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Archive for the ‘U.K. Food’ Category

Fisherman’s Pie

I had the best intentions of making Cornish pasties.  I even have a gluten-free pastry mix.  However, I didn’t read the recipe for pasties first, and apparently you don’t cook the meat first–and I had already made a pot roast with the only beef I have. So, that’ s next week’s recipe.

That left me trying to figure out what to make.  I keep staples in my kitchen, like frozen tilapia, shredded cheddar cheese, rice flour, potatoes, milk, and onions.  With the addition of a turnip, which is sort of a Scots fetish,* that’s actually all I needed for this recipe.  From start to finish, it will take about two hours, so plan accordingly.

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Continuing the “Food of the U.K.” tour, I made bangers and mash, mainly because I could, and I’ve been watching, “MI-5″….and, “Yes, I do know they’re British.” 

This is a small recipe because I have unbelievable amounts of leftovers from all the other cooking this weekend.  It’s also a good recipe when you have multiple small kitchen chores, like, oh, I don’t know, washing up from a weekend of cooking.

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I decided to make bannocks, or Scottish oat cakes and Cockaleekie Soup, because I have a cold and I wanted chicken soup, but not the traditional chicken soup.  This is a fairly time-intensive recipe, the sort of thing you should probably only make when you’re home with a cold.

Historically, this is part of a Burns supper, which is a dinner held to commemorate the life of Robert Burns, who was a Scottish poet who lived 1759-1796.  It ‘s like a big party;  online descriptions have scripts with multiple exhortations like, “Not too insulting.”  Burns suppers also usually involve Haggis, which I have no intent of attempting.

Bannocks:

Bannocks are an exercise in becoming Zen.  They taste fantastic, but because oats dry fast, and they crumble, not every oatcake will come out whole;  they also dry fast enough that it is hard to know how long to cook them.  If they start to smell even remotely burned, it’s time to flip the entire kit and caboodle, regardless of whether or not you’re sure it will stick together.  Like I said, it’s very zen.  Let it go.

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Toad in the Hole

So it’s finally a little cooler outside.  The dogs strained at their leashes, “Mom, we want to walk more, ” for the first time since May.  That means I can use the oven, and not worry about heating up the entire house.  That means it’s time to bake, something, or maybe several somethings.

This is a pretty standard Scottish recipe;  it’s a good example of using what you have on hand.  The recipe asked for a deep baking dish; I have an oven-safe cast iron pan, and it’s one less dish to wash.  The recipe also asked for pork links;  I had the flat kind.  And, they asked for fresh parsley.  Nope, didn’t have that either;  dry parsley flakes are fine.

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And then there are days you just don’t want to cook:  you wake up too early, and there are too many early morning phone calls, some of them even from people not related to you. That’s when it’s time for some comfort food.  (So, of course, it involves bacon.)

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Fish and Chips

So, if you’re looking to make someone from the U.K. drool, this is the recipe.  (No, I wouldn’t be looking to do that, not me.) 

Anyway, I know I said this was cheap:  one of the ingredients in this, is distinctly not cheap.  It makes all the difference in how well the entire recipe works, though.  That ingredient, is Bard’s Ale.  It’s beer.  Dark gluten-free beer.  Gluten-free beer that is really good.

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Lots of things in life that should work, don’t–like that guy who just stopped calling after a month and half, and disappeared like some WWII British spy.  This, on the other hand, shouldn’t work, but it does.

Ingredients:

2 cups brown rice baking mix (I used Fearn’s.  Mixes are often cheaper.)

1 cup water

tomato sauce, either from a jar or a can

pizza toppings like parmesan cheese, mushrooms and olives

Books on WWII codebreaking, for style.

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