savour Welcome to
A celebration of North-east food and drink ISSUE 02, 2013
MACKINTOSH MEDIA Savour is produced by Mackintosh Media Ltd. Regent House, 36 Regent Quay, Aberdeen AB11 5BE.
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I love springtime! It’s my favourite time of year and it’s now in full swing, with fresh produce one of the delicious benefits of this season of rebirth. Apart from the improvement in the weather our comfort food cravings dwindle and we yearn to eat lighter foods. For food at its peak, shop at one of the many farmers’ markets or grow fruits and vegetables in your own garden. Taste of Grampian is our main focus in this issue and you can read about my chat with popular celebrity chef Simon Rimmer who will be demonstrating at the event this year with our own Nick Nairn. You can win a copy of Simon’s new book ‘Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus’ in the following pages.
We unveil the winners of the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards, recommend some foodie gifts for dad on Father’s Day and feature fresh spring vegetables such as my favourite, asparagus and, of course, lots of lamb in our easy-tomake recipes. Read about my day at the Nick Nairn Cook School where I was expertly tutored on the making of bread (move over Paul Hollywood) and my suggestions for a break-away in the beautiful countryside of Perthshire.
We also have lots of ‘News Bites’ to keep you informed of what’s happening on our doorstep as our talented chefs and producers continue to showcase their imaginative menus and products.
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Huevos Rancheros (ranch-style eggs) Try a Mexican-inspired brunch with this healthy egg and spicy tomato dish. It's ready in a flash too. Ingredients • 3 kale leaves, finely chopped • 1 onion, finely chopped • 1 green pepper, finely chopped • 1 red pepper, finely chopped • 1 small bird's eye chilli, finely chopped • 1 courgette, finely chopped • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped • salt and freshly ground black pepper • 150ml/5fl oz tomato passata • 1 tbsp olive oil • knob of butter • 8 free-range eggs (2 eggs per person) • Handful fresh coriander leaves • Soft flour / corn tortillas, warmed in the oven • hot chilli sauce
Method 1: To make the salsa, place the kale, onion, peppers, chilli, courgette, garlic and passata into a bowl. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. 2: Heat the oil in a medium frying pan with a lid over a medium heat and add a quarter of the salsa. Stir to warm through, then make a hole in the middle of the salsa. Place the butter in the clear area in the middle of the pan, then break two eggs into this space. 3: Place the lid onto the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. The dish is ready when the eggs are cooked into the salsa and the whites are firm. Slide the eggs and salsa onto a large plate and keep warm as you repeat this process three more times. 4: To serve, sprinkle each dish with coriander leaves and serve the warm tortillas and chilli sauce alongside.
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ingredients A celebration of North-east food and drink ISSUE 02, 2013
Innovative produce from Devenick Dairy.
Spring wines to complement lamb and asparagus recipes.
What’s new from brewers and bars?
Kneading your buns!
A well kneaded a day at Nick Nairn’s Cook school!
Talking to Simon Rimmer celebrity chef at Taste of Grampian
Fathers Day treats
Treat Dad to a special foodie gift.
Win Simon’s new book
Win a copy of ‘Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus’
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New book showcases haggis with a twist
News Bites... New Sauce to Sample producing a sweet chilli sauce but wanted to have something a little bit different, so settled on Lime & Ginger. The sauce is ready to use straight out of the bottle but can be used as a cooking ingredient too. It’ll be available to sample on our stand at Taste of Grampian.
It is one of the key ingredients in any Burns Supper, but now one of Scotland’s most famous traditional dishes has been given a twist in a new recipe book which showcases the mighty haggis. The Macsween Haggis Bible features 50 unique haggis recipes which show the popular dish can be enjoyed in many
Ola Oils will launch their new product, their awesome Lime & Ginger Sauce at Taste of Grampian on Saturday June 1. Handmade, Ola Lime & Ginger sauce is hugely versatile; ideal for stir fries, marinading meat, chicken or fish, for dipping, through noodles or just about anything else you can think of!
nachos and many vegetarian haggis
John Sorrie of Ola Oils said: “We developed our Lime & Ginger sauce over the period of a few months to make sure we got the right balance of flavours, with the warmth of ginger and the zingy sharpness; we think we’ve got it right! The sauce is great for Asian style cooking, especially with prawns and noodles but really works with so many different dishes.
options, there are mouth-watering recipes
“We had initially thought about
different ways, not just on Burns Night. Written by Jo Macsween, from the acclaimed Edinburgh family of haggismakers, the book includes recipes for tucking into haggis throughout the day. From Haggis Benedict and a new take on haggis, neeps and tatties, to haggis
to suit everyone.
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“We’ve also revamped our salad dressings with subtle changes to the recipes and new packaging. Previously, some customers had noted that our dressings were sometimes tricky to get out of the bottle so in response to that we’ve now got a wider neck to the bottles and we’ve refreshed the label designs. “At Taste of Grampian, we’re located in the main concourse area and will have our full range of products available to taste and buy.” Ola Oils are the original Scottish producers of cold pressed rapeseed oil. The oil is grown, pressed and bottled on-farm near Inverurie and it offers a range of health benefits as well as tasting great! Find out more at www.olaoils.co.uk or click search for Ola Oils on Facebook.
New wine Bar off at a Gallop building and created a menu strong on local produce to showcase the best of Deeside meat, game and home baking. Lite bites and sharing platters will be a feature of the menu which will cover everything from coffee and snacks to main meals.
Dee-canter opened at 18 Dee Street in Banchory last month, (April) providing the town with its only wine bar. The lady behind the venture is Odette Maguinness who moved to Banchory to join her partner, personal fitness instructor, Ruaraidh Stewart. “I wanted to get into catering and when I realised Banchory didn’t have a wine bar that seemed the perfect opportunity for me, especially as I found double storey premises to lease which had previously been a coffee and craft shop so it already had a well-equipped commercial kitchen.” Within six weeks she had transformed the
Odette’s family live in the Lake District. “I have always taken a very keen interest in catering,” she said, “Some of my earliest memories of cooking are heavily dusted with flour as I can recall manically turning out Victoria sandwich cakes at the grand old age of eight. Growing up in a place like the Lake District made it very easy to get into cooking. Most of what I know has come from my mother and she has always encouraged me in my catering aspirations.” Odette will be doing all the cooking herself. Dee-canter is open from 10am daily, untill 11pm from Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday, and untill midnight on Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Mondays.
Caber Coffee Makes a Splash Aberdeen-based Caber Coffee has announced a six figure deal with Northern Isles ferry operator Serco NorthLink Ferries. The company has secured a four-year contract worth in the region of £200,000 to provide coffee and machines for coffee outlets and restaurants on NorthLink’s vessels which connect Aberdeen and Scrabster with the Northern Isles. Commenting on the deal, Caber Coffee managing director Findlay Leask said: “We are delighted to increase our presence on NorthLink’s vessels thanks to this significant contract. Ethyco is our ingredient range which goes beyond benefits of Fairtrade for the communities
growing the product by also re-investing in social enterprise projects here in the UK. Therefore, by choosing to stock our exclusive Fairtrade Ethyco coffee, NorthLink has shown its support for good causes because a percentage of all sales will be donated to good causes in Orkney and Shetland.” Cheryl Exley, Customer Services Director at NorthLink added: “Historically this contract was tendered on a national basis so this move to use a highly regarded, local company is one that we are extremely pleased with. Where possible we use local produce onboard our ferries and our contract with Caber Coffee highlights that fact.”
