POTATO HASH WITH POACHED EGG

Potato Hash with a Poached Egg

This quick and hearty brunch or lunch brings the best out of a good Scottish Tattie (potato). Fluffy potatoes are only made better by the perfectly poached egg sitting on top. Sometimes I like to keep things simple and with this dish I didn’t add too many flavours as a good Scottish Tattie is flavoursome in it’s own right. With the warming flavour of cayenne pepper and a dash of Tabasco sauce, this is sure to keep you satisfied all day.

Cayenne Pepper is also said to be medicinal as capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, is what gives them their medicinal properties. These peppers boast an impressive nutrition profile, which includes a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.

One tablespoon (5 grams) of cayenne pepper contains the following:

  • Calories: 17
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 5% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 3% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI

It also gives them their hot taste. In fact, how hot a cayenne pepper is depends on its capsaicin content. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter it is.


Serves 2

4 Medium Potatoes, (peeled or unpeeled it’s up to you) diced into bite size pieces

1 Large or 2 Medium Onions, sliced into wedges

1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Spray Oil

2 Large Eggs

Tabasco to taste

  1. In a fry pan heat the oil, medium to high heat, add in the onions and cook for a couple of minutes to soften.
  2. Add in the diced potatoes, season with salt & cayenne pepper, mix and place a lid over pan reduce to a low heat and cook for about 30 minutes until potatoes are softened. Give the potatoes a stir every 10 minutes.
  3. 5 minutes before potatoes are ready, bring a pan of water to the boil then reduce to a medium heat, crack in the eggs and poach through.
  4. Serve potatoes and onions onto a plate, place the poached egg on top and sprinkle a few dashes of tabasco sauce over, season if required. Enjoy!

If you prefer a bit more flavour, below are a few choices that I have tried.

  1. Smoked:- Add chopped spring onions and some smoked back bacon.
  2. Mediterranean:- Add some spinach, handful tomatoes with 1 tsp all spice, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried coriander.
  3. Spanish: Chopped chorizo, sweet potatoes, 1 tsp cumin, spring onions.

Creamy Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

I love Strawberry season, big juicy fresh strawberries that just melt in your mouth….delicious!

Traditionally, the Scottish strawberry season only lasted about six weeks in summer, from June to July, however now we can get homegrown strawberries almost eight months of the year thanks to advancements in polytunnel technology.

Scottish Strawberries are famously some of the best in the world, but why? The temperate climate in Scotland allows the berries to have longer daylight hours but without the same levels of heat. This allows the berries to ripen slower so they produce more sugar and you get a sweeter berry.

Scottish Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most versatile ingredients available to us, whether we eat them as they are, put them in desserts, muffins, a salad or even as a puree or compote to accompany a steak, there are so many ways we can eat them. But for this post, I am going to show you how to make a super delicious and creamy cheesecake. Yum!

Everything you need for a perfect summer dessert.


For the Crust

1 packet of Biscuits – (Digestives, Biscoff even Oreo’s if you like – whichever you prefer)

2 Tbsp Butter , melted

For the Strawberry Layer

1 packet of Strawberry Jelly (I used Hartley’s – my personal favourite)

100ml Boiling water

1 Small Tub Strawberry Greek Yoghurt (80-100g)

200ml Whipping Cream

150g Diced Fresh Strawberries

For the Cheesecake Layer

80g Unsalted Butter

120g Icing Sugar

200g Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia – no other compares for me)

100ml Whipping Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

For the Topping:-

Handful of Sliced Strawberries

100-200g White Chocolate Shavings (as much as you want really)

Method:-

  1. Blitz the biscuits in a processor, so they resemble fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl and pour over the melted butter and mix through until all moist. Press into a 9 x 13 x 2″ springform tin and place in the freezer while you make the next layer.
  2. In a large bowl dissolve the Jelly with the boiling water, allow to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk up the whipping cream until light and fluffy. Whisk into the Jelly the Greek Yoghurt and fold in your whipped cream and diced strawberries. Pour on top of the biscuit layer and place in the freezer to set. (about 45-60 mins)
  4. Meanwhile, make your cheesecake topping, Beat together the butter, icing sugar, cream cheese and vanilla essence. Whip up your cream and fold into mixture.
  5. Smooth over the Jelly layer once set and place back in the freezer for a further 30 mins to firm. Transfer to the fridge and allow to fully set overnight.
  6. Before serving, sprinkle the white chocolate shavings over the top and place the sliced strawberries around the edge to finish.
  7. Slice and Enjoy!
strawberry cheesecake

