Thursday 11 February 2010

A belated Burns Supper

Actually, our Burns Supper wasn't at all belated, just my posting about it is! While we don't do the poetry and toasts and pagentry, we do use the 25th of January as an excuse to eat haggis. Because it tastes good and contains about a million calories (or, in fact, 300/ 100g), so is an occasional treat and therefore needs an excuse.

Instead of buying a whole, traditional haggis, this time I bought a 200g section of a "haggis pudding", packed like a black pudding in a plastic skin. This suited my purposes perfectly. I divided the haggis in two, and pressed each portion into a big, flat portobello mushroom and roasted it in the oven until the mushroom juices were flowing and the edges of the haggis were crisp but not too dry.

I served it with bashed neeps (mashed turnips - which are what we Southerners call swedes) flavoured with a little butter and a lot of nutmeg, broccolini and a whiskey sauce. The whiskey sauce is a bit contentious; apparently only tourists would eat haggis with a whiskey sauce. Well, sometimes I am a tourist, and the sauce tasted good so I am not ashamed.

Whiskey Sauce for haggis (or steak or chicken)

1 tsp butter
1 shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup whiskey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2tbs double cream

Melt the butter and add the diced shallot. Saute until transparent. Add the whiskey and allow to reduce by half. Whisk in the mustard and cream. Do not allow to boil again.

Since we were already doing an "occasional treat" meal, I also made a dessert. Now, I found a couple of recipes for something called Edinburgh Fog - basically amaretti biscuits with boozy cream - and I decided to make it into a Scottish-influenced version of Eton Mess (broken meringues, strawberries and whipped cream) .

Fettes Mess (serves 2)

1/2 cup amaretti biscuits, broken into pieces
2 tbs whiskey
1 tbs honey
1 cup raspberries (fresh Scottish ones in summer - these were frozen)
1/2 cup double cream

Whip the cream to soft peaks, fold in the other ingredients and divide between 2 glasses. Allow to chill for a couple of hours before serving.


Jude said...

Whisky (Scotch) or Whiskey (Irish or other). It matters you know!

Love the idea of stuffing haggis into mushrooms. have at least 3 haggis in the freezer so that may happen soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm jumping on the Follow wagon. I can't resist a good food blog :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Jude - oh god. how did that slip through? Mea culpa! Although I could say that you wouldn't use your good Scotch in cooking...

Cat - thanks for visiting!

Suelle said...

Both courses look delicious. Did you use hard or soft Amaretti biscuits?

Rachel said...

You are one adventurous eater, Foodycat. Think I'll pass on the haggis, but the Eton mess looked scrummy!

kat said...

I went to a Robert Burns dinner in Duluth, MN one year & found the whiskey helped make the haggis taste better. My Scottish friend in SF hosted a big dinner this year & everyone there loved it.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Sue - they were soft ones.

Rachel - apparently the vegetarian haggis is very nice too!

Kat - apparently the ban was lifted this year so proper haggis was allowed into the USA. I've never had a bad one, but apparently the poor quality ones can be very unpleasant.


Upon reading the part where you said portabello mushrooms and haggis, I felt my salivary glands constrict... I could smell the aroma while you're cooking it... I wish I could try my hand in cooking haggis too!

NKP said...

*Ignoring the haggis..*

Lovely dessert! Since I skipped the haggis I will have two glasses, please. :)

HH said...

I didn't realise that haggis had so many calories, though I have never had it, that sounds great and the whiskey sauce sounds wonderful too. I love turnips, next time I have them I will be sure to add nutmeg, that sounds like a great addition.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I might go straight to the dessert on this one--it looks wonderful!

mscrankypants said...

How do you split a haggis? Hmm, I'm sure there's a cracking good punchline there but I'm too awed by your sense of adventure to think of one right now. Many kilojoules in the haggis but I assume lots of protein, iron, zinc and other nutrients to balance it all out as an occasional meal (but you already know I'll just try the greens and dessert instead :-)).

Alicia Foodycat said...

Malou - they did import a few this year, so you might be lucky!

Natashya - of course you can. You can even have some neeps with the sauce, to taste.

HH - nutmeg is excellent with most vegetables.

Deb - I can't believe so many people are refusing my haggis!

Cranky - yes, it is very nutritious!

hungryandfrozen said...

That whisky sauce sounds wonderful! I've only had haggis once, it wasn't bad, in fact I quite liked it, I still don't know that I'd seek it out again though.

Bettina Douglas said...

I think haggis is "once per year" food at most.

My last taste was in about 2003. The last Scottish function was Men Only - a Douglas cousin ouyting and I didn't object.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Laura - no, if haggis wasn't very easily available, I wouldn't really worry either!

Mother - sometimes twice a year, because we'll eat it for St Andrew's Day too.


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