News Bites Carluccio's
to open in Aberdeen CELEBRITY chef Antonio Carluccio is to become the latest well-known food industry name to open a restaurant in Aberdeen. Carluccio’s is to open what will be its first outlet in the city in Union Square in the summer. Simon Kossoff, chief executive of Carluccio's, said: "We have been keen to open in Aberdeen for a number of years." Ryan Manson, general manager for Union Square, said: "We are excited to welcome the city's first Carluccio's."
Competition Winner Mrs Tracy Archibald from Girdleness Road, Torry has no excuse for making lots of delicious cakes as she is the lucky winner of a copy of Delia Smith’s new cookbook, ‘Delia’s Cakes’ as featured in the last issue of Savour. Congratulations Tracy. I can smell the cherry cake, strawberry cupcakes and muffins already!!
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The Raw Power of Spinach Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach, which came into season in April, is an enormously popular green vegetable. The leaves can be either flat or slightly ruffled, and are a bright green when young, deepening to a more intense colour when older. The bitter flavour is distinctive - you either love it or hate it - and it particularly complements dairy products and eggs.
cooking; a 450g bag will be just enough for two people.
Shake the excess water off (if you plan to
Spinach is available all year round, but is at its best from April through to September. Have a go at growing your own if you've got a fairly large veg patch or allotment.
should pat it dry with kitchen paper, too).
Go for spinach with bright green leaves, tender but crisp stems and a fresh smell. Avoid any that is yellowing or wilting.
then tear it away from the leaf.
The milder, young leaves can be eaten raw in a salad; while the older ones are usually cooked (spinach has one of the shortest cooking times of all vegetables). It reduces very dramatically during
If you have bought pre-washed bagged spinach it will probably only need a quick rinse to freshen it up. In contrast, loose spinach needs thorough washing in a colander to remove dirt and grit.
or the leaves will go soggy.
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stir-fry it or eat it raw in a salad, you Older spinach may have tough stems cut these off. If the rib of the leaf is particularly big, fold the leaf in half lengthways with the rib facing outwards,
Store it in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge. Don't wash before you refrigerate,
Cook it - Roast (8-10 minutes). Slice and stir fry (1-2 minutes). Steam whole (3-4 minutes) or have it raw in salads.
From Plot to Plate pots on a tiny balcony will do. Many plants can be grown in the smallest terraced back garden, patio roof space or even on the shady balcony of a high-rise flat.
Phew! After a winter that seems to have lasted forever, temperatures are creeping back up allowing you to throw open the back door and step out into the garden. Spring is the ideal time to make the most of your outdoor space and with a bit of ground work you can reap the benefits in a few months’ time. There are lots of veg you can plant now which you will be able to harvest soon and what’s more you don’t need a huge garden – just a few
Growing your own veg from scratch is a project everyone can get involved in with kids in particular finding gardening fascinating. They get a thrill out of owning and looking after their own little plot or tub and watching seeds they have planted grow. What better way to get children to eat more veg than by serving up a dish containing something they have grown themselves. It might seem a little daunting if you haven’t grown veg before but it’s really easy. Just pick your plants carefully and grow them in pots, troughs or raised beds. Go for those you have space for and time to look after. If you’re just starting
out, choose crops that are low maintenance and fast growing such as radishes, carrots and mixed salad leaves. Avoid sweetcorn, asparagus, cabbages and cucumbers as they require careful attention and not for those with busy lives. If you have a small garden, be realistic; forget about growing tall crops or ones with deep roots and go for compact plants that can be grown in pots, hanging baskets or window boxes such as tumbling tomatoes, spring onions and dwarf French beans. Remember gardening reaps many rewards, both to admire and devour and it’s also fun for all the family! Here are some full proof plants to get you on your way – strawberries, tomatoes, radishes, carrots, potatoes, courgettes, beetroot, mixed salad leaves, dwarf French beans and peppers.
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In Season The spring season is full of transformations. The temperature rises to a more bearable degree, opposing Mother Nature's last few months of freezing surroundings. The leaves we saw fall and flowers we saw wilt are now budding into lush, green, picture-perfect plants.
transformations that occur in the spring season, we are transforming our lives, too.
No more high-calorie foods loaded with carbohydrates and saturated fats that Grandma made to keep us fuelled over the winter. No more putting off that morning jog because the roads are covered in ice or snow.
So what’s in season and good for us to eat at this time of year.
British classics pave the way to summer, led by majestic Jersey Royals and May’s crowning glory, asparagus. Make a meal of these seasonal big-hitters with tender young lamb and samphire. • ASPARAGUS • CHICORY • CRAB • ELDERFLOWER • LAMB • GOOSEBERRY • NECTARINE • NEW POTATOES • RADISH
• ROCKET • SARDINE • SPRING ONION • WATERCRESS
Strawberries are summer's stand-out sensation, but it's just not tennis without the rest of the seasonal berries. Broad beans, tomatoes and fresh peas are also unmissable in June.
June savour Issue 02 2013
• BROAD BEANS • CHICORY • CRAB • FRENCH BEANS • LAMB • MACKEREL • MANGETOUT • NECTARINE • PEAS • RADISH • RASPBERRY • ROCKET • SARDINE • SPRING ONION • STRAWBERRY • TOMATO • WATERCRESS
No Fuss Asparagus Ingredients • Bundle of British asparagus • Olive oil • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed • 1 fresh red chilli, chopped • Zest and juice of 1 lemon • Bunch of fresh parsley • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • Parmesan cheese to serve
Method 1: Put the British asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. 2: Meanwhile, chuck some olive oil into a pan, throw in the garlic and chilli and fry for one minute. 3: Remove the frying pan from the heat and add a good glug of olive oil, the lemon juice and zest, and the parsley. 4: Drain the asparagus and toss it into the pan with the dressing, mixing it roughly with your hands. 5: Put the dressed asparagus onto a serving plate and top with shavings of Parmesan and a sprinkling of salt and pepper
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Bishopton Farm in Banchory-Devenick has been run as a dairy farm by the Groat family for generations. A change of philosophy in 2006 saw the family move from commercially selling their milk to creating their own products, hailing the birth of Devenick Dairy. Here the Savour editor talks to Kenny Groat about the importance of this move and consequently the success of their dairy products. Q: Bishopton was run as a dairy farm supplying milk to commercial companies. What was the inspiration behind the change which led to the creation of your own products? A: There were several reasons for
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the change from commercial supply. The milk price was below or at breakeven cost of production and with my brother and I both moving to work on the farm we had to raise income to financially support ourselves. Being a commercial milk producer you have
some constraints which limits the way you can farm. We have now been able to move to a more natural based system with cows producing milk from grass, using Friesians and Jersey cows to achieve better quality milk.
13 Q: You have an amazing range of beautiful hand-made cheeses but what other products do you make on the farm?
complement our rose veal. Our free range eggs are also a big attraction as you can see the hens in the field next to the car park.
A: We make a range of fruit and natural yogurts, a lovely range of drinking yogurts, our famous cheesecakes including Orkney fudge, raspberry & white chocolate or for a more funky twist Irn-Bru.
Q: You are welfare friendly and are a Farm Assured supplier of Rose Veal but what exactly does that mean?
