Tag Archives: Robert Burns

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:

Ingredients:

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

Recipe:

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:

Ingredients:

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:

Ingredients:

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

Recipe:

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:

Ingredients:

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

Recipe:

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.”

Outlander’s Sam Heughan Brings Burns Lyrics to Life

Sam HeughanActor Sam Heughan, who stars in the hit television series ‘Outlander,‘ shows off his Scottish roots with renditions of the classic Robert Burns’ songs, A Red, Red Rose and Ae Fond Kiss.

A Red, Red Rose is a Scottish song which Burns is said to have picked up in the country. His writing of the lyrics immortalized the traditional song. The Scottish Bard gifted the lyrics to Scots singer Pietro Urbani, who created a melody for the verses.

The song has been covered by artists throughout history. Recent renditions were performed by the likes of Jean Redpath, Pat Boone, and Carly Simon. Bob Dylan cites Burns’ 1794 song A Red, Red Rose, as the lyrics that have had the biggest effect on his life.

Listen to Sam Heughan read A Red, Red Rose in this video:

Burns wrote Ae Fond Kiss for Mrs Agnes Maclehose, with whom he had a secret relationship. He penned the lyrics after their final meeting and sent it to Mrs McLehose before she departed Edinburgh for Jamaica to be with her estranged husband.

The letter can be viewed at the National Library of Scotland, where it is a part of the Watson Autograph Collection of manuscripts.

Listen to Sam Heughan’s reading of Ae Fond Kiss in this video:

Sam Heughan’s renditions of Burns poems are part of a series released by the Scottish Government as part of a campaign to celebrate the Bard across the globe. January 25 is Burns Night in Scotland, as it is the poet’s date of birth. Celebrate Burns Night with these beautiful poetry readings.

Burns Night is Almost Here!

As Burns Night quickly approaches, and festivities are in full swing, let’s take a look back in time at this centuries-old celebration and its namesake bard!

  • Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s most celebrated national poets, is remembered throughout the world for his poems and compositions. His poem-turned-song, Auld Lang Syne, is a particular favorite to be sung at Hogmanay and New Year’s celebrations across the globe
  • Burns Night celebrations and suppers take place around the time of year of Robert Burns’s birthday and have been held for over 200 years to celebrate his life and work
  • The celebrations were originally instated by friends of Robert Burns to commemorate the five-year anniversary of his death
  • A traditional Burns supper will often involve haggis, whisky, and the recitation of Burns’s poetry (visit this online archive for a complete index of Burns’s works), as well as piping in the guests, an address to the haggis and a ‘toast to the lassies’

Test your knowledge of Burns Night with this quiz, and take a look at this fantastic video by AboutScotland for a short animation on the story of Robert Burns:

If you haven’t yet picked up your tickets for the 20th annual ASF Burns Night Gala Celebration on Friday, January 16 at The University Club of New York, there’s still time! We’re delighted that acclaimed Ayr singer Jamie McGeechan, known as “Little Fire,” will be joining us for the evening and playing music as part of the festivities. The supper will also feature the wonderful music of vocalist Maureen McMullen and Hannah Read and Friends.

Little Fire. Image courtesy of Iain Brown/Ayrshire Post

We can’t wait to see you and honor one of Scotland’s most celebrated poets in style, song, and verse!

tartan_thin

Burns Night is Approaching… Join Us in a Record-Breaking Song!

On Friday, January 16, 2015, the American-Scottish Foundation invites members and friends to join for the 20th annual Burns Night celebration, held in association with the University Club, New York.

Join us as we honor and celebrate Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, in words and music. Save the date! Reserve your tickets for a wonderful evening in true Scottish style and tradition! 

burns night

In celebration of Burns Night, AboutScotland is trying to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest version of people singing Robert Burns’s most famous poem, ‘Auld Lang Syne‘ – and they’d love your help!

To join us in contributing to their video compilation, visit Scotland.org’s website to hear Whisky Kiss’s recording of the song, get a feel for the tempo, download an audio track of background music, and learn the lyrics. Then, record a video of yourself or friends singing the lyrics with the provided background music and send it in before January 10! Submission instructions can be found on their website above.

We hope you’ll join us in attempting to break this world record and honor Robert Burns in true Scottish style!

The 19th Burns Night Celebration – 2014

The American-Scottish Foundation® invites members and friends to join for the 19th Annual Burns Night celebration, held in association with the University Club, New York, on Friday, January 17, 2014.

Join us as we honor and celebrate Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, in words and music. Reserve your tickets for a wonderful evening in true Scottish style and tradition!

Visit www.americanscottishfoundation.com/events/burns_14.html
for full details, to purchase tickets online or download your invitation and reply form.