Name your favorite Scottish food. Stumped? That might explain why you don’t see any Scottish fast-food restaurants offering drive-thru haggis on your commute. But with the New Hampshire Highland Games back on the state’s calendar, it’s time to immerse yourself in all things Scottish. To that goal, here are four delightful recipes from Gary Maclean, Scotland’s first National Chef, who will be back to cook for the Games this year (on Loon Mountain, Sept. 16 to 18, 2022). These are just a few of his picks guaranteed to provide the lowdown on the culinary delights of the Highlands.
2 smoked duck breasts
1 orange (segmented)
2 sticks celery
1 red onion
1 salad cress
1 red chili
3 1/2 ounces olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 1/2 ounces walnuts
Slice the duck breast as thin as you can and put to one side.
To segment the orange, top and tail the orange. Place the orange on one of the cut ends, and using your knife, cut thin strips of peel from top to bottom all the way around the orange until all the peel has been removed.
Peel and slice the celery into thin strips and place into ice water to crisp up.
Slice the red onion, finely dice the red chili and mix with the lemon juice to make a little dressing.
Cut the figs into quarters.
Assemble the ingredients onto the plate as you see fit. You can build it up in layers or even mix all the ingredients together.
To make the dressing, finely dice the chili, zest and juice the lemon, and mix with the oil season to taste.
Finish with the lemon chili dressing.
7 ounces hot smoked salmon
11 ounces fresh mussels
7 ounces white wine
1 bay leaf
12 quail eggs
1 small bunch flat parsley, shredded
1 small bunch coriander, shredded
Few sprigs of dill
1 ounce vegetable oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoon curry powder
9 ounces long grain rice
The first job is to clean the mussels. Wash them under cold running water, and using a table knife scrape away any barnacles. You also have to remove the beards by giving them a pull. The beards protrude from between the closed shells and are easily removed.
If you find any mussels are open, give then a short little tap on the side of the sink. This should encourage them to close. If they don’t close, they should be thrown away as they are most likely dead.
For this dish, you will need a large pan with a tight-fitting lid.
My method for cooking mussels is to cook them very, very quickly. To do this place the cleaned mussels into a bowl and add the chopped shallots.
Once the mussels are cooked, strain the cooking liquids, and pick the meat from the shells.
For the rice, heat the oil in a large lidded pan, add the onion, then gently fry for 5 minutes until softened but not colored.
Add the spices, season with salt, then continue to fry until the mix starts to go brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Add the rice and stir in well.
Add 1.2 quarts of water and the mussel cooking liquid. Stir and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the quail eggs in a pan of boiling water and cook for 2 1/2 minutes if you would like runny egg yolk, if not cook for a little longer.
Take off the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 10-15 minutes more.
The rice will be perfectly cooked if you do not lift the lid before the end of the cooking.
Fold through the salmon, mussels and fresh herbs.
Finish with quartered quail eggs and a few sprigs of dill.
1 pound fresh strawberries
3 passion fruits
3 ounces sugar
1 vanilla pod (split lengthwise) or extract
The first job is to make the passion fruit, lime and vanilla syrup. Half and scoop the pulp from the passion fruit into a small pot, split the vanilla pod in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and add to the passion fruit.
Next, using a potato peeler remove the peel from the lime. With a knife, carefully remove the white pith from the skin.
Cut the skin into very thin strips and add to the passion fruit and vanilla. Next add the sugar.
Now halve the lime and squeeze the juice into the pot. I find if you microwave the lime for a few seconds, you get much more juice from it.
Pop onto the stove and bring to a boil. Once boiled, remove from the heat.
Now you can prepare your strawberries, one thing to note is that you must always wash the strawberries before cutting of the stalk. The reason for this is that the strawberry is waterproof up until you cut into it. If you wash afterward, the fruit will just absorb water and go mushy.
Lastly, pour the syrup over the freshly prepared strawberries about 20 minutes before you need them.
2 Arbroath smokies, smoked mackerel or hot smoked salmon also works
10 ounces cream cheese
3 1/2 ounces crème fraîche
1 ounce whole grain mustard
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 ounces butter, unsalted
2 sprigs of thyme
To start, you need to prepare the fish. Start by opening the fish up and carefully removing the backbone and the ribs. These bones should come away easily. This should separate the two fillets.
Run your fingers along the flesh to feel for stray bones, remove if you find any.
Next peel away the skin.
Place the fish into a bowl, add the chopped shallots, mustard, chopped chives, crème fraîche and the cream cheese.
Add few twists of black pepper. With a wooden spoon, start to mix all the ingredients together.
I like a bit of texture in this pâté so I tend not to mix it too much. Once mixed, double-check the seasoning. Once you are happy with it, split the mix between your serving dishes.
Next, take your butter and clarify. To do this, melt the butter in a pot and carefully boil until the butter milk has evaporated and all you are left with is the oil.
Allow the butter to cool slightly, pick the leaves from the thyme, and pop into the warm butter and infuse.
Making sure the paté is flat as can be, spoon the clarified thyme butter over the paté to create a thin layer over the top.
Set in the fridge until needed.
Serve with oatcake crackers on the side.