Q: Speaking of cheeses, how many different types do you make and what is the most popular? A: We make about 16 types and flavours of cheese in total, some more seasonal. Our main cheeses would be Badentoy Blue( creamy medium blue), Broon Coo (extra creamy brie type made with 100% jersey milk), Coos R Oot (more traditional north east cheese with more moisture giving it extra flavour), Fet-Like (similar feta style cheese but matured more and softer texture),. Smoked Deesider is also a very popular one. Q: You have a small farm shop located on the farm. Is it only Devenick Dairyâ€™s own products you can sample and purchase? A: At the farm shop we sell a range of produce from local Aberdeenshire producers. We also have a selection of sauces to
A: Basically we are trying to show customer that rose veal is nothing like the old veal system where the meat was white and very weak in flavour. As there is no market for some dairy bulls their potential was wasted for many years. Now we have a very exciting flavoured meat that is pink/rose in colour with much more flavour but still very juicy and tender and also contains less fat than beef. We rear our bulls in modified Polly tunnels on straw counts of no more than 10 per group to give them plenty of space. We feed them a selection of home grown cereals, straw, milk and whey which is a waste product from the cheese making. The whey also makes the meat taste a bit creamier and they love it. The bulls are finished at about 7-8 months which is much older than pork, chicken and even some lamb. Itâ€™s one of those products that once you try it you will wonder why you didnt eat it before.
Q: You have some amazing alternative wedding cakes such as cheesecake and cheese towers. Are they proving popular? Q: Wedding cakes have really been an item we never gave much thought about but as demand has increased we have had to change and meet customer demands. Cheese towers as I call them can be anything from 2 cheeses to 6 cheeses high with a selection of fruits and nuts. They look really good and offer something a little different in comparison to a sponge or fruit cake. I am having one made for my wedding. The cheesecake wedding cakes are also very popular and tend to get a lot of people talking. Q: Any new products in the pipeline we can expect from the dairy? A: We are always coming up with new products to keep us excited and also to allow us to improve and redevelop our range. We hope to have a new blue cheese on the market in the next 3-4months, also new Chilli & Orkney fudge cheesecake to be a bit different. We are also looking to shortly add or change the flavours of our amazing rose veal sausages.
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Aberdeen Country Fair, Belmont Street, Aberdeen Aberdeen Country Fair has since 2000 provided local producers with the opportunity to showcase their goods to the citizens and visitors within Aberdeen City. Such is the Fair’s popularity that it quickly outgrew its original location and had to find a new one! It now operates along the whole length of Belmont Street in the very heart of Aberdeen - between Union Street and Schoolhill. Aberdeen Country Fair operates on the last Saturday of each month and its extensive range of producers makes it one of the largest markets in Scotland. Local producers include Crannach Bakery, Alan Bruce Cakes, Granite City Fish, Ingram’s Homecure, HM Sheridan, The Store, Cakes by Design, the Devenick Dairy and many more. Additional markets are held throughout the year to coincide with special events being held in the city. The Fair operates weekly during December in the run up to Christmas. Why not pay a visit to see for yourself the wonderful range of food which is produced locally and take the opportunity to speak to the producer. Further information is available at www.aberdeencountryfair.co.uk
Featured Producer – Devenick Dairy The Groat family farms at Bishopston Farm beside Banchory-Devenick. In 2006 they decided that instead of selling all their fresh milk on to commercial companies they would use some of it to create their own products, and so the Devenick Dairy was born. They now boast a whole range of produce including a growing selection of hand-crafted cheeses as well as yoghurts and drinking yoghurt and rose veal. They use a mixture of their own Friesian herd combined with Jersey cow’s milk, which gives a higher butterfat level resulting in a product with a richer taste. The on farm cheese maker uses traditional recipes and methods to create the different characteristics and flavours for each cheese. They keep things simple and try not to interfere with nature, using traditional cultures in all their cheeses. The Groat family is very passionate about quality cheese and wants you to enjoy eating it as much they enjoy producing it. You can find out more information on www.devenickdairy.co.uk
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Farmers’ Markets can be found at: 1. ABERDEEN - last Saturday of the month 9am - 5pm at Belmont Street. 2. ALFORD - last Saturday of the month 9am - 1pm at Heritage Centre. 3. BALMEDIE - 2nd Saturday of the month 10 am - 12 noon, White Horse Inn. 4. BANCHORY - 3rd Saturday of the month 9am - 1pm at Scott Skinner Square. 5. FRASERBURGH - 3rd Saturday of the month 9.30am - 12.30pm. 6. HUNTLY - first Saturday of the month 9am - 1pm in Market Square. 7. INVERURIE - 2nd Saturday of the month 9am - 1pm at Market Square. 8. MACDUFF - last Saturday of the month 9am - 12.30pm at The Fish Market. 9. PETERHEAD - first Saturday of the month 10 am - 3pm at Drummers Corner. 10. STONEHAVEN - first Saturday of the month 9am - 1pm in Market Square. 11. TORPHINS - every Wednesday at 10am - 2pm at Platform 22. 12. TURRIFF - 2nd Saturday of the month 10.30am - 3pm. 13. WESTHILL - first Saturday of the month 9am - 1pm at Ashdale Hall.
Granite City Cheese and Bacon Straws Ingredients • 150g Granite City Cheese, grated (sweet and mellow in flavour, medium strength, cheddary in texture) • 1 x 375g puff pastry • 14 slices streaky bacon • 1 egg, lightly beaten • plain flour, for dusting • 1 tbsp English mustard
1: Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. . 2: Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to a large rectangle of 0.5cm in thickness. 3: Turn the pastry so that the longest side is facing you, spread over the mustard, sprinkle with Granite City Cheese and season with freshly ground black pepper. Place the pieces of bacon onto the pastry, leaving a small gap between each piece. 4: Cut the pastry between each slice of bacon. Carefully twist each piece of pastry 4-5 times so it looks like a curly straw, then place on the baking tray. 5: Repeat the process until all of the bacon has been used up. Chill the pastry twists in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. 6: Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. 7: Remove the twists from the fridge and brush with the beaten egg. 8: Reduce the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and bake the twists for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is well risen and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
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With three square meals a day, meals tend to be too far apart, which allows blood sugar levels to drop down low. When this happens, the urge to reach for unhealthy snacks in order to satisfy cravings can get you into trouble. Here are some suggestions for healthy snacking that will keep your energy levels up without packing on the pounds.
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All you knead at the Newton Dee Bakery quality breads and confectionary goods daily. The bakery offers a wide selection of goods, from classic loaves to crusty ciabattas, which are lovingly prepared each day, using traditional techniques and organic ingredients wherever possible.
With the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread floating through Newton Dee on a daily basis, it is no surprise that the homemade bread is so hard to resist. The Newton Dee bakery in Bieldside, which has been producing its delicious baked goods for almost 50 years, bakes
With National Bread Week taking place last month, Newton Dee is urging customers to come along and try its wide range of freshly prepared produce. The bakery offers dietary options for the health conscious such as gluten free and wholemeal, as well as unique breads packed full of flavour and natural ingredients. Newton Dee, which offers supported accommodation for adults with special
and complex needs, provides an environment where the residents can enjoy an independent home life whilst maintaining a daily working life with responsibilities. The bakery currently has 15 adults with special needs working and learning in the bakery each day. Newton Dee also has an on-site coffee and gift shop, craft studio and a grocery store, which are all open to the public to continually raise funds for the facility. The freshly home-cooked bread and produce is available to purchase from the bakery and the grocery store everyday. The bakery is open Monday to Friday, 9am-12 noon, 2pm-4.30pm and closed weekends and various holidays.