If you love Cheesecake, you might enjoy my Lime Cheesecake too…..go take a wee look. https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2021/07/04/biscoff-lime-cheesecake/


Irn-Bru Chicken Pakora

Irn-Bru Chicken Pakora

I first saw this on Tik-Tok by Myles Omar, https://www.tiktok.com/@mylesomar?lang=en. You can watch the video here https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/scotland-now/tiktok-scots-irn-bru-chicken-23680157

I just had to try this, I love pakora, I love chicken & I love pakora so it was a must. Simple to make and very tasty. I didn’t quite have all the ingredients so here is my version. We enjoyed these pakora bites with sweet chilli dip rather than pakora sauce and was delicious. You have to give these a go.


Makes enough for 4 portions or 2 very large portions

2-3 Chicken Breasts – cut into strips

1 Tbsp Garlic & Ginger Paste

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp Fenugreek Powder

1 Tsp Paprika Powder

200g Rice Flour (or gram flour)

1/2 Tsp Biacarbonate of Soda

1 Tsp Chilli Powder

1 Tsp Cumin Powder

1 Tsp Garam Masala

1 Tsp Coriander Powder

3 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil (or vegetable oil)

200ml Irn-Bru

100ml Water

  1. First heat up your oil in a pan or fryer if you have one. (I use Rapeseed oil and heat to about 180-200 deg)
  2. Place the Chicken strips in a bowl, add in the garlic & ginger paste, along with paprika, lemon juice, salt & pepper, mix together and allow to sit and marinade for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the cumin, coriander, garam masala, fenugreek powder, biacarbonate soda, rice flour, oil, water and Irn-Bru, give it a good mix together.
  4. Drop the chicken strips into your hot fryer and cook until browned and crispy (about 8-10 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and place onto some kitchen paper to drain the oil.
  5. Serve. Yum….Yum!


Curried Oat Crusted Smoked Haddock Fishcakes

Smoked Haddock Fishcakes

I am so lucky, I recently moved home and now live in an area where you can get some of the freshest fish delivered straight to your door! I am an absolutely lover of all things seafood, well, who wouldn’t living in Scotland! We have 12,000km of coastline with cold clear waters, which has a rich range of over 60 different species, landed from Scottish waters. Scotland has a global reputation for the quality and range of its seafood.

I have a local fish van that delivers straight to my door every week, so this week he had some lovely fresh Smoked Haddock which I just had to get. Initially, I bought it to make my favourite Cullen Skink Soup but we then decided we fancied trying something different. So after scanning my cupboards for ideas, this little Indian spiced fishcake was the outcome. Super tasty and a perfect combo with the smoked haddock. The spices enhanced the flavour of the haddock, a blend of cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric works wonders on these fishcakes!


Makes 6 Large ones or 10-12 smaller cakes

600g Smoked Haddock

550g Potatoes (I used Highland Baby potatoes from Scotty Brand, but Maris Pipers are good too)

6-7 Spring Onions – chopped

2 Tbsps Butter

1 Tbsp of Curried Spices (made up from 1/2 tsp ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, 1/4 tsp Turmeric)

Salt & Pepper to taste

50g Golden Breadcrumbs

50g Scottish Oats – toast the oats (gently toast in a hot pan, few minutes only, allow to cool)

1 Tbsp Oil

2 Tbsp Flour

1 Egg, whisked

  1. Cook the potatoes until soft, so that you can mash. Best to boil them for about 20 minutes on hob or if you have a steam pot, then Steam cook for about 10 minutes. (I kept the skin on as I feel there is more flavour). Once cooked set aside to cool.
  2. Cook the smoked haddock, I steam cooked mine for about 7 minutes, if you don’t have a steamer then place fish in a pan of milk and cook gently covered for about 8 minutes or until fish is cooked through. (remove liquid and set aside to cool)
  3. Put a tbsp of butter into a pan and saute the spring onions until soft, just a few minutes.
  4. Mash up the potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Using 2 forks, shred up the cooked fish and place into the bowl with the potatoes, add the spring onions, next add in all your spices and season generously. Get in there with your clean hands and mix through until combined.
  5. Shape the cakes into balls and place on a sheet of baking paper on an ovenproof tray and gently flatten into cakes. (I made mine about 1″ thick) Put into the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. In separate bowls have your flour, egg & oat/breadcrumb mixture ready. Dip the cake into the flour then into the egg then roll in the oat crumb mixture ensuring fully coated.
  7. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and cook the cakes each side for 2 minutes to seal to oat crumb. Place back onto the baking tray.
  8. Preheat your oven to 200 deg and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Serve with some cool mayo or tomato relish.
  9. These can be frozen and kept up to 3 months too, so great for batch cooking.


