paper. Repeat until all potatoes are fried.

4. Just before you serve, re-heat the oil and fry all the chips until they are very crisp and golden. Serve with your battered fish, adding salt and vinegar to taste.

Some chip-shops serve their fish and chips with a side of mushy peas. Allrecipes.com provides an easy recipe for this side-dish.


Image via telegraph.co.uk

Image via telegraph.co.uk

1 10 oz package of frozen green peas.
1/4 cup heavy cream.
1 tablespoon butter.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.


1 Boil a shallow pot of lightly salted water over medium-high heat. Add frozen peas, and cook for 3 minutes, until peas are tender.

2. Drain the peas and place them in a blender or large food processor. Add cream, butter, salt and pepper to peas, and process until blended, but still thick with small pieces of peas. Season to taste.

For that extra Scottish flair, wrap your fish and chips up in newspaper before you serve them. Add a heaping helping of mushy peas on the side, and there you have it: a delicious, Scottish fishy-fry for lunch!

Making Scottish Fare in America: Full Scottish Breakfast

For ex-pats missing traditional Scottish fare, or for Americans wishing to give the cuisine a try, it can be difficult to recreate Scottish recipes with only American ingredients. But hae nae fear! The American-Scottish Foundation has written up a three- part guide to cooking up Scottish eats- even here in the USA.

Hungry for breakfast?

Image via visitscotland.com

Image via visitscotland.com

If you travel in Scotland, you’re likely to encounter a “Full Scottish Breakfast” somewhere along the way, whether at a cozy pub, a grand hotel or a tiny B & B.

The Scots’ classic “full” breakfast is sure to leave you feeling just that. Here is a guide to making your own.

 Full Scottish Breakfast

Juice- With or without pulp- or as the Scots say, “bits.”

A hot, strong pot of breakfast blend tea.

A small bowl of plain yogurt, with fruit and muesli toppings.  

A side of fresh fruit.

Oatcakes. These oat-crackers are a delicious breakfast treat, especially topped with a bit of jam. However, oatcakes can prove elusive in the USA. Worry not- oatcakes are surprisingly easy to bake yourself! Use this recipe from epicurious.com:

Image via recipeshubs.com

Image via recipeshubs.com


  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 large baking sheets. Place oats in large bowl and sift flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in.
  2. Use your fingers to rub in shortening until the mixture is a coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir into a dough.
  3. Transfer dough to floured surface and roll it out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds, and arrange with space on the baking sheets. 
  4. Bake oatcakes until edges are pale golden (Around 12 minutes.) Let cool for 5 minutes. 

A selection of cereals. A Scottish favourite is Weetabix, which thankfully is widely available in US grocery stores today!

Image via evokekitchens.ie

Image via evokekitchens.ie

A steaming bowl of porridge. Rather than using instant quaker oats, cook your oats the old-fashioned way, on the stove with milk, butter, and sugar.

Plenty of fresh toast, cut up and buttered to perfection.

Half of a tomato, broiled.

A strip of bacon. In the UK, bacon is closer to a thin slice of ham, so substitute as you wish!

A “banger” or two. (Link sausages.)

A tattie scone. Scottish potato scones are not easy to come by in the US, so we recommend cooking up your own with this recipe from bbcgoodfood.com:

Image via domesticsluttery.com

Image via domesticsluttery.com


  • 1 pound of Potatoes, peeled and cooked
  • 1/2 tsp spoon salt
  • 2oz butter
  • 4oz self raising flour


  1. Mash potatoes, mixing in the salt, butter and flour.
  2. Place on floured surface, knead lightly and roll out to a thickness of 1cm.
  3. Cut into triangles and cook on a hot, greased griddle for about 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve while they’re hot!

Sautéed mushrooms. Easily pan-fry with a bit of butter, salt and pepper.

Baked beans- From a can is fine!

One egg. Scrambled, poached, over-easy- that’s up to you!

And, finally, the famous black pudding. Black pudding is no sweet treat- it’s actually made of pigs’ blood, fat, oats, and spices. For those who want to try their hand at the savoury snack, here is a fairly simple recipe from epicurious.com:

Image via theguardian.com

Image via theguardian.com


  • 4 cups fresh pig’s blood
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups steel-cut (pinhead) oatmeal
  • 2 cups finely diced pork fat (or beef suet), finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease 2 glass loaf pans. (Metal will not work, unless well-lined with parchment.) Stir 1 teaspoon of salt into the blood.
  2. Boil 2 1/2 cups water and stir in the oats. Bring down to a simmer and stir occasionally for 15 minutes, until soft but not mushy.
  3. Pour the blood through a fine sieve into a large bowl, removing any lumps. Stir in the fat, onion, milk, pepper, allspice and remaining salt. Add the oatmeal and thoroughly mix. Divide the mixture into the pans, cover with foil, and bake for an hour, until firm. Let cool.
  4. To serve, cut a half-inch slice off the loaf and fry in butter or oil until the edges are slightly browned.

There you have it- a “Full Scottish Breakfast!” Aren’t you stuffed just thinking about it?