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Amazing Lamb Rack
Ingredients • 1x 8-bone quality lamb rack, untrimmed • 150 g feta cheese • 12 semi-dried tomatoes • 12 black olives, pits removed • extra virgin olive oil • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary • 3 cloves garlic • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley • seasonal vegetables, for roasting • pepper
Method 1: Preparing your lamb rack: Remove most of the fat from the back of the rack, leaving a little bit to flavour the meat as it cooks. French-trim the bones by cutting the fat out around each bone down to the meat. Scrape the bones of all sinew and fat. Cut between the bones and through the eye of the lamb, leaving 1cm of meat still attached at the bottom. 2: Make the stuffing: Finely chop your parsley, semi-dried tomatoes and olives and mix them together with the feta in a bowl. Add a little pepper if you need to. Put this mixture between the lamb eye meat and the bones, then fold back up. Tie tightly in about 5 places. 3: Prepare your veg: Cut up your veg and throw into a roasting dish. You want them to cook in the same time as the lamb. Courgettes and aubergines are great, and if you're using root veg, make sure you cut them into pieces. 4: To make your marinade: Finely chop your rosemary and garlic, mix with a little oil and rub it all over the lamb and the fat, cover and put in the fridge for 1 hour before cooking. Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5 and, while it's getting hot, take your marinated lamb from the fridge. Leave it for 20 minutes or so until it comes to room temperature. Put the lamb right on top of the vegetables in your roasting dish. Put into your hot oven and roast – see cooking times below. 5: Cooking times: A rough guide is 25 minutes for every 450g of meat, but it all depends on your oven. A good way to test for doneness is to give the meat a bit of a squeeze with your fingers. If it feels soft, it mean it's rare; if it feels very firm, it's well done. For a nice rare lamb rack, 25 to 30 minutes is a good guide. When you're happy with the doneness of your lamb, remove the tray from the oven. Remove the lamb from the roasting tray and put the vegetables back in the oven. Let the lamb rest on a board for 5 to 8 minutes, then carve – aim to get two bones per person. Serve with the lovely roasted vegetables.
Make a note here of how long it takes to cook your lamb, so you'll know for next time: Rare = 20 minutes / Medium Rare = 26 minutes / Medium = 30 minutes / Well Done = 35-40 minutes
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The Best Cuts for Roasting Leg: A favourite cut of lamb for roasting. A whole leg is ideal for serving large numbers, and yields plenty of lean, tender meat. It can be divided into two joints (the fillet end has the best flavour). Shoulder: A roasting joint that is inexpensive because it carries a little more fat. The bone running through the centre makes it a little more difficult to carve. Shoulder benefits from long, slow roasting, and can be boned and rolled, as can the smaller knuckle and fillet ends of the shoulder. Best end of Neck: This has the very best flavour, and is made up of lean meat. It cooks very quickly, and will feed two perfectly. It is also the most expensive cut. Saddle of Lamb: An impressive joint for roasting, but a little difficult to carve. This joint is quite large and expensive. Loin: A lovely joint for roasting, on or off the bone, because it carries a little more fat than the leg but not as much as the shoulder. A boned loin is ideal for stuffing. Chump: This is an inexpensive, small boneless joint made of well-flavoured meat with no waste. Ideal for two. Breast: The most fatty of all the joints, the breast is under-used and underrated. When it has been boned and rolled around a dry, lean, well-flavoured stuffing, it produces a beautifully flavoured, tender and inexpensive roasting joint.
Tips on How to Roast a Lamb Tips for Roasting Lamb 1: Let the meat come to room temperature just before roasting it. 2: Always season well before cooking. 3: With larger roasting joints, start the meat off at a high temperature (230°C/fan210°C/gas 8) for 15 minutes, to get the heat through to the centre of the joint, then reduce the temperature to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and continue to roast for 13 minutes per 500g for rare (very pink in the middle), 18 minutes per 500g for medium (just pink nearest the bone) and 20-22 minutes per 500g for well done. 4: For small joints such as a rack – which cooks through much faster – roast at the higher temperature of 230°C/fan210°C/gas 8 for the whole cooking times. 5: Rest the meat before carving. This allows the meat fibres – which contract in the oven – to relax again, giving juicier meat.
Finally 1: Here are some tasty ways to use up leftover cooked lamb. *Blitz and add to a basic tomato pasta sauce to create a rich lamb ragu. *Shred and pop into a wrap with fresh washed mint leaves, red onion and feta. *Use instead of beef mince in your shepherd’s pie.
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It may be dinnertime, but when was the last time your family sat down and enjoyed a meal together? With music lessons, football practice, play rehearsal, and work schedules, it can be tough. Rounding up the troops for an evening meal can be almost impossible! However, research shows that eating as a family has great benefits for your children and teenagers. Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the family to bond, plan, connect, and learn from one another. It’s a chance to share information and news of the day, as well as give extra attention to your children and teens. Family meals foster warmth and security as well as feelings of belonging. It can be a unifying experience for all. Family mealtime is the perfect opportunity to display appropriate table manners, meal etiquette, and social skills. Keep the mood light, relaxed, and loving. Try not to instruct or criticize—lead by example. Encourage your children to try new foods, without forcing, coercing, or bribing. Introduce a new food along with some of the stand-by favourites. Remember that it can take 8-10 exposures to a new food
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before it is accepted, so be patient. Trying a new food is like starting a new hobby. It expands your child’s knowledge, experience, and skill. • Include foods from other cultures and countries. Select a new vegetable from a local farmer’s market. • Have your child select a new recipe from a cookbook, web site, newspaper or magazine. (Involve them in one of the great recipes you’ll find in this magazine). Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually more nutritious and healthy. They contain more fruits, vegetables, and dairy products along with additional nutrients such as fibre, calcium and vitamins A and C. Home cooked meals are usually not fried or highly salted, plus fizzy and sweetened beverage consumption is usually lower at the dinner table. Children today are missing out on the importance of knowing how to plan and prepare meals. Basic cooking, baking, and food preparation are necessities for being self-sufficient. Involve your family in menu planning, grocery shopping, and food preparation. Pre-school kids can tear lettuce, cut bananas, and set the table. Older children can pour milk, peel vegetables, and mix batter. Teenagers can
dice, chop, bake, and grill. Working as a team puts the meal on the table faster, as well as makes everyone more responsible and accepting of the outcome. Improved eating habits come with "ownership" of a meal. *Children do better in school when they eat more meals with their parents and family. Teenagers who eat dinner four or more times per week with their families have higher academic performance compared with teenagers who eat with their families two or fewer times per week. Meals purchased away from home cost two to four times more than meals prepared at home. In the present economic climate it’s not easy to take the family out to a restaurant for dinner every week. It is time to bring the "family" back to the dinner table. Sharing dinner together gives everyone a sense of identity. It can help ease day-to-day conflicts, as well as establish traditions and memories that can last a lifetime. *The Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences (06/2010).
Geese flying south, crocuses and daffodils making an appearance, the way too short asparagus season and the arrival of Jersey Royals all put me in a good mood as I can hopefully say goodbye to boots and jumpers and hello to some slightly warmer weather (over the years, I have learned not to be overly optimistic though!) Casseroles start to make way for lighter food and there is a change in the wines that I drink too. Asparagus calls for Sauvignon Blanc, why else would Sauvignon Blanc list asparagus as one of its aromas
“Wines to try” Sancerre Les Baronnes Henri Bourgeois 2010 £16.99 - Fountainhall Wines Glorioso Rioja Crianza 2010 £8.75- www.thewinesociety.com Marques De Concordia 2007 £10.99 - Majestic Wine Westend Cool Climate Tempranillo 2008, £9.99 - Hilltops NSW Australia Fountainhall Wines Crasto, Douro Valley 2011 Portugal £9.99 - Majestic Wine
alongside gooseberries and herbs? I would head to the Loire and look for wines from Sancerre, Pouilly Fume and Menetou Salon. They tend to the leaner, more minerally side and the acidity will cut nicely through any Hollandaise or butter. Spring lamb calls for Rioja - a Crianza or Reserva (longer
Carol Brown is an Aberdeen based member of the Association of Wine Educators and the Circle of Wine Writers. She is hosting a number of wine sessions with the Style Academy at the Glenmuick Estate in Ballater http://thestyle-academy.com/index.html
matured) are a perfect fit or if you want to try something from the New World, try a Tempranillo from Australia. Most Riojas are Tempranillo dominant and this versatile grape can be equally delicious ‘joven’ (youthful and un-oaked) when all its raspberry and red berries are to the fore or oaked and mature when dried fruit, spice and leather notes take over. If you would like to try a Portuguese example look for either Tinta Roriz (in the Douro Valley) or Aragonez (in the Alentejo) as they are Tempranillo under another name.
