Scottish Inspired Go-To Dinner Party Menu

ON THE MENU:

Pear, Cheddar and Fennel Salad

Kedgeree

Strawberries with Drambuie Ice Cream Kedgeree

BLUEPRINT: You may wonder how on earth curry powder made its way into a Scottish dish.  According to several sources it was a Scottish regiment in India who married smoked fish – finnan haddie (smoked haddock from Glen Finnan in Scotland) and curry and brought it back to the UK. So, you may not hear bagpipes when enjoying this Scottish inspired meal, but you will love the smoky, spicy flavor of the kedgeree and what could be a better way to end a meal than with Drambuie?

The simple fennel, pear and cheddar salad can be prepped and ready to toss in the vinaigrette before the guests arrive. If you prep the pears and fennel earlier in the day, a little lemon juice and an airtight container will keep them until the salad is ready to toss. The rice, eggs and fish for the kedgeree can be made the day before, leaving only a simple sauté and combining of ingredients to do on the spot. The decadent Drambuie ice cream should be made the day ahead and then simply paired with the strawberries and shortbread right before serving. Don’t forget to heat the plates and use the Kitchen Moxie Worksheet to help guide you through the evening.

Grocery List:

  • Fruit: 3 ripe pears, 2 lbs strawberries,
  • Produce: 7 oz spring mix, 2 fennel bulbs, 1 medium onion
  • Fresh Herbs: 1 bunch cilantro
  • Meat & Fish: 1 lb finnan haddie (smoked haddock)
  • Dairy:  1 stick salted butter, 1 stick unsalted butter, 16 oz heavy cream, 2 cups whole milk,  1 small block extra sharp cheddar, 1 dozen eggs,
  • Frozen: 1 cup frozen peas
  • Staples: 1 6 oz can tomato paste, 1 1/2 cups rice, 3 cups chicken stock
  • Baking: 4 oz superfine sugar
  • Spices: salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tbs curry powder, bay leaf, Tabasco
  • Other: Drambuie, 1 box shortbread cookies (approximately 5.3 oz)

Pear, Cheddar and Fennel Salad

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, cutting board, chef’s knife, paring knife, grater, mandoline (or food processor with slicing disc)

Serves: 6

Peel, half and core the pears. Cut into a medium dice (small bite size pieces). Coarsely grate the cheddar and thinly slice the fennel bulbs. I am not a fan of the mandoline. I  prefer to use the slicing disc on the food processor to slice the fennel bulbs (much more finger friendly). Just make sure to apply pressure to the bulbs with the “food pusher” once placed in the feeding tube.

Place the spring mix in a large bowl; add in the chopped pear, grated cheddar and fennel. Lightly toss with Kitchen Moxie Vinaigrette.

To Serve:  Evenly divide the dressed salad on six salad plates. Serve immediately.

Kedgeree

This recipe was passed along by my mother-in-law Maria. Being married to a Scot, she quickly added kedgeree to her repertoire and thought it a wonderful dinner party main course. The beautiful color of the eggs and tomato sauce make for a great presentation.

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, chef’s knife, cutting board, large pot/sauce pan, small sauté pan, medium pot with tight fitting lid, egg slicer

Serves: 6

  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 lb finnan haddie (smoked haddock)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 – 1/2 cups milk (enough to cover the fish)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 can tomato paste (approximately 3 oz)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tbs chopped cilantro + 6 sprigs for plating
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the Rice: Place the chicken stock in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add 1 tbs of butter and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and add in 1 ½ cups of rice. Bring back to the boil & immediately lower the heat until the water is at a low simmer. Place the lid on top and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Don’t peek in the pot during the cooking time & make sure to let the rice sit off the heat for about 5 minutes before fluffing. Set aside.

For the Haddock: Place the fish in a small sauté pan. Pour in the milk until it just about covers the fish. Add the bay leaf. Gently poach for about six minutes. Take off the heat and let cool.

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the onion, curry powder and turmeric and sauté until the onion is soft. Slice the hard boiled eggs with an egg slicer, reserving 18 slices for plating. Chop the remaining egg and set aside. Add in the cooked rice. Using your hands, break the fish into bite size pieces. Add the fish and chopped egg, gently stirring to combine. Add the tomato paste, cream and cilantro and a few shakes of Tabasco (more or less according to the degree of heat you like). Stir to combine and heat the mixture through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve: Rub unsalted butter on the inside of a one-serving size bowl (try to use one with a fun shape or that will fit nicely on your dinner plate). Place three slices of the egg in the bottom. Add in the rice and press down with a spoon. Invert the bowl onto a heated plate. Remove bowl and place one spring of cilantro on top. Serve immediately.

Strawberries with Drambuie Ice Cream

This Drambuie Ice Cream recipe comes from rampantscotland.com, a great resource for Scottish recipes and more. With the addition of strawberries, shortbread and a fancy glass you will be well on your way to a decadent dinner party worthy dessert.

Serves: 6

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, chef’s knife, paring knife, cutting board, small pot/sauce pan,  medium pot/sauce pan, heatproof bowl (that will work over the top of the pot), martini glasses

  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries
  • 4 oz superfine sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 7 oz heavy cream
  • 3 tbs Drambuie
  • 1 box shortbread cookies (Walkers Shortbread Rounds – 5.3 oz box)

Clean, hull and slice the strawberries. Set aside. Place 6 tbs of water and 4 oz of sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and set aside and let cool. Whisk the egg yolks over a bain marie until light in color. Add in the sugar water and continue to whisk until they have a ribbon consistency – when dripped back into the pot (the liquid looks like ribbons folding on top of one another). Your arm will be tired! Remove from heat and keep whisking until the eggs cool down. Gently fold in the Drambuie and whipped cream. Place in freezer until ready to serve (preferably overnight).

To Serve: Place a few slices of strawberry in the bottom of each of the six martini glasses. Scoop a generous portion of ice cream on top. Sprinkle some more strawberries and top with a single shortbread cookie. Serve immediately.  

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