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Burns Night (25th January)

The last of the Christmas decorations are nearly down, the first snow drop flowers are peaking through and we are finding plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

The next excitement in the calendar for us is Burns night, 25th January, the birthday of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns author of Auld Lang Syne. It is an evening celebrating Scottish traditions with a menu highlighting many favourite Scottish dishes, including Haggis, Smoked Salmon and of course Whisky.

We have put together for you a lighter, more modern take on the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties to give you some inspiration to get the tartan out and have an evening of good old fashioned fun. Why not throw is some Scottish themed after dinner games – “The Scottish Name Game anyone?” and of course dance a good reel or two.

 

Burns night menu

 

Dress code: Tartan Optional

Canapes

Smoked Salmon blinis topped in caviar served with a Whisky cocktail

 

Starter

Haggis spring rolls with tzatziki dip

 

Main course

Lamb and veggie haggis meat balls with tabbouleh and Whisky cream sauce

 

Dessert

Raspberry Cranachan with Scottish Oats

 

Whisky liqueur chocolates served with a Whisky Mac

 

After all the indulgences of Christmas, we are now enjoying a slightly lighter January celebrating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. The great thing about this menu is so much can be prepared in advance meaning the evening can be relaxed for everyone, perhaps a Scottish themed playlist could be a good sound track to the evening.

 

Recipes

Smoked Salmon blinis topped in caviar – 12 mins

Blinis (allow approx. 4 per person)

Crème Frais

Scottish Smoked Salmon

Caviar

Dill to garnish

 

Instructions

  • Bake the blinis for 5mins at 180 degrees
  • Allow the top to cool slightly by placing then top side down on a plate for a minute, which prevents the crème frais from running.
  • Turn the blinis the right way up, put a small dollop of crème frais on each blini.
  • Place a small piece of smoked salmon on top.
  • Gentle balance half a teaspoon of caviar on the top.
  • Garnish with dill

Serve immediately with whisky cocktail

 

Haggis Spring rolls with Tatziki dip – 25 mins

 

Tatziki

Natural Greek yoghurt

Grated cucumber

Garlic crushed or finely diced

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Instructions

This dipping sauce can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge

  • Grate half a cucumber, add a pinch of salt, then squeeze the excess liquid out of the cucumber discarding the liquid.
  • Toast the cumin seeds until fragrant, approx. 1 minute with regular tossing, put into a bowl with the cucumber.
  • Crush or finely chop garlic and add into the bowl. 
  • Spoon in half a pot of Greek yoghurt
  • Stir well
  • Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper.

 

Haggis spring rolls (serves 4)

125g approx. Haggis

Ready-made Filo pastry

1 Carrot Grated

4 medium mushrooms finely diced

Finely chopped ginger 

A handful of beansprouts

I tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

 

Instructions

The stuffing can be prepared in advance but better to roll into filo just before frying. You can make the roll in advance and lightly fry them until crisp, then fry again last minute.

  • Grate 1 carrots and squeeze out any excess liquid.
  • Finely dice the mushrooms and ginger.
  • Fry the vegetables with the beansprouts over a gentle heat with a little olive oil
  • Add 125g haggis
  • Add a tablespoon on ketchup.
  • Plus a tablespoon of soy sauce.
  • Remove from heat and set aside ready to roll.

 

Rolling in filo pastry

  • Chop pieces of filo pastry the same size approx. 12-14cm strips
  • Get some water in a cup ready to seal the spring rolls.
  • Lay out the first strip of Filo pastry and put a heaped teaspoon of filling 3cms up from the short side of the Filo.
  • Fold the two close corners in creating a point (like the first step of making a paper plane).
  • Fold each of the long sides over by about 2 cm.
  • Roll the pointed end of the filo pastry tightly over the filling and continue to roll the pastry into a cigar shape.
  • When the roll reaches the end of the pastry create a point by folding the end corners in, then tab the point with a little water to seal the end of the filo pastry.
  • Repeat the rolling process and aim to make about 3 spring rolls per person.
  • When ready to cook, put a generous glug of oil into a frying pan and turn the rolls regularly to ensure an even colour. They will cook in about 2 minutes.
  • Watch closely and do them in small batches to prevent burning.
  • Serve immediately with the tzatziki sauce

For a move precise technique and video examples for rolling spring rolls, have a quick search on YouTube and you’ll soon be an expert!

 

Lamb & veggie haggis meat balls with tabbouleh and a tahini sauce

Meatballs

250g Vegetarian Haggis

250g Minced Lamb

A tablespoon of Ras El Hanout (optional for a more Middle Eastern flavour)

Egg

  

Instructions

  • Crumble the cooked haggis into the minced lamb. Follow the instructions on the haggis packet. Option to add Ras El Hanout if using.
  • Crack an egg into the mixture and mix well.
  • Roll into 1-inch balls and set aside ready for frying.
  • Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil then fry the meat balls in batches turning regularly so they don’t burn, for approximately 10mins. Baking would be another alternative when the meatballs can be all cooked together.

The meatballs can be prepared in advance and fried just before serving.

 

Tabbouleh

Half a cup of bulgar wheat

Stock for boiling the bulgar wheat in.

10 cherry tomatoes cut into small chunks.

2 spring onions

Half a cucumber finely diced, discarding the watery centre.

Pomegranate seeds

A handful on finely chopped mint leaved

A bunch on parsley finely chopped

Lime juice

Olive oil

 

Instructions

  • Cook the bulgar wheat in stock as per packet instructions.
  • Finely chop vegetables and herbs.
  • Once the bulgar wheat is cooked, combine the cooked bulgar wheat with the vegetables and herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Mix well then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and drizzle with lime juice and a generous glug on olive oil.

The tabbouleh can be prepared earlier in the day and stored in the fridge.

 

Tahini Sauce 

3 tablespoons Tahini paste 

Juice of one lemon

1-2 Garlic cloves

1/4 cup of cold water, more if needed

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

A handful of finely shopped parsley leaves

 

Instructions

  • Put the tahini paste, garlic, salt and lemon juice in a blender, mix until smooth.
  • Gradually add the water until happy with the consistency.
  • Sprinkle chopped parsley leaves on top.

The tahini sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge.

 

Cranachan

1/3 cup of Oats, preferably Pinhead Oats

½ cup Scotch Whisky

2 cups fresh Raspberries

3 Tablespoons runny honey

2 Tablespoons of sugar

2 cups of Double cream

Instructions

  • Toast half the oats on a medium heat until they are light brown
  • Soak the toasted oat in whisky for at least 20-30 minute (leave them overnight for a stronger whisky flavour)
  • Toast the other half of the oats until light brown then set aside.
  • Set some raspberries aside for the garish, then gently crush the rest in a bowl with a fork, leave plenty of bits in their for texture but we want to release some juices.
  • Add the sugar, honey and gradually add up to a tablespoon of Whisky to your taste.

 

'Full Scottish' Whiskey Cocktail

50ml The Glenlivet 15yr old

20ml lemon juice

15ml white port/ruby port

5ml simple syrup

15ml orange marmalade

 

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, including the marmalade. Shake hard and strain into a whisky tumbler filled with cubed ice. Garnish with thin strips of orange zest similar to the ones found in marmalade.