Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Full Scottish Breakfast with an Indian Twist

Full Scottish breakfast with a variety of Indian spices and condiments

Indian food is hugely popular in the UK in modern times and has had a very significant effect on our wider food culture. It is this fact that led to me coming up with this variation on a fried or full Scottish breakfast, a dish which already comes in many different forms in hotels, restaurants and homes around Scotland. There are a few ingredients which are almost always included on the breakfast plate - particularly the breakfast trinity of sausage, bacon and egg - but a great many more which are only found some of the time. What I have done here is take some of the most popular full Scottish breakfast inclusions  and cook/serve them in a way that gives the finished dish a very Indian twist.

Lorne sausage, black pudding and Ayrshire middle bacon

Ingredients per Breakfast

1 Scottish Lorne/sliced sausage
2 slices of Ayrshire middle bacon (or 2 rashers of ordinary back bacon)
1 slice of black pudding
2 tablespoons Scottish rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon medium curry powder
2 eggs
1 ounce butter
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly chopped coriander (cilantro), plus a little extra to garnish
1 mini garlic and coriander naan bread
1 tablespoon Indian spiced onions
1 tablespoon (or as desired) mango chutney

Curry powder added to frying oil for breakfast meat elements


Pour the rapeseed oil (alternatively vegetable or sunflower oil, not olive oil) in to a large, non-stick frying pan and add the curry powder. Gently bring up to a medium heat, stirring the curry powder through the oil with a wooden spoon. Do not let the pan get too hot or the curry powder will burn and become bitter.
Starting to fry Lorne sausage and black pudding in curry oil

Lay the sausage and black pudding in the pan and put an ovenproof plate in to your oven at its lowest setting.

Lorne sausage and black pudding frying on second side

Fry the sausage and black pudding for four or five minutes each side over a gentle heat until cooked. Using oven gloves, take the plate from the oven, lift the items on to it and return to the oven to keep warm.

Bacon is fried in same oil as sausage and black pudding

The bacon should now be fried in the same frying pan for two or three minutes each side until done as you like it.

Eggs broken in to saucepan for scrambling

Break the eggs in to a samll saucepan. Add the butter and the turmeric and scramble carefully over a low to medium heat, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.

Chopped coriander is added to spicy scrambled egg

Heat the naan bread per the instructions on the pack. This only takes around thirty seconds to a minute. Stir the teaspoon of coriander carefully through the scrambled egg.

Mini naan bread is laid first on serving plate

Lay the naan bread on the serving plate and spoon the scrambled egg on top.

Spicy scrambled egg is laid on mini naan bread

Lift the sausage, black pudding and bacon on to the plate.

Sausage, bacon and black pudding are added to breakfast plate

Spoon on the Indian spiced onions and mango chutney and garnish with the remaining coriander.

Indian spiced onions and mango chutney are served with breakfast

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Quirky Scotch Pie on a Roll Modern Serving Suggestions

Scotch pie and duck egg roll

I can't honestly remember who it was that first introduced me to the idea of putting a Scotch pie on a bread roll. I know that I was in early High School at the time as I remember asking for it in the local shop one lunchtime and receiving the most curious of looks from the lady serving. At that time, though, the only addition I ever made to the roll was maybe some HP sauce or Heinz tomato ketchup. Recently, I was thinking about pies on a roll and decided to do some experimenting with quirky additions to the pie before the roll was closed over, bringing the combination perhaps in to the twenty-first century. The ideas below are just some of the ones I came up with. Why not try these out or see what ideas you can come up with yourself?

Scotch pies

Scotch pies (usually just referred to in Scotland as pies) are hugely popular throughout Scotland but if you're reading this elsewhere, you may not know exactly what they are. They are made with hot water pastry and the meat filling is traditionally lamb or mutton with onion and spices. Nowadays, beef will often be used as a cheaper option. There is a definite rim left running around the top of the pie and the idea is that the space consequently created should be filled with gravy. I've used this characteristic to incorporate my varied alternatives.

Large soft supermarket baps

While Scottish morning rolls were what I enjoyed my pies on as a teenager, I quickly found while conducting this food experiment that larger soft baps from my local supermarket worked better as they closed fully over the pie and topping. This is of course, however, merely personal preference.

Butter is optional with a pie on a roll

Buttering the roll or bap is optional. The truth is that sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, largely depending upon what if anything else I am adding to the pie.

Although I sometimes eat a Scotch pie cold, I always reheat it before putting it on a roll. I preheat my oven to 190C/350F/Gas Mark 5 before adding the pies for fifteen minutes.

Scotch Pie and Garden Peas on a Roll
Scotch pie and peas on a roll

Pie and beans is a popular combination in Scotland but I think they go equally well with peas. While mushy peas may be the preference of some people, I prefer my peas with more defined substance so always buy frozen garden peas. A few minutes before the pie is due to come out of the oven, add a couple of tablespoons of frozen peas to a pot of boiling water and simmer for three minutes.

Drain the peas at your sink through a colander and while swirling the peas gently in the colander, season with black pepper and malt vinegar. Lay the pie on the bottom of the halved roll and fill the space on top with the peas before closing the roll over.

Peas are seasoned with malt vinegar and black pepper

Scotch Pie with Cheese, Onion and Tomato on a Roll
Scotch pie, cheese, tomato and onion on a roll

When the pie is removed from the oven, carefully arrange a few slices of tomato and onion on top.