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Brew Team no Underdogs Aberdeenshire craft beer company BrewDog has unveiled major expansion plans that could see it open its first bars abroad. The brewer already exports its beers, which include Punk IPA, Libertine Black Ale and Dogma, to more than 30 countries around the world and has built a group of ten bars in the UK, including outlets in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, in the last three years.
News Bites... Popular Tipple Goes National Ginger Grouse has proved to be a big hit with customers following its Scottish launch, with 7,000 cases of
Now the company, established by Martin Dickie and James Watt in 2007, aims to open BrewDog craft beer bars in Sweden and Brazil.
the new drink being sold in its first six weeks. It recently completed its UK launch in
The global expansion plans were unveiled as it opened a new purpose-built brewery in Ellon, close to its original brewery and HQ in Fraserburgh. The new £7 million facility, which was part-funded by the 7000 shareholders in BrewDog’s Equity for Punks scheme, will increase production capacity tenfold. With production shifting to the new premises, the original facility in Fraserburgh will be used as an experimental lab for creating and testing new brews. BrewDog also intends to bolster its ninestrong core range with two new beers: the 7.5% ABV Jack Hammer IPA and Cocoa Psycho, described as a 10% ABV “decadent Russian Imperial stout”; as well as continuing to add to its limited release brews.
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March. Johna Penman, marketing controller for Famous Grouse, said: “Ginger Grouse is an exciting way of engaging younger people in drinking whisky Famous Grouse launched its alcoholic fizzy drink, which combines Ginger
when they might not have chosen it previously.
Ale and whisky, in Scotland in October
“At the moment we are doing very
well and have just launched nationally
The drink aims to attract younger people to try blended whisky and is
based on a popular tipple that
“I think there are exciting times ahead.
Famous Grouse has been working
We are always trying to innovate, we
with for 10 years.
don’t stand still.”
News Bites Spirits High Over Whisky Report
Are Hops the New Grapes?
The last decade has seen a 'golden period' for the Scotch whisky market despite economic woes.
Much has been written about matching food with wine. But what about our national tipple, beer? Despite the growing trend to match beer with food, you’d be hard pushed to find a beer which has actually been brewed to go expressly with food… until now! Highly acclaimed celebrity chef and restaurateur Simon Rimmer has teamed up with legendary award winning family brewers Robinsons to create three very unique bottled beers, specially handcrafted, to go with steak, chicken and curry.
A new report reveals that the
Established chef and broadcaster, Simon Rimmer (see centre spread feature) is wellknown and loved for his culinary talents; owning highly successful vegetarian restaurant – Greens – in Manchester and Earle, a modern brassiere in Cheshire as well as selling over 100,000 copies of his delectable cookbooks, and co-presenting on Channel 4’s ever-popular Sunday Brunch with Tim Lovejoy.
The superb growth is bolstered by
But as Simon launches his fifth cookery book in April, and Sunday Brunch celebrates its first anniversary, Simon is also getting ready to launch his very own beer in collaboration with Robinsons.
and Brazil. Forecasts suggest that,
“Every bloke wants to create his own perfect pint... I’m the luckiest bloke in the world because I get to create three,” says Simon. “Not only can beer be used as a key ingredient in a wide range of recipes, but it is also a great accompaniment to enjoy alongside our favourite dishes; complementing and bringing out the very best flavours in our food as the world’s best wines do. The subtleties of beer are perfect for complex food matching.”
while Brazil will have increased its
Simon says “Robinsons were the ideal partner being so close to Manchester, of excellent reputation, and most importantly an independent family-run brewery who share my passion for beer and food innovation.”
closely followed by the US.
The new beer range is being brewed to Simon’s own specifications after a series of beer tastings at the brewery. Simon sampled a range of Robinsons’ ales to shortlist his preferred style of beer, taste and colour before deciding on three distinctive styles to go perfectly with steak, chicken and curry. Simon Rimmer’s trio range will be aimed at men and women, both as purchasers and drinkers, available in bottle only, and on the back of each bottle there will be a recipe to complement each beer. Together, the culinary connoisseur and the unshakable ‘beeroisseurs’ are proving that beer is the new wine and hops are the new grapes.
market for Scotch whisky has prospered over the last decade, enjoying a "golden period" despite the global economic crisis.
continued interest from the US (which is predicted to expand further) as well as new buyers from the BRIC nations, such as Russian by 2016, Russia will be the third largest importer of Scotch whisky consumption to 66million bottles. France is expected to take the top spot as the world's largest importer at 174million bottles by 2016,
"While consumption of whisky in the UK is falling, exports are booming. The emerging countries with a growing middle class are keen to discover and drink Scotch," said Robert Beynat, chief executive of Vinexpo, who commissioned the report.
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Kneading Your Buns! Paul Hollywood has a lot to answer for!!
so this was the obvious venue. From the
He has enticed my son into the art of
moment you walk in there is a
bread-making and I’ve also become so
enthralled I set off on a quest to increase
Greeted by amiable General Manager
my knowledge of this amazing craft. On a
Kath Henderson I was escorted upstairs to
knead to know basis of course!
meet my fellow scholars and the
There was only one destination, the Nick Nairn Cook School in Back Wynd, Aberdeen. I’d been to a Quick Cook Session at the school before and absolutely loved it, (I’m now the country’s ambassador for making poached eggs!)
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unfortunate tutor who would certainly earn his dough with me!! John Webber’s culinary knowledge is second to none. His tutorial style is entertaining and jovial and he has, thankfully, eternal patience. This is a full day bread making course and
the technical necessities of such a product meant early preparation of our dough to allow yeast fermentation time, the period from when dough is made until it’s scaled, moulded, proved and baked. Caramel Pecan Buns and Focaccia Bread were our first challenges but a mise en tray with all the ingredients ready and measured at each work station allowed us to concentrate on our creations without worrying about preparation of ingredients. As John explained it doesn’t require a six month gym course in
readiness for pummelling the dough, just the correct technique for kneading. To allow time for the dough to rise we moved to the production of Brown Soda Bread which requires dough to be mixed quickly without overworking and only has to stand for 4-5minutes before baking. I should add that during this time John was constantly monitoring our progress and offering help if required while a band of assistants were constantly washing up behind us and preparing for the next creation. If there is any downside to this amazing day it’s that your appetite is rampant! With ovens now in full swing the air was filled with the delicious aroma of baking bread, but there was more work to do before lunch…..and that had to be made! We prepared a basic Pizza Dough which would be the shell for the Stromboli, our lunchtime saviour, which was then filled with chorizo, mozzarella, tomatoes, herbs and spices. Just over an hour later, that’s the time required for the dough to sit plus oven time, we’re tucking into our
home-made lunch and boy does it taste good! With an accompanying crispy leaf salad, a choice of red or white wine and a dish-load of pride, we tucked into our Stromboli with relish. Our Soda Bread, Pecan Buns and Focaccia were, by this time, sitting proudly on a cooling wire. Our final accomplishment was Chapatis, understandably the last item of the day. Why? Because we seemed to generate more smoke than a Boy Scout campfire! Nevertheless, John seemed as happy with our efforts as we were, so yet another successful product was ready to take home in our ‘goodie bags’. The Nick Nairn courses are suitable for everyone from raw beginners to wellseasoned hands. They make an ideal gift as well as being highly educational are really great fun. My biggest tip would be to book early. They are extremely popular and the classes fill quickly. If time is a problem the two hour Quick Cook classes at lunchtime still allows time for plenty cooking, eating and chatting.
