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Scotland is known throughout the world for its Scotch whisky, but it can also offer a remarkable variety of produce. The rivers supply trout and salmon, the estuaries are plentiful with shellfish and the sea offers an abundant choice of fish. The moorlands are home to various game birds, pheasants and grouse. Higher in the mountains red deer are to be found, the venison the sweetest you will taste. Sheep and beef cattle graze on the uplands, while the lowlands offer the lush rich pastures needed for the dairy herds. The soil lends itself to producing plentiful crops of oats and barley, which have been, and still are, a basic part of the Scots' diet.

With such a wealth of ingredients to choose from, it is no wonder that the Scots can make wonderful meals. They do not rely on elaborate sauces or suchlike in their cooking, they rely upon the native produce itself. From the recipes here, you will be able to prepare a complete meal, from a starter of soup to a traditional pudding. So let’s start.

All of the recipes are in British Imperial Units. (E.g. pints) with American equivalents in brackets.

Scotch Cheddar Cheese Soup
Serves 6

2 onions thinly sliced
2 oz butter (1/4 cup)
2 oz flour (1/2 cup)
1pt white stock or water (2 ½ cups)
Pinch of pepper
6 oz Scottish Cheddar Cheese, grated (1 ½ cups)

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the stock or water; bring to the boil, season with pinch of pepper, then simmer gently for 5 minutes. Grate the cheese. Add to the soup and simmer until cheese is melted. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL.

Stovies
Serves 4

4 oz cold, diced lamb (2/3 cup)
11/2 lb potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (700 g)
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon dripping (meat drippings)
Stock or water
Salt and pepper

Melt the meat drippings in a large pan; add a layer of sliced potato, then a layer of onion, followed by a layer of meat. Add enough stock or water to cover. Repeat the layers again, and then season the dish thoroughly.

Cover and cook over a moderate heat for about 35-40 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally or until the potatoes are tender and the liquid absorbed.
Serve with cold meats.

Colcannon
This dish is a vegetable accompaniment to meat. It can also be eaten on its own, but it is excellent along with cold lamb.
Serves 4-6

1lb potatoes cooked and creamed (450 g)
1lb cabbage (450 g)
1/2lb carrots peeled (225 g)
½ lb turnips peeled (225 g)
2oz butter (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon brown sauce
Salt and pepper

Wash and shred cabbage, ensuring all thick stems have been removed, and cook in boiling salted water for 15 minutes. Chop the carrots and turnip, then cook together until tender, then mash until smooth. Melt butter in a pan, adding the creamed potatoes, cabbage, and carrot and turnip mix. Stir until the ingredients are mixed well and heated thoroughly. Mix in the brown sauce and season to taste.

Poachers Salmon
Serves 4

4 Salmon cutlets
¼ pint (2/3 cup) single cream
2 tablespoons Drambuie
½ teaspoon anchovy essence (anchovy paste)
Salt and pepper

Put the salmon cutlets into a well-buttered ovenproof dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix together the cream, Drambuie and anchovy essence, and pour over the fish. Cover the dish loosely with foil and cook at Gas 4 /350 F/180 C for 40-45 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.

Serve with new potatoes.


Cranachan
This is a dessert sometimes known as Cream Crowdie. It is very simple to make yet delicious.
Serves 4

3oz pinhead oatmeal (1/2 cup Irish oatmeal)
½ pint double cream (1 ¼ cups)
1 tablespoon Drambuie
6oz Scottish raspberries (1 ½ cups)

Toast the oatmeal in a frying pan over a medium high heat, until it is lightly browned. Whisk the cream to a soft consistency, and then mix in the Drambuie and toasted oatmeal. Serve in glasses. The Drambuie and Raspberries are optional. Instead of Drambuie use Scotch whisky as an alternative.

Scotch Pancakes
Sometimes called drop scones, these are delicious served warm, with butter and honey, or jam (Preserves).
Makes 30-40

8oZ self-raising flour (225g)
½ teaspoon of salt
½ pint milk (290ml)
½ egg beaten

Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in half the milk, add the egg and beat well. Stir the liquid, gradually bringing the flour from the sides of the bowl into the centre, mixing continuously. Stir in more milk until the batter is the consistency of a thick cream, and will just run from the spoon. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Lightly grease a heavy frying pan (skillet) or griddle iron, and heat. When it is really hot drop two or three spoonfuls of the batter mix onto the surface, making sure to keep them separated. Cook for 2-3 minutes. When the undersides of the pancakes are a golden brown, bubbles will rise to the surface. Lift the pancakes with a fish slice, turn over and brown on the other side.

Scottish Tablet
If you like sweet things, this confection was made for you. I use vanilla essence in my recipe, but any flavour can be used –mint is popular.
Makes 1.8kg

8oz butter or margarine (225g)
1lb sweetened condensed milk (450g)
Caster sugar (1.8kg) For caster sugar use granulated sugar
1pint water (1/2 litre)
The addition of flavouring or essence is optional.

Using a non-stick pan put the water on a low heat and melt in the butter. Add the sugar and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Once boiling, stir in the condensed milk and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring to avoid burning or sticking. Remove from heat and beat vigorously for 5 minutes. Add the flavouring of your choice; pour into a rectangular tin (S) and once partly cooled, cut into bars.

Shortbread
Traditionally shortbread used to be eaten at Christmas or Hogmanay (New Year), but is now eaten all year round. The name may suggest it is bread, but in fact it is like a sweet biscuit.
Makes 2 Rounds

7oz plain (all-purpose) flour (1 3/4cups)
1oz rice flour (1/4 cup)
4oz butter (1/2 cup)
2oz caster sugar (1/4 cup) (Use Granulated Sugar)

Mix the flour, rice flour and sugar together. Cut the butter into pieces. Then add to the mixture, using your fingertips to rub it in, until evenly distributed. Knead the mixture to form a soft, but not sticky dough.

Divide the mixture in half and using your hands, shape it into two rounds, about ¾ inch thick. Using a knife, make a notched pattern around the edges. Place the rounds on a greased baking tray (cookie tray) and bake at Gas 3/325 F/160 C for about 45 minutes. Leave to cool.

SCOTTISH SPARKLE
A really refreshing punch great to drink on a hot summers night.

1 bottle dry white wine
1 bottle sparkling white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ pt Drambuie (2/3cup)
2-3 cups lemonade

Mix the dry white wine. Lemon juice, and Drambuie together and chill. Just before serving add sparkling wine and lemonade with plenty of ice.