Slow Cook Iron Bru Chicken

Slow Cook Iron Bru Chicken

This was absolutely yummy! Thank you to Scott Baptie @ Food for Fitness for this recipe. https://www.foodforfitness.co.uk/welcome/

I had seen this ages ago but never got round to trying it, this weekend was that time. After all it is Scotland’s favourite fizzy drink! Iron Bru is quite a sweet flavour which is hard to describe & I wasn’t sure just how sweet this dish would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised, it was really delicious and definitely would make again. I used the Iron Bru Extra which has 0g sugars so helped make this dish not overly sweet.

Irn Bru
Iron Bru

Iron Bru was launched in Scotland in 1901 and is still a closely guarded family secret recipe with 32 flavours.

It was back in 1901 in Glasgow that steel workers who were working on rebuilding Central Station in Glasgow were drinking too much beer! Yes too much beer! This is when local soft drinks experts AG Barr introduced them to the caffeinated drink to help get them through the night, and ‘Iron Bru’ was born! One of the most memorable adverts on TV ran for over 20 years with the slogan ‘Made in Scotland – from girders’ & the slogan stuck!

Go on, you know you want to….give it a try, trust me, you’ll love it!


Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts, chopped into bite size pieces

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped

15ml Worcester Sauce

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

300ml Iron Bru

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp Corn Flour (to thicken sauce after)

100-125g Cooked Rice to serve.

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat and season chicken and add to the pan to brown for a few minutes. Remove, add the onion & garlic to the pan and saute for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Add the chicken back to the pan along with paprika, tomato puree, worcester sauce & Iron Bru, bring to a low simmer, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from pan to a plate, if sauce is too thin, add the cornflour mixed with a little water and stir through to thicken up the sauce, pour over chicken and serve with some cooked rice of your choice.

Delicious!



Mince HotPot with Sweet Potato & Carrot Mash

Mince Hotpot with Sweet Potato & Carrot Mash

This is proper home comfort food and a dish that we love. Using simple ingredients, you’ll love the richness taste of this and with the sweet potato and carrot mash on top it is just packed with flavour! A great family dish that is simple to make that everyone can enjoy. Sometimes I love going back to basics, our ancestors would have cooked this all in one pot as back then there were no fancy cook tops with loads of rings.

We are lucky that we have access to a wide range of different foods and spices these days, so although sometimes it’s great to make classics, it’s also great to try out new flavours and ideas with them. This recipe surely does work with that little change.

If you make it, let me know what you think?


Makes 2-3 servings

250g Scottish Beef Mince (good quality is key)

2 Medium sized Sweet Potatoes, cut into small chunks

1 Red Onion, diced

1 Carrots, diced & 2 Carrots for mash (chopped)

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

50ml Red Wine (I used Merlot)

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

2 Handfuls of Frozen Garden Peas

300ml Beef Stock with 2 stock cubes

1 Tsp Mixed Herbs

1/2 Tsp Turmeric

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp oil

1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules to thicken sauce

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 deg fan. Place sweet potatoes and carrot into a large pan of slightly salted water and bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 20 minutes until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onions until softened. Add the mince to the pan and cook until browned. Add in the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, herbs, seasoning and beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, liquid should reduce by half.
  3. Stir in the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the Gravy granules and stir to thicken.
  5. Mash the sweet potatoes and carrot with 1 tsp turmeric
  6. Place the mince mixture in a casserole dish, season with black pepper and top with the mash mix, cover with tin foil. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve & Enjoy!


