scottish broth

Having some Scottish roots and all, of course I have to celebrate Burns night! (actually I stumbled across it this year as well…). Burns night is about honoring the Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796), and any tradition celebrating the man who wrote Auld lang syne must be an important one. I am not being silly now, the song makes my eyes tear every time I hear it.

I am not sure what one does on Burns night (except sings Auld lang syne I guess) but when I goggled it I found some recipes that I immediately got tempted to nutmeg and chivesify.

The traditional Scotish food are very much about haggis and lamb and other heavy meaty stuff (trust me, I intend to have a go at both vegetarian haggis and Scottish eggs but I just haven’t got there yet). But there is also many flavours that I find tempting, specially now in the winter time. The oats, the root vegetables and the earthy, warming flavours that comes from bay leafs, thyme and leeks, among others.

I found two dishes at a Jamie Oliver site with Burns night recipes that felt very Scottish to me.

Potato scones I tried a few years ago when I visited a friend in Glasgow. Golden brown and steaming hot with the butter running down the sides they were a total calorie bomb, but also absolutely wonderful. I made my version a little bit healthier, substituting the potato with sweet potato and some of the flour with oat flour. I choose to call them sweet tattie scones (after the Scottish word for potatos). I think it sounds quite cute.

I know there is nothing Scottish or brittish about sweet potatos but they are just such a good, funny vegetable and they are said to have less calories then potatos so I will have no shame making this crazy Scottish caribean/african mix.

The soup is inspired by Jamie Olivers Scotch broth with root veg but instead of chicken I used big white beans and I also added some sun dried tomatoes for extra saltyness. Its not a soup with huge flavours, but I like how you really can feel the taste of the carrots and the swede, and the thyme, sage and bay leafs are like a comforting lingering in the background.

I barely had time to photograph the food before it got dark, so the focus is not great. But with some positive thinking one can imagine that the blurry corners and the dark colours makes it look like a painting, from say the days of Robert Burns.

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Scottish broth with root vegetables and white beans

(serves 4)

½ leek

2 garlic cloves

2 carrots

1 small or ½ swede

1 litre vegetable stock

1 tsp dried thyme or oregano

½ tsp dried sage

3-4 bay leafs

1 decilitre white wine

5-6 sun dried tomatos

Lemon juice to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the leek thinly and crush the garlic. Slice the carrot and swede. Fry with some oil until golden. Add 1 litre of water and 1 vegetable stock cube. Season with dried herbs and boil until the vegetables are soft. Add the wine, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley if you prefer.

 Scottish sweet tattie scones

(serves 4)

2 big sweet potatos

2 dl oat flour (can be rolled oats that are grinded in the blender)

1 dl wheat flour

(1/2 decilitre cheddar cheese)

Salt and pepper

Butter to season and to fry

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut in to big cubes. Boil until soft, drain and place back in pot. Mash the potatoes with a knob of butter, salt and pepper. Mix in the flour, and the cheese if you prefer that (I realised that I am not a fan of cheese in bread so will rather put a big nice slice on top of the scone next time).

Steer everything well, heat some butter in a pan and form flat, round scones with your hand. Fry the scones a few minutes on each side, until they are golden.

Serve with some butter together with the soup.

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Hot cross scones and sugarfree raspberry-mint jam

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I’v had a crush on hot cross buns since I found out about them a few years ago. I never heard of this typical Easter bread when I lived in London, it was later, after starting to regularly browse British food blogs that our paths crossed. They just felt so much like my cup of tea, I like brown bread a lot and they looked so fluffy and delicious, and also different than other bread with that cross on top.

Reading the recipes they did seem a bit too sweet for me though, with the glaze and all. So tried to make my own, a bit less cakey versions without the glaze. I have hade some failures and some more successful tries. But I think these scone versions are the best ones so far. They turned out light and fluffy, more like buns than scones in the consistency, but still with a nice crumbly surface. The black treacle adds some sweetness, and also a bit of that brown colour that I like.

To go with them I made a simple and quick raspberry and mint jam with no processed sugar. Instead I used stevia powder, a sweetening that they say have half the cholesterol from sugar. I also used some flax seeds to thicken the jam. It is like eating fresh raspberries with a hint of sweetness and mint!
I also think some kind of fig jam would go great with the scones.

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Hot cross scones

2 decilitre light spelt flour

1 decilitre wholewheat spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

75 gram butter

1 decilitre natural yoghurt

1 handfull sultanas

½ tsp mixed spice

1 tsp black treacle

 

For the crosses:

2 tbsp light spelt flour

2-3 tbsp water.

 

Tunt the oven to 175 C.

Mix the two kind of flour with salt and baking powder. Mix in the butter until a crumbly dough has formed. Add the yoghurt, mix spice, treacle and sultanas and steer to a smooth dough.

Divide the dough in to four round balls and place on a oven tray.

Mix the flour with water until it is a smooth mixture. Put the mixture in a piping bag and pipe a cross on every bun.

Make the buns for 20-25 minutes.

Sugar free raspberry- mint jam

2 dl raspberries

½ decilitre stevia powder

1 tbsp flax seed

1 fresh mint leaf

Mix everything in a pot and turn to heat. Boil for about 10 minutes, until the raspberries has dissolved and the jam feels sticky. Eat with in a few days.

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This will be my contribution to this months Teatime treats, hosted by Lavender and lovage and the Hedge combers.

Tea Time Treats

Whole wheat scones with apple and fennel

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Scones. I can’t think of many things as good as a warm, newly baked scones with dripping warm butter on and some sweet jam,  or as a prefer it, some slices of strong cheddar washed down with a cup of steaming hot tea.  It is easy to just whip up in no time and the ingredients are mostly things you have in the fridge and cupboard anyway. But no matter how good it is, after a few pieces (because it is impossible to just eat one) I always get a bit of a stomach ace and that feeling of being stuffed. So I have been playing around a bit with more “healthy” scones with less plain wheat flavour and more whole wheat and rye. This morning I made some with dried apples and fennel seeds in it, and it turned out really delicious. Crunchy and filling, so you can’t actually eat too many, and the apples gives a nice sweetness. I used dried apples that I still had laying around from last year, but to shred a fresh apple in to the mixture probably works out fine as well. Maybe reduce the yoghurt slightly in that case.

There are so many possibilities for your scones; they really don’t have to be just wheat and white. Or what do you reckon? What is your favourite?

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Whole wheat scones with apple and fennel

2 dl whole wheat flour

1 dl flour

1/2 dl sunflower seeds

1/2 dl whole flax seeds

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 dl dried apple pieces

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp honey

1 dl plain yoghurt

1/2 dl vegetable oil, preferably rapeseed

Turn the oven to 175 Celsius. Mix the flours, flax seed, sunflower seeds, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Ground the fennel seeds lightly to bring out the flavour and mix with the dry ingredients. Cut the dried apple pieces in smaller parts if they are big and add to the bowl.

Stir in the yoghurt, honey and the oil. Mix well to a dough that is sticking together but still feels wet.

Put a parchment paper on a oven tray and divide the dough in to four balls. Flatten them on the tray so that they are about 1 cm thick (or do as you usually do your scones). Pick them with a fork or a knife. Spread some sunflowerseeds over the surface.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

It would be fun to know  more about the history of scones, why did the British start eating them and how they became so loved. Why is the traditional filling jam and clotted cream? Have they always been eaten at afternoon rather then at breakfast? Anyone who can fill me in?

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