ClapShot

A nod to my Scottish heritage,

this fancy mash is fabuliciouzly sweet.

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It’s one of the most treasured of Scottish dishes but it’s one of those oral knowledge recipes that’s usually passed down in the family rather than recorded, so here is how you can all make this classic wee bonnie meal!

Start off with 2 saucepans because the veggies take different times to cook. Place 500g of peeled & chopped potatoes in one & 500g of peeled & chopped swedes in the other. Cover both in water, add salt & bring to the boil. Let those bubble away on your cauldron until the root vegetables are soft & tender before draining them well.

Now you can mix them together in the one pot. Mash them up good & proper before adding in 50g of butter along with 75ml of double cream. Mash them thoroughly until lovely & smooth.

Season the ClapShot generously with salt & white pepper then finish off by stirring through 1 tablespoon worth of freshly chopped chives.

Hubby declares this to be the BEST mash EVER!

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Toad in the Hole

This all time classic British meal certainly surprised Hubby, who wasn’t too sure at first, but is ever so glad he ate it!

Juicy sausages are lusciously encased in a golden, fluffy dough.

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This one is so simple, you can devour alone or team with a fresh salad, to make an almost effortless meal!

Start by making the batter. Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in 115g of plain flour along with a good pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre to pop in 1 well beaten egg & 150ml of milk. Stir until it’s nice & smooth before adding in another 150ml of milk & ensure it’s all mixed nicely. Set that aside for half an hour while you crack on with the snags.

Pre-heat the oven to 220c before greasing an oven proof dish really well.

Line up 8 or so sausages in the oven dish & prick them all over. Coat them in a wee bit of oil, about a tablespoon worth should do, you don’t want to drown them. Then whack that lot in the now hot oven for 10 minutes so they get a nice colour on them.

Pull the snags out & very quickly pour over your batter & get them straight back in that hot oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, just until you see the batter is actually cooked (no longer bubbling) & is gorgeously risen & golden.

Shortbread

That creamy, buttery yumminess that simply melts in your mouth is an incredible edible link to my Scottish heritage.

You know Christmas is a comin’ when I start baking Shortbread!

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Start off by allowing an entire 250g block of butter to get nice & soft – that’s really important to make Shortbread properly.

Into your mixer bowl goes the soft butter along with 1/2 cup of caster sugar & 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla paste. Beat that on a medium to high speed to get it nice & creamy, the butter should turn a paler colour.

Now, turn down your mixer to a low speed or this next bit is going to make it look like a white Christmas in your kitchen!

Ever so gradually add in 1 cup of cornflour followed by 2 cups of plain flour. Keep mixing until it’s all combined into a luscious looking dough.

Bung the dough ball into a bowl, cover in cling film & whack in the fridge for half an hour to firm it all up so you can roll it out.

When ready, lightly sprinkle some flour on your work surface & roll out the dough into about a 1cm thick slab. It also helps to lightly flour your rolling pin too if it’s a timber one like mine instead of non-stick.

Using your Christmas shaped bikkie cutters, cut out bikkies & place onto baking paper lined trays before pricking with a fork. For other times of the year (or to use up all the spare dough bits) simply pinch off bits of the dough, squish together in your hand & roll into a ball before placing on the tray & gently pressing down with the back of a fork.

Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar & bake in a 180c oven for 15 minutes. The trick to this Shortbread is to then allow them to cool on the trays. Don’t try to move them off to a cooling wire immediately upon dragging them out of the oven or you’ll have yourself a merry mess of crumbs, possibly to top a crumble with or pop through trifle! Now there’s an idea……

Scottish Lamb Stew

A hearty meal to ensure you warm up on a bitterly cold evening.

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Traditionally, this fabuliciouz stew was made with pearl barley, but in the interests of making it Gluten Free, I’ve opted to use split green peas instead. The result was my fam-bam demanding I make this all through the chilly winter.

So, the night before you want to make this stew, empty an entire 500g packet of green split peas into a bowl, cover with water & leave soak on the bench overnight. Don’t bother putting them in the fridge because they need to be able to draw the water in & expand.

Next morning, simply dump those peas into a colander, give them a rinse & wash them really well. Set aside to drain while you get on with it.

Grab out your slow cooker & into the pot you want to bung a healthy amount of roughly peeled & chopped veggies. I use about half a dozen or so potatoes, a couple of carrots & 1/4 of a cabbage. You may like to add in an onion too, but hubby didn’t like that so I don’t use it anymore.

Next into the pot goes those split peas along with 1 & 1/2 litres of chicken stock. Whack some lamb on top (I’ve used lamb chops & then removed the bones before serving but shanks are awesome in this as well or you could just go the diced meat if you don’t want to deal with fishing for bones – whatever floats your boat!) and that is that!

Give it all a jolly good stir to mix up & pop the lid on the slow cooker. Set the dial to low for 8 hours.

Tanz Tip – if you don’t have a slow cooker, most of the time you can just do the recipe in a casserole dish in a 180c for 3 or 4 hours.

Scotch Egg

Time for a wee bit of my Scottish Highland heritage!

The Scotch Egg is the perfect picnic food or lunchbox snack,

but I like to half or quarter them then toss through a classic Caesar Salad!

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The only trick to perfecting the Scotch Egg is time. Forget about your kitchen instinct & trust in your watch for this one!

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Pop in 4 eggs to boil for 5 minutes only! Then plunge them immediately into a bowl of icy water. Clearly, there is no way the eggs will be cooked after only 5 minutes at the boil, but they do get a second chance later……

When the eggs have cooled, ever so carefully peel the shells off. Remember, they’re not cooked through so be very delicate.

Next, bung 500g of mince in a bowl & season it generously with salt & pepper. In another bowl, whisk up a couple of eggs & in a third bowl, get your crumb on (I’ve used a Maize Corn Crumb but whatever floats your boat). Then it’s production line time! Coat the egg in the mince to seal it, dip it in the whisked egg, then crumb it.

Bring a pot of oil to a nice high temp & deep fry each egg for 10 minutes only.

When you slice into that luscious wee nugget, you want to see the yolk sensually coat whatever it’s crowning.