Scottish Heather Honey Chicken

Scottish Heather Honey Chicken

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

Yes, I know what you are thinking, this isn’t chicken? It looks like Beef? That’s because of the soy Sauce and dark honey in the recipe marinating into the chicken.

One pot meals are always my go to when I am working, simply because they are easy and less washing up to do. I used some Scottish Heather Honey for this recipe and oh my……..this was a super tasty meal that I am so proud of. I had 2 recipes in mind to cook tonight, 1 was Honey and Garlic roasted Chicken and the other was a Soy Glazed Chicken, yes, you guessed it, I went for it and mixed it all up. I do love it when you change your mind last minute and get a successful NEW recipe!

Known as the ‘Champagne’ of all honeys, expertly gathered by bees that visit the legendary flower of Scotland, Heather. Scottish Heather Honey is dark and semi-set.  A highly intense, distinctive, warm, woody and floral aroma reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. I use honey from Heather Hills Farm, they are a family run business based in Blairgowrie, Perthshire since 1945. Click to their website for more details :- http://www.heatherhills.co.uk/.

Pure honey is full of natural antibacterial and antimicrobial goodness. As well as the high antioxidant qualities, manganese plays a role in helping to make and activate enzymes in the body involved in protecting tissues from damage and in the metabolism of nutrients. It also helps maintain healthy bones.


Serves 4

3-4 Large Chicken Breasts, cut into large chunks

1 Red Pepper, diced

1 Yellow Pepper, diced

2 White Onions, cut into wedges

4 Tbsps of Heather Honey (you can use clear honey if you can’t get this)

3 Tbsps of Dark Soy Sauce

2 Tsps Dried Garlic Granules

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

3 Tsps French Mustard

1 Tsp Curry Powder

Salt & Ground Black Pepper

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, season the chicken, add to pan and brown.
  2. Add in the garlic, peppers and onion and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Mix in a jug or bowl the soy sauce, honey, curry powder and mustard. Season.
  4. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and vegetables, add 100ml water and stir to combine.
  5. Cover and cook on a low heat for about 2 hours.
  6. Remove lid season if need and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with some boiled potatoes or mash or anything you like. Enjoy!


SCOTTISH NEW YEARS DAY STEAK PIE

Steak Pie

The steak pie became the national New Year’s dinner dish in Scotland because New Year’s Day was not traditionally taken as a holiday, (Western society has only been celebrating New Year for the past 400 years.) Families were too busy to cook and bought big steak pies from their local butcher instead. It was in 1871 that Scotland declared January 1st as a national holiday and then wasn’t until 1971 that Scotland got January 2 as another bank holiday.

Butcher-bought steak pie remains popular today, I suspect partly because most Scots are too hung-over to think about cooking on New Year’s Day. Hogmanay & New Years Day is about more than seeing in the bells with a dram of whisky and the best New Year street party in the world, the traditional celebrations continue well into the next day. In fact, it’s probably partly due to the over indulgence of alcohol that the ritual Ne’erday dinner continues to be such a vital part of New Year for so many Scots. The Traditional Steak Pie is round or oval in shape, which symbolises the end of one year with the seamless beginning of the next.

I do like to make my own steak pie and this recipe dates back to my Grannies and Aunties recipes. They key to a good steak pie is the meat, good quality Scottish Beef is key and it’s important to slow cook until it falls apart. I always make the night before too, this allows the gravy/juices to soak into the meat for an amazing flavour.


Serves 2-3

500g Braising or Stewing Steak (rump steak is also good)

1 Large Onion, Chopped

1 Carrot, Peeled & Sliced

400ml Beef Stock

1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Black Pepper

2 Tbsp Cornflour

1 egg beaten for wash

1 Ready to Roll Puff Pastry

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan on medium to high heat. Pat dry the meat and coat with the cornflour and season. Brown the meat in the pan, remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp oil to the pan and add in the onions, cook for a few minutes to soften and brown. Add back to the pan the meat and the carrots along with the beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a gentle simmer (very low heat), cover with a lid and slow cook for about 2 hours.
  3. With a slotted spoon carefully remove the meat & vegetables and decant into an oven proof pie dish, with the gravy still in the pan add the gravy granules and mix through on medium heat to thicken up the gravy slightly. (You don’t want it too thick as it will thicken overnight) Pour the gravy over the meat in the oven dish, allow to cool, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  4. When ready to bake, roll your pastry out and using a pastry brush, brush egg wash around the edge of your pie dish, take the pastry and lay over the dish, pressing the edges to seal. Trim any excess pastry. (which you could use for a wee design) Using a knife, make a small hole in the middle to allow the steam to escape. Brush the pastry with the remaining egg wash and bake in a pre heated oven at 200 deg C for about 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked.
  5. Serve with your choice of sides. My favourite is Roast Potatoes for New Years Day (perfect Roasties recipe here:-https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/12/09/the-best-crispy-roast-potatoes/) and selection of Vegetables. Or any other day we have Mash Potatoes.


Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread

I do love shortbread, I think it’s mainly because I grew up with it, we would visit my Gran’s house and get shortbread for a snack but more so every New Year as this is the tradition in Scotland.

Through the ‘Taste of Scotland’ scheme that promotes authentic and innovative Scottish cooking, Scottish cuisine has enjoying a renaissance and now many believe that the best food in Britain is to be found north of the Border. The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk: the word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.

Shortbread was an expensive luxury and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year. In Shetland it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home. The custom of eating shortbread at New Year has its origins in the ancient pagan Yule Cakes which symbolised the sun. In Scotland it is still traditionally offered to “first footers” at New Year.

Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle divided into segments (“Petticoat Tails”); individual round biscuits (“Shortbread Rounds”), or a thick rectangular slab cut into “fingers.” However, these days as we see some amazing cookie cutter shapes, they can be cut into whatever you like. As it is the Winter Season here just now, I decided to go for some lovely Snowflake Designs.

From memory when my Gran’s used to make Shortbread, the rule of thumb is always 3,2,1, 3 parts Flour to 2 parts Butter to 1 part sugar. Stick with this and you can’t go wrong.


Makes about 10-12 Shortbreads

115g Plain Flour

55g Rice Flour

115g Butter

55g Sugar (Caster or Icing) – (Extra Sugar to finish)

  1. Pre heat your oven to 150 deg C Fan.
  2. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, sift in the flours.
  3. Mix until it resembles bread crumbs, then tip onto a floured surface and work by hand to bring the dough together.
  4. Gently roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness, if using a cutter, cut into your designs and lay onto a greaseproof baking tray. If creating petticoats, press into a round baking tin, or fingers, press into a rectangle baking tin. Now refrigerate for about 20 minutes, this helps the biscuits to stop spreading when being baked. Prick the shortbread with a fork and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and while still hot sprinkle with some sugar to finish. Allow to cool.


Scottish Oat & Pistachio Crusted Cod

Scottish Cod

I am very lucky to live in a Country with an amazing Food Larder and 1 type of Food that Scotland is known for is it’s Fresh Fish, the Scottish Fishing Industry is currently worth around £316 million to Scotland, unfortunately that number has went down recently due to Covid, but at the height back in 2015 it was worth nearly £437 million. Most of its catch comes in from Aberdeen, then some from central and southern areas. Some of the most popular seafood caught in Scotland are mainly shellfish such as Mussels, Shrimp & Crab but also Salmon, Cod, Haddock & Mackerel.

My local Fishmonger Ryan Black, is from a nearby Town called Kirkcaldy which is in the Fife region, they provide a fantastic service and deliver straight to your door, straight from the shore. There is nothing better than getting the freshest fish delivered the same day. I got some lovely pieces of Cod for dinner.

Having some Pistachios in my cupboard to be used, I decided to try my Pistachio Crust recipe with the Cod and it worked a treat….super delicious, healthy and quick mid week meal.

Serves 2

2 Cod Fillets

25g Pistachio’s

20g Scottish Oats

1 Tbsp Mustard Powder or 2 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tsp Dried Parsley or small handful of fresh

  1. Line a baking Tray with greaseproof paper and preheat your oven to fan 210 deg C
  2. Using a processor, blitz the pistachios and oats together with the parsley until roughly chopped
  3. If using mustard powder, take 1 tbsp into a bowl and squeeze 1 tbsp lemon juice in and mix into a paste, leave to sit for 10 minutes to allow flavour to develop.
  4. Lay cod onto baking sheet and spoon the mustard over the fish, season with salt and pepper, then place the pistachio crust mix over the top covering the fish, press down to secure. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until opaque.
  5. Serve with a slice of lemon.