John Webber John is the Cook School's greatest asset - a much loved, jovial and entertaining tutor. His amiable personality, sense of humour and eternal patience make for a happy and relaxed atmosphere. Trained alongside Anton Eddelman of the Savoy and under Anton Mossiman, John's three decades in the catering industry means his culinary knowledge is second to none.
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Focaccia Bread Ingredients • 600g bread flour • 1.5 tsp salt • 1.5 tsp sugar • 3 tsp dried marjoram • 300-375ml water • 3 tsp olive oil • 1 clove of garlic • Olive oil for crust • 1 packet of fast action yeast - 7g. • sea salt
Method 1: Place the flour and marjoram dry ingredients in the mixing bowl; add the yeast and mix. 2: Peel and roughly chop the garlic and liquidise with the water, salt, sugar and olive oil 3: Add the emulsified mix to the dry ingredients and knead at a low speed for 5 minutes, cover and prove until doubled in size. 4: Knock back and form into rounds 20cm across and 1cm thick, set onto a baking tray, or form into a deep tray. Press your thumb into the dough in a regular pattern with 3cm spaces between the indents. 5: Rub a little olive oil into the surface of the dough, cover and allow to prove until doubled. 6: When ready, re-do the indents in the dough and brush very lightly once more with oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 180°C for about 35 minutes for the deep tray, or 17 minutes for the individual rolls. Note: Note: If cooking the focaccia as a loaf in the deep tin other flavourings such as cooked onions or sundried tomatoes may be added to the dough. Stoned black olives, slices of red onions or sprigs of rosemary may also be pushed into the thumb holes prior to the second proving.
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A Taste of Simon When Taste of Grampian, a day of foodie heaven, descends on Thainstone, near Inverurie in June, it will see the return of one of our favourite chefs and TV personalities. Simon Rimmer, a self-confessed lover of Scotland (his wife is from Glasgow and he has a son named Hamish) will again grace the stage at this event…. and he can’t wait! Simon has a degree in fashion and textiles and opened his first restaurant, Greens in an upmarket suburb of Manchester in 1990 followed by Earle, a modern brassiere in Cheshire in 2006. He can be seen on our TV screens every Sunday morning co-presenting Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 with Tim Lovejoy. Savour’s Editor hijacked Simon from his incredibly busy daily schedule to glean some information on his eventful career. Q: Legend has it you bought your first restaurant armed with two cookbooks and no idea of how to cook. Is this true? A: This is absolutely the case. As a student I worked in bars and restaurants to make some money and loved the industry. After qualifying I became quite bored with what I was doing and decided to buy a vegetarian restaurant with some friends in West Didsbury, a very up-and-coming area at the time. I fancied myself as a bit of a Lothario
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29 working the front of house. However, due to lack of finance we couldn’t afford a chef so I found myself in the kitchen. It simply stemmed from there. It’s a great place in a very good location so we’ve never looked back. We now have a second restaurant Earle in Cheshire which is now receiving rave reviews. Q: With TV presenting, two restaurants, compiling cookbooks and I believe introducing a new line in beers, how do you find time for the family? A: This is a major problem. I haven’t had a single day off in February or March. Although I love the chaos of the kitchen and can handle the long hours it’s extremely difficult balancing this with being a husband and father. In a typical day I’ll be in Greens in the morning then Earle in the afternoon where I can still be found at 2.00am. Every Saturday night I fly to London where we record Sunday Brunch live for Channel 4. I acknowledge I have to have a better life balance. Q: You are becoming quite a Taste of Grampian regular. What’s the attraction for you? A: I absolutely love it. It’s a special one-off day. I’m a real Scottish fan anyway so it’s a great excuse to get up there. The hospitality is amazing. There is a night before dinner which I attend and say a few words and I really enjoy the buzz of the day which is why I keep coming back. Incidentally look out this year as I’ve had a kilt made for me and I’ll be sporting that on this occasion. I’m a bit daunted by the ‘cook-off’ as I’m up against fellow chef Nick Nairn who is regarded as a ‘local lad’ but I’ll be giving it my best shot. Q: The Great British Menu recently finished another TV series cooking for a Comic Relief banquet at the Albert Hall. I believe you appeared in a previous series? A: Yes I gave it a go, but to be honest it’s not my thing! The contestants are top notch chefs which I don’t claim to be. I’m not a flashy chef just a local brassiere owner. I was also up against Marcus Wareing and although I gave it a good bash, he was just impossible to beat. He edged me out with an amazing sweet. Q: So, what’s next for Simon? A: Well I’m rather excited as I’ve just launched my own brand of beers with Robinsons a local brewer. The idea is to match one of the beers with the food you’re making. There are three beers at the moment to go with steak and red meat, chicken and fish and one for curry and spicy food. You can get them in the restaurants now but they will be in Morrison’s in May, Tesco in June and hopefully Sainsbury’s etc. very soon after. I have also recently published another cookbook entitled ‘Men Love Pies, Girls like Hummus’! It has some great recipes but it’s also peppered with daft little stories and anecdotes. Sunday Brunch has been commissioned for the year so that will keep me busy and I have to tell you that tonight I’m cooking in the kitchen with my hero Kenny Dalglish. I’m a keen Liverpool fan so you can imagine how I’m feeling. I’m also working on some new projects so who knows there may be another restaurant to announce before the year is out.
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The richness and diversity of the North-east larder was celebrated at the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards in March. During the day, over 60 entries from 23 food and drink companies were sampled and assessed by the judging panel Lorna Murray, Local Food Sourcing and Technical Manager for Asda and Simon Cousins, series producer of BBC Scotland’s Landward. Heading up the judging panel was Peter Bruce, managing director of Entier Limited, Aberdeen’s premier catering and hospitality company. Commenting on the high standard of entries seen, Peter Bruce said: “It has been a great honour for me to be involved in the Innovation Awards. As a local business, we pride ourselves on using many local producers and suppliers. “It has not been an easy decision for the judges to select the winners as there were so many fabulous products from great companies who demonstrated passion for what they do and what they produce. I believe they could develop and thrive through their participation in these awards and have great potential to market their products throughout the UK. “I was particularly pleased to see that some companies had built on an initial product concept to develop new product ranges which have added value to their businesses." Over 200 guests from the food and drink industry attended the awards dinner, which was held at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa in Aberdeen. The category winners were presented with their trophies by Colin Henry, Business Development Director, Entier Limited in the absence Peter Bruce.