Tomato and onion slices laid on hot pie

Lay some cheese slices on top of the tomato and onion and melt the cheese either by putting the pie briefly back in to the oven or on to a tray under a hot grill/broiler. Season with black pepper and add the pie to the roll to eat.

Cheese slices laid on tomato and onion on Scotch pie

Scotch Pie and Spicy Salsa on a Roll
Scotch pie and spicy salsa on a roll

This idea came about as a means of using up some leftover salsa but you could make it specially, perhaps while the pie is heating in the oven. It's equal quantities of seeded and finely diced cucumber and tomato, one peeled and grated garlic clove, finely sliced basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper but you can easily devise your own variation. All I did was spoon the salsa on to the heated pie on the roll.

Scotch Pie and a Fried Duck Egg on a Roll

Fried duck egg and chives top a Scotch pie on a roll

You could of course simply use a chicken egg for this option but I think duck eggs lend a little bit something extra to so many egg recipes. Simply be aware that it takes a little bit longer to fry than a chicken egg as it is a bit bigger.

Five minutes before the pie was due to be ready, I wiped a non-stick frying pan with a little oil and brought it up to a medium heat. I then broke the duck egg carefully in to a small bowl before pouring it in to the hot pan. After twenty seconds or so, I reduced the heat slightly and fried the egg on the first side for three minutes before turning it to fry for two more minutes.

Sit the hot pie on the roll, lift the egg on top and garnish with chopped chives.

Biting in to a Scotch pie and fried duck egg on a roll

Chicken Curry Pies
Scottish chicken curry pies

There is a variation of the Scotch pie which has become increasingly popular in Scotland over the past couple of decades and that is the chicken curry pie. The pastry of the pie is usually the same but the filling is of a simple chicken curry. The next two ideas use these pies, which were heated exactly the same way in the oven as the Scotch pies above.

Chicken Curry Pie and Indian Spiced Onions on a Roll
Scotch pie and Indian spiced onions on a roll

The spiced onions used here were supermarket bought but they are really easy to make at home. Experimenting with slightly different quantities of the spices will let you find your own favourite combination. All you do is spoon the onions on to the heated chicken curry pie on the roll.

Chicken Curry Pies with Spicy Beans on a Roll

Scotch pie and spicy beans on a roll

You can prepare and heat the beans while the chicken curry pie is in the oven. A small (eight ounce) can of beans will be enough for two pies on a roll. Pour the beans in to a small saucepan and add a seeded and finely diced small green chilli, half a teaspoon of ground turmeric and some black pepper. Heat the beans on a very low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

Put the hot pie(s) on to the roll (s) before spooning on the spicy beans.

Spices are added to beans in tomato sauce before they are heated

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Scotch Lamb Burgers with Mint Sauce and Deep Fried Tattie Wedges

Beautiful, succulent and tasty lamb burgers

When you buy a burger from a fast food outlet, it is likely it will have been made with beef, pork, or a combination of the two - as well as a number of potentially very unsavoury ingredients which you would probably prefer not to hear or think about... Even when burgers are prepared at home, beef or pork are the preferred meats usually used. If you're looking for an alternative for your burgers, you can't do better than use lamb. The prepared burgers are so tender and sucuulent, you may actually never consider using beef or pork again.

Chopping potatoes in to wedges


2 or 3 medium floury/starchy potatoes
1/2 pound minced/ground lamb
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Vegetable oil for frying
2 soft bread rolls
1 tablespoon (approximately) mint sauce

Potato wedges are steeped in cold water


The potato wedges are prepared in three stages. Begin by halving each potato and chopping it in to wedges. Note that the potatoes should not be peeled. Add to a pot of cold water and leave to steep for ten minutes to get rid of the excess starch.

Parboiled potato wedges ready for chilling

Add the potato wedges to a pot of fresh cold water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer for five minutes only before draining and leaving to steam off for five minutes. Don't worry if a couple of the wedges break slightly near the tips - this makes for extra crunchiness in the final result! Add the wedges to a plastic dish in a single layer and refrigerate uncovered for a minimum half hour.

Potato wedges are given first deep fry

Take the wedges from the fridge and deep fry in medium hot oil for five minutes until they just start to colour and no more. Drain on kitchen paper and return to the (dried) plastic dish and the fridge for a further minimum half hour.

Minced lamb and rosemary

Put the lamb in to a bowl and season with the rosemary as well as some salt and pepper. Mix very well by hand before dividing in to two equal amounts and rolling in to balls between your palms.

Seasoned lamb is rolled in to balls

Heat some vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan. A couple of tablespoons should be enough.

Starting to fry Scotch lamb burgers

Flatten the meatballs between your palms in to burger patties around an inch thick and fry for eight to ten minutes each side over a low to medium heat until done.

Lamb burgers turned to fry on their second side

Push the frying pan to a cool part of the stove-top and allow the burgers to rest while you give the potato wedges a final fry of four or five minutes.

Potato wedges are fried for a second time

Drain the potato wedges on kitchen paper and cut open the rolls. Lay a burger on each bottom roll half on the serving plate.

Lamb burgers laid on bottom halves of rolls

Divide the mint sauce between the tops of the two burgers.

Mint sauce is added to lamb burgers

Put the tops on the rolls and add the potato wedges to the other side of the plate.

Potato wedges are plated with Scotch lamb burgers