Scottish Heritage Food & Cooking, written by Carol Wilson and Christopher Trotter, features the authentic and varied cuisine of Scotland from the Highlands to the Lowlands with over 150 recipes and 700 gorgeous photos. Favorites include Cranachan (also in iced and smoothie form), Angus Pasties, Haggis with Clapshot Cake, Salmon with Herb Butter, Kailkenny (mashed potatoes with cabbage), Black Pudding with Potato and Apple, Rowies, Smoked Haddock and Cheese Omelet, and so much more.
Carol Wilson is an expert on the history and origins of British food. She has been featured in The Times, The Illustrated London News, Heritage, Food and Wine, and Gastronomica. She is also the author of variety of books including A Gypsy Feast: Recipes and Culinary Traditions of the Romany People, The Bacon Cookbook, and The Whole Hog: Recipes & Lore for Everything but the Oink.
Christopher Trotter has a passion for Scottish cuisine and focuses on traditional and new dishes. He trained at the Savey and in a prestigious Michelin-starred restaurant in France and is now the chef of the 16th-century Myres Castle Highland hotel in Scotland. He has also written other books including The Scottish Kitchen, The Whole Cow, and The Scottish Cookery Book.
Chapters are divided based on course: The Flavours of Scotland; The Scottish Kitchen; Breakfasts; Soups; First Courses; Fish and Shellfish; Meat and Venison; Poultry and Game; Side Dishes; Desserts; Breads and Baking; Preserves, Relishes, and Sauces; and Drinks.
Before getting to the incredible assortment of recipes, the book begins with a history of the food and culture of Scotland from the earliest settlers’ arrival in 4000-3000 BC to the present day influences from the tourism industry. The variations in landscape and foreign involvement are explained in how they shaped regional favorites. There is a detailed section on the ingredients used in the Scottish kitchen with photos, descriptions, and how they are used. You will also get a closer look at how some of Scotland’s most popular products are created such as whiskey, smoked foods, and salmon.
I particularly enjoyed reading about the daily life in the highlands along with the introduction of the clan system. The foods and traditions during festivals such as Hogmanay (New Years Eve), the Edinburgh International Festival, and The Highland Games are also explained.
Measurements are provided in Metric and US Customary. The stunning photography is provided by Craig Robertson. Every single recipe includes a well-styled photo of the finished dish, often with step-by-step photos as well. There are also plenty of beautiful photos to showcase the Scottish scenery and people.
This book is a great pick for those wanting to learn more about Scottish cuisine and its history. The recipes focus on homestyle cooking with a variety of options from appetizers and first courses to plenty of seafood, meats, vegetables, desserts, preserves, and drinks. Most of the ingredients are readily available in the average American grocery store, but access to a seafood market and an area with speciality European products will be helpful. More difficult to find ingredients include a variety of fish and shellfish, heather honey, black pudding, English mustard, speciality cheeses, game meat, tarragon vinegar, haggis, pickled walnut juice, rowan jelly, quail eggs, golden raisins, and blackcurrants. As a note, I received a PDF file of this book so I cannot comment on the actual quality of the pages and binding.
I am sharing a recipe for the Scottish Morning Rolls. These rolls are a favorite breakfast item served as an accompaniment to fried eggs and bacon. They are best warm out of the oven with butter or jam.
These rolls are a great place to start for those new to working with yeast. There is only a handful of ingredients and the rolls require short rise times compared to many other yeast breads.
My rolls could have gotten a little darker, but I needed to pull them out just a little early due to something coming up with the kids. They still had a lightly, fluffy interior. Evan and Claire particularly enjoyed them with peanut butter.
If using active dry yeast instead of fresh, you will need about 1 tablespoon.
I also made Leek and Potato Soup, Dundee Beef Stew, Baked Tomatoes with Mint, and Cranachan Smoothie.
I used the Leek and Potato Soup to warm up on our first cool autumn day. Leeks and onions are sautéed in butter, then simmered in stock with potatoes until the vegetables are tender. It is perfect for a light lunch with a little bread or as a first course.
Dundee Beef Stew is another great dish for a cool day. Beef is simmered with paprika, onions, mushrooms, garlic, red wine, and stock. I loved the interesting addition of bitter marmalade, a well-known staple from Dundee. This stew is best served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes.
I made the Baked Tomatoes with Mint just as tomato season was coming to an end. Peeled and sliced tomatoes are layered in a casserole dish and covered with a mint-infused cream. The creamy casserole is topped with grated Bonnet cheese, a hard goat’s cheese before baking until bubbly.
The Cranachan Smoothie is a quick and easy way to get the flavors of the traditional Cranachan dessert in drink form. Oats, raspberries, honey, and yogurt are blended together for a light and refreshing smoothie. This one was a favorite for Claire.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from Lorenz Books in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own.
Scottish Morning Rolls
Adapted from Scottish Heritage Food & Cooking
450 grams/1 pound/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
10 ml/2 teaspoons salt
20 grams (3/4 ounce) fresh yeast
150 ml (2/3 cup) lukewarm milk (105-115 degrees F), plus extra for brushing
150 ml (2/3 cup) lukewarm water (105-115 degrees F)
If using active dry yeast: in a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the milk. Stir to combine. Allow to sit until frothy, 5-10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast, milk, and water. Mix together to form a dough.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and soft. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled plastic. Allow to rest at room temperature until dough bled, about 1 hour.
Line two baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C/Gas 6).
Punch down the dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a flat circle or 4×3 inches (10×7.5 cm) oval. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Press each risen roll in the center using three middle fingers. Brush lightly with milk and sprinkle with flour. Bake in preheated oven until golden, 15-20 minutes. Dust with a little more flour and serve warm.