Grampian Food Forum Innovation Award Winners
AWARD WINNERS Best New Retail Product Award for businesses with more than 25 employees, sponsored by Grampian Food Forum First - Baxters Food Group - The Audrey Baxter Relish Range Second - Donald Russell Ltd - Fondant Puddings Selection Third - Dean's of Huntly Ltd - Mary Steele Speciality Biscuits
Best New Retail Product Award for businesses with up to 25 employees, sponsored by Grampian Food Forum First - Ola Oils Ltd - Ola Aioli Second - Castleton Farm Shop - Castleton Farm Handmade Jam Third - Berry Scrumptious - Gourmet Berry Fudge Highly Commended - Kincardine Kitchen - Kincardine Kitchen Savoury Range
Best new Foodservice Product Award for businesses with more than 25 employees, sponsored by Grampian Food Forum Winner - Mackie's of Scotland - Damson & Oat Dairy Ice Cream
Best new Foodservice Product Award for businesses with up to 25 employees, sponsored by Grampian Food Forum Winner - Mackintosh of Glendaveny Ltd - 500ml Rapeseed Oil Range
Packaging Award, sponsored by Anderson’s Packaging (Aberdeen) Ltd Winner - Dean's of Huntly Ltd - Mary Steele Speciality Biscuits
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AWARD WINNERS Commitment to Healthy Eating Award, sponsored by The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health Winner - Pulsetta by Plenta Foods Ltd - Pulsetta Rolls
Local Independent Retailer of the Year Award, sponsored by SAC Food & Drink and Taste of Grampian Winner - Mitchells
Grampian Food & Drink Entrepreneur 2013 Award, sponsored by Johnston Carmichael Winner - Robert Chapman, Farmlay Eggs
Investing in Skills Development Award sponsored by Skills Development Scotland Winner - Dean's of Huntly Ltd
The Most Successful Product from the 2012 Awards sponsored by SAC Food & Drink and Aberdeenshire Council Winner - Ola Oils Ltd - Ola Chilli Jam
Judges' Choice Award, sponsored by the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa Winner - Cocoa Ooze Limited - Cocoa Ooze Ice Cream
Corporate Cuisine If you’re looking for a welcoming and friendly location to entertain clients, a cosy private dining room or a quiet space to hold a seminar – all while enjoying delicious food then The Prime Cuts has everything you need. Located in the heart of Aberdeen on Crown Terrace, The Prime Cuts restaurant offers private dining and conference facilities for groups up to 20 people. With a variety of areas including meeting and private dining rooms and the restaurant itself, there is something to fit any requirement. The Prime Cuts is also home to UPSTAIRS, a fully stocked wine bar, featuring a large choice of wines by the glass, single cask whiskies and an impressive cocktail menu, making it the ideal spot for breakout meetings. The relaxed atmosphere at The Prime Cuts combined with its original and mouth-watering menu has proved to be a successful formula that has seen the venue become a firm favourite with Aberdeen’s business community. Renowned for its excellent steak and lobster, in addition to some highly original and creative dishes, The Prime Cuts has developed a reputation as a showcase for Scotland’s culinary delights and provides the perfect venue for corporate entertaining.
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Dukkah Lamb Cutlets with Quinoa Salad Ingredients for the quinoa salad • 200g/7oz quinoa, cooked according to the packet instructions • handful fresh parsley, chopped • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint • 1 red pepper, finely diced • 1 cucumber, finely diced • 1 red onion, finely diced • 100ml/3?fl oz extra virgin olive oil • 1 lemon, juice only • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for the dukkah • 1/2 tsp cloves • 1 tsp fennel seeds • 1 tsp coriander seeds • 1 tsp cumin seeds • 1 tsp paprika • pinch turmeric • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes • 50g/2oz hazelnuts, chopped • 30g/1oz pistachios, chopped • 1 tbsp sesame seeds • 4 tbsp honey • 1 orange, juice only • salt and freshly ground black pepper • 4 tbsp olive oil • 12 lamb cutlets
Method 1: For the quinoa salad, mix together the quinoa, herbs and vegetables in a bowl and dress with olive oil and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 2: For the dukkah, heat a frying pan and dry fry the cloves, fennel, coriander and cumin until fragrant. Place in a pestle and mortar and grind until smooth. 3: Combine the spices with the rest of the dukkah ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. 4: Rub each lamb cutlet with the dukkah and orange juice mixture and grill on a hot griddle, or under a pre-heated grill, for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. 5: To serve place some of the quinoa salad onto four plates and place three lamb cutlets on top of each.
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Taste the One Day Food Festival
Remember to write ‘Taste of Grampian’ in your diary under Saturday 1st June. This one-day food and drink festival is a great day out for all the family with this popular annual event allowing visitors to discover and sample the wide range of high quality food and drink products from
Grampian in the north east of Scotland. Local producers invite you to taste and buy the finest smoked salmon, mouthwatering shortbread, delicious ice-cream, sumptuous prime roast beef, creamy fudge and maybe a dram or two of the best Scottish whiskies from local distilleries and much more. New this year is the Seafood Pavilion which will be used to highlight the important contribution that Grampian's seafood sector makes to the economy as well as promote the extensive range of fish and shellfish which are landed at towns along the coast and processed here. Its centrepiece will be a magnificent seafood display which draws
its inspiration from the fish counter at top London store Harrods. The festival programme
children's entertainment, arts & crafts, cookery
chefs, Nick Nairn and Simon Rimmer and guests will ensure a fun packed day for all. Celebrate the richness and diversity of Grampian's larder. Saturday 1st June 2013 between 9.30am and 4.30pm at the Thainstone Centre. Car parking is £5 and entrance to this fantastic event is FREE of charge for all visitors.
Nick’s Northern Exposure Aberdeen with Quick Cook classes designed to help people pick up new skills in just a couple of hours. The reaction has been amazing and as soon as we organise a class, it seems to be booked up”, says Nick.
For a boy from Stirling, Nick Nairn is spending a lot of his life in the Grampian area at the moment.
With another thriving Cook School at Port of Menteith, a food column in the Daily Record and a new series on STV this autumn, Nick’s diary is always full but he made time recently to repay the warm welcome he has received in the north east.
The celebrity chef opened his Aberdeen Cook School last May and the response from local people has been fantastic. “We’ve taken a new approach in
When Calum Richardson from The Bay Fish and Chip Shop in Stonehaven organised a fundraiser for the flood damaged town, Nick signed up at once to
help cook at a special dinner which raised more than £13,000. As part of his commitment to North East Scotland, he’s also delighted to be one of the big names at this year’s Taste of Grampian event. “I’ve
enthusiasm in the area so I’m really looking forward to helping make this year’s Taste of Grampian extra special/ “This is one of my favourite parts of Scotland, with amazing local produce, and we will be showcasing that onstage at the event. All we need is a little bit of sunshine so I’ve got my fingers crossed,” said Nick.
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Savour chooses the best Father's Day gifts around. Whether your dad is a budding butcher, a gastronomical gourmet or goes weak at the knees for beer, you've come to the right page to treat him.
1. BREWDOG BEER - Pick your own mixed case from contemporary, full-flavoured beers that are all brewed in an artisan brewery right here in the North-east. Don’t miss the world’s strongest beer: Tactical Nuclear Penguin. Mixed cases start from £17 (exc VAT) + £7 p&p. www.brewdog.com 2. TASTE OF GRAMPIAN HAMPER - Highland Fayre has the perfect Taste of Grampian Gift Hamper for dad. It’s a collection of the best produce from the Grampian area, from Lairig Ghru Cheddar to Isabellas Rhubarb and Ginger Jam! An ideal gift. 3. A CHEF FOR A DAY EXPERIENCE AT EAT ON THE GREEN - Let dad feel the buzz of the kitchen ‘behind the scenes’ in a busy restaurant. Work with renowned local chef Craig Wilson in his ‘rather special’ restaurant in Udny Green. A full on day dad is sure to remember. Vouchers are available at Eat on the Green www.eatonthegreen.co.uk. 4. THE RAGIN’ BULL CHEESE BOARD - Devenick Dairy in Banchory Devenick on the south side of Aberdeen has an amazing range of delicious home-made cheeses. A perfect gift would be the Ragin’Bull Cheese Board for dads who like their cheese with a kick. It would also give you a few moments respite from dad’s cheesy jokes!!
