Wednesday, November 13, 2013

7 Course Scottish and Irish theme dinner party menu

This dinner party we cooked last Saturday had been 15 months in the making. With friends and family from Scotland and Ireland the host wanted a Scottish and Irish theme menu. Here's what we came up with between us.......
Pre-dinner canapés 3-4 per person

Irish smoked salmon on potato farls
Skewers of Boilie goats cheese, beetroot and rocket
Canape spoon of haggis with neeps and tatties (never got a pic of that one)
Smoked venison with apple and ginger chutney on scottish shortbread. I like vintage plates which tell a story.....
Cullen skink served in a cup
The night before the event I was doing a little last minute research and found these toast spoons which I made to go on the side - you can eat the spoon, but not the bowl.....
Hendricks extra cucumber infused gin and tonic sorbet. 
Maybe not the Scottish or Irish theme. I had suggested others but one of the hosts best friends had a big pash for gin and tonic - but it had to be Hendricks. It was not something I had tried, but wow I was an instant convert. What a difference in taste. Great production story too. To get extra cucumber flavour I infused it with cucumber for a couple of days - you shake it a few times a day before straining and churning into sorbet. Every bit helps! Oh and try this in the summer - so refreshing!

Crab wars! (They were both cooked at this point).
Crab and langoustine salad with beetroot dressing
What to do with those gin soaked cucumbers from the kilner jar? I chopped them and mixed with avocado, mango and mango puree as a base for this salad. After cooking the crabs just before leaving it was a rapid-fire de-shelling and checking for shell while they were having the soup. Such a busy night. Had a few oranges, so following on from my cakes cooked in fruit shells I hollowed out orange halves and filled them with crab. When the crab meat is so fresh you really don't need to add anything else to it.
Chicken balmoral with leek stuffed fondant potatoes and whisky sauce
Chicken stuffed with haggis. Don't be put off by all those people who put haggis down - they've probably never tried it! It should have more menu space than just Burns Night. I had never heard of this dish suggested by the host - it's always good to try something new.
I flattened the corn-fed chicken supremes and rolled them in pancetta with the haggis in the middle. Also served with kale and a side dish of roast turnips with parmesan (parmesan not very Scottish or Irish, bu hey....)
Assiette of Scottish and Irish desserts.
Baileys tiramisu
Mini apple scotch crisp
Mini sticky toffee pudding - not Scottish or Irish but a favourite of one of the guests.
Cranachan with raspberries and shortbread
Homemade Drambuie ice cream
Never use flash on a food photo right? After the last broken camera I had been swotting up on the new one around 3am that morning as best I could. Had it on the wrong setting all night. Great. Now, how to switch that flash off? Easy when you're not rushing and someone is not waiting for their dessert.......

A selection of Scottish and Irish cheeses, coffee and Scottish tablet finished off the night well and truly.

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