I love my quirky Cooking Group, CEC. I love how on a night devoted to Scottish dishes folks can show up with cheesecake and Sangria and somehow it totally works. 🙂
Don started off the festivities with refreshing Sangria chock full of apples and peaches.
I made the appetizer this week: Scottish Cheesy Angels. I confess I chose them almost entirely because of the name. They were tasty little morsels, plump smoked oysters topped with extra sharp cheddar, wrapped in prosciutto and grilled until the meat was crispy and the cheese melty.
Then we dug into the main course. Oooeee! All sorts of lovely things!
Jenny made a succulent Potato Cheese Pie with Bacon. A pie plate is line with bacon strips that are left overhanging. Then it is filled with a marvy potato, Gruyere, onion mixture and wrapped up nicely with the bacon. An hour later a potato pie with a bacon crust emerges all gooey and bubbly and wonderful.
Darren made delectable Baked Salmon with Tarragon and Bacon topped with decadently rich creme fraiche.
Mike made two beautiful mince pies – that’s “hamburger” to us North Americans – savory and delicious studded with potatoes and onions.
Toby made splendid little Sharp Cheddar Shortbreads that were so buttery and cheesy we cleaned them up in no time. Though we did have to keep warning people who grabbed them thinking they were shortbread cookies.
We ended our lavish meal with glasses of Scottish whiskey and two fabulous desserts.
Gary made Vanilla Cheesecake with fresh strawberries. I liked that he cut down on the sweetener so the creaminess of the cheese and sour cream really came through.
Kat and Ed finished things off in true Scottish style with the best Cranachan I’ve ever tasted! Almost like an oatmeal pudding, this dish is made with toasted oats, honey, heavy cream, and whiskey. Traditionally served with raspberries, they chose blueberries and it was an inspired choice.
We could hardly move after that unbelievable feast, but nary a one of us complained. 🙂
Krista’s Cheesy Angels (Oysters)
(Adapted from Scotland for Visitors)
3oz Scottish Cheddar Cheese
18 Smoked Oysters
9 Rashers of streaky bacon (I used prosciutto to make it less fatty)
- Divide the cheese into 18 equal portions.
- (If using bacon, trim the rind and the fat from the OUTSIDE of the bacon.) Cut each rasher of bacon/prosciutto in half.
- Place each oyster on top of a pile of cheese, then wrap this pile tightly with the bacon/prosciutto and secure it with a cocktail stick.
- Place this under a pre-heated grill, turning once, until the bacon is crispy.
Jenny’s Potato Cheese and Bacon Pie
(From Scottish Recipes)
1kg of Rooster potatoes which have been peeled, thinly sliced and washed
15g of melted butter
200g of thinly sliced streaky bacon
100g of grated gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper for seasoning (optional ingredient)
- Pre heat the oven to 425°F/220°C/Gas mark 7.
- Butter a 9 inch ovenproof non stick baking dish.
- Arrange the bacon slices into the bottom and the sides of the greased pan. Make sure some of the strips of bacon overhang the edge of the dish slightly.
- Dry the washed, peeled and sliced Rooster potatoes and dry with kitchen towel.
- Take about one third of the tatties and place these slices over the bacon. Then sprinkle about a third of the grated gruyere cheese. Repeat this step so that two more layers of tattie and cheese are in the dish.
Darren’s Baked Salmon With Tarragon and Bacon
4 salmon fillets
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 slices bacon, diced
3 ounces butter
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
- Butter (or spray with non-stick spray) one side of a large sheet of aluminum foil (double the size needed to hold the salmon fillets in one layer); place in a baking dish (butter side up) large enough to hold the salmon (again, in one layer).
- Fry the finely chopped onion in butter in a frypan until soft and golden but not brown.
- Add the bacon and tarragon and cook for another two minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice and remove from heat.
- Place the salmon fillets on the foil in the baking dish.
- Cover each fillet with some of the onion/bacon mixture and drizzle any pan juices over as well.
- Fold the foil over the fish and seal to make a parcel.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
- May be served with a dollops of thick cream or creme fraiche.
Toby’s Scottish Sharp-Cheddar Shortbread
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
8 ounces extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (Toby used gluten-free)
- Using electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat together butter, salt, black pepper, and cayenne at low speed just until blended. Add Cheddar and flour and mix at low speed just until smooth (do not overmix). Shape dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and chill 30 minutes.
- Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4- to 1/8-inch-thick round. Using 1 1/2- to 2-inch round cutter, cut out rounds and arrange 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Reroll scraps if desired (rerolled scraps will be tougher).
- Bake shortbread until lightly golden and beginning to brown on edges, about 13 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Kat’s Cranachan with Blueberries
2/3 cup (2 oz, 50 g) medium oatmeal
1½ cups (12 fl oz, 360 ml) heavy (double) cream
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. whisky
2½ cups (10 oz, 300 g) fresh raspberries
- Start by placing the oatmeal in a dry pan or skillet. Toast it on a medium heat, turning often until it’s a golden brown. This should take 10 to 20 minutes. Leave it to cool.
- Whisk the cream until it is just stiff.
- Stir in the honey, whiskey and oatmeal. Gently stir in the raspberries, setting a few aside for decoration.
- Chill for at least half an hour before serving.
Gary’s Cheesecake with Strawberries
2-8 0z packages cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
1 1/3 cup Splenda
2 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup Splenda
1/2 cup butter, melted
Strawberries for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In small bowl mix graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup Splenda and melted butter. Press into 9″ springform pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- While crust is baking, mix remaining ingredients (except strawberries).
- When crust is done, remove from oven, pour in filling, and return to oven. Bake for 1 hour.
- Let cool 1.5 hours.
- Top with sliced strawberries tossed with Splenda.