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Beef and Beer Pie Ingredients • 1 onion , chopped • 1 small celery stick, chopped • 2 tbsp butter • 2 tbsp plain flour • 700g beef shin, feather blade or stewing steak, cut into large chunks • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce • 2 beef stock cubes • 2 sprigs thyme • 540ml can dark ale or beer. For the pastry: • 1 egg , beaten • a few pinches poppy seeds • 500g plain flour , plus a little extra • 250g vegetarian suet • 1 tsp salt • 1 tbsp water.
Method 1: Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Using a flameproof casserole dish with a lid, soften onion and celery in the butter. Stir in the flour until it has disappeared, then stir in the beef and Worcestershire sauce. Crumble in stock cubes and add thyme. Pour over ale, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook in the oven for 2.5 hrs. Remove lid and cook for another 30 minutes - this should thicken the sauce nicely. 2: Increase oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. For the pastry, whizz the flour, suet and 1 tsp salt in a food processor until there are no suet lumps. Keeping the motor running, dribble in 1 tbsp water at a time until the pastry starts to come togeth er, then tip onto a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands. 3: Roll out half the pastry and use to line a 20-22cm pie dish. Using a slotted spoon, spoon in all of the meat, then pour over some of the sauce until the meat is just coated. Put the rest of the sauce into a saucepan. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the pie. Trim the edge with a small, sharp knife, then crimp or fork the edges to seal. Make a small heart from cuttings. Brush top of the pie and heart with beaten egg, then dip heart into poppy seeds and stick to top. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Reheat sauce and serve with the pie along with some mash and greens. MAKE-AHEAD TIP: To assemble the pie in advance, cool the beef filling before putting into the pie. Both the filling and pastry can be made up to 24 hours in advance too, just keep chilled in the fridge before assembling.
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Ola Oils Continues Successful Run award for Ola Chilli Jam and also took the honours for Innovative Retail Product with Ola Aioli, their garlic mayonnaise. Ola were the only company to win two categories outright at the awards dinner which was held at the Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen.
Ola Oils, Inverurie’s producers of cold pressed rapeseed oil scooped two Gold accolades at the Grampian Food Forum Awards recently.
John Sorrie of Ola Oils said: “We were genuinely surprised to win both awards; obviously we think our Aioli is pretty good but there was some very tough competition this year so we were thrilled that the judges saw our product as the clear winner.
The family-owned and run company secured the Most Successful Product
“Our Chilli Jam meanwhile, which won a Gold Great Taste Award from the Guild of
Fine Foods in 2012, has always been a very popular product but to win Most Successful Product, against products from across the whole of the North East is something we’re very proud of.” Ola Oils are Scotland’s original producers of cold pressed rapeseed oil and began production in 2008. The company produce all their own oil on farm just outside Inverurie. Ola has half the saturated fat of olive oil and has ten times the Omega 3 content. Ola has a very high smoke point making it ideal for high temperature cooking such as roasting and stir-frying.
This charming 18th century inn, overlooking Stonehaven harbour, is an ideal choice for sampling the best in seasonal Scottish produce.There is something for everyone including fine steaks, chicken dishes, pasta, burgers and, of course, locally caught seafood, all served in the Captains Table restaurant which offers majestic views over the picturesque harbour. The cosy bar is renowned for its selection of keg beers and real ales which change regularly. It also boasts an incredible 100 different malt whiskies. The Ship Inn is an ideal choice for bed and breakfast with eleven comfortable rooms offering more than a hint of homeliness. All rooms have modern facilities including Wi Fi access and, following a sleep-filled night, you can tuck into a scrumptious breakfast before exploring the rugged coastline or the beautiful Deeside scenery. The welcoming staff, fresh quality food, real ales and comfortable rooms make the Ship Inn an ideal place to stay this summer.
savour Issue 02 2013
Local Chef Tastes More Success
David Littlewood, Executive Chef at the two-AA rosette Raemoir Country House Hotel in Banchory, has been named Scotland’s Chef of the Year. David took the title at ScotHot in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest hospitality, tourism and catering show in his third year as a finalist in the competition. However, he is no stranger to success. David is a Masterchef of Great Britain and has a number of accolades, including Grampian Young Chef of the Year in 2002 and Grampian Chef of the Year in 2007. It is believed to be the first time in over a quarter-of-a-century the Scottish title has been won by a chef from Aberdeenshire. Owners Neil and
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Julie Rae invited David to head up the kitchen at Raemoir when they bought the hotel in September 2010. After a period of refurbishment, Raemoir was voted Scotland’s Country House of the Year 2011 and 2012 in the Scottish Hotel Awards – an unprecedented double. More recently they have picked up an impressive array of awards nearer home having been voted Best Romantic Hotel, Best Country House Hotel and Best Kitchen in the north-east awards. David commented: “Winning this event is phenomenal. It really was a tight competition and I had no idea I would win. When the results were called it
seemed like a lifetime until my name was called out.” David also paid tribute to Raemoir sous-chef Alex Hay, who assisted him during the competition, the hotel’s Head Chef John Chomba and junior souschef Sam Ritchie. “Alex kept me calm and focussed during the event and she was instrumental in this success,” he commented. In the weeks leading up to the competition John and Sam tasted the dishes as I practised and gave invaluable feedback. This win is very much a team effort.” The eight finalists had to prepare and cook a four-course meal in front of judges including iconic chef Albert Roux.
DAVID’S WINNING MENU COMPRISED:
boasts an exemplary brigade.
• Venison tartare with caper marmalade, mustard emulsion and coal oil, served with chestnut bread.
heads a team that includes four Grampian
• Sole mousse with scampi, buttered kale and saffron sauce.
Chef Alex the previous winner, being
• Pork fillet and braised pig’s cheek, cabbage and Jerusalem artichokes done three ways.
David’s right hand man John, like David,
• Salted peanut and chocolate cake with passion fruit and banana sorbet, and set yoghurt.
Chefs of the Year, with Junior Sous Chef Sam taking the title in 2012 and Sous crowned 2012 Pastry Chef of the Year. is a Masterchef of Great Britain. Raemoir House has also been shortlisted for another two major accolades. The hotel is one of three venues on the
David was also part of a large Scottish contingency at the annual European Seafood Exposition in Brussels last month where exhibitors from more than 70 countries attended, all aiming to grow their business in new and existing markets. Visitors were treated to top quality produce served by the team from the Federation of Chefs Scotland. As Scottish Chef of the Year David was a key player in the Scottish pavilion cooking amazing dishes with fantastic local seafood.
shortlist for Rural Restaurant of the Year in
Raemoir House Hotel is not only home to Scotland’s top chef however; the kitchen
Photographs courtesy of Logan Sangster &
the Scottish Restaurant of the Year Awards and is a finalist in the 2013-14 AA Wine Awards. “It is remarkable for one hotel to have
Country House Hotel
received so much recognition for its food and wine within such a short period,” said owner Neil “These distinctions also demonstrate the consistently high quality of everything we offer and the service which backs it up.”
Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, AB31 4ED T: 01330 824884 E: email@example.com savour Issue 02 2013
News Bites... Indulge in the Finest Produce
Have you dined at Las Iguanas in Union Square yet? Nestled between Jury’s Inn and Zizzi, it offers a range of exciting Latin American dishes infused with special salsa ingredients.
The Gardens at Buckingham Palace
exhibiting at the festival on 11th –
will be the venue for a one-off event
14th July. Famous names such as
It is clear food is their passion! Each morning they take delivery of fresh fruit and veg, British and Irish meat and quality seafood. Along with specially sourced ingredients from across the globe, their chefs turn it in to tasty and authentic Latin American food with love and pride.
The food that they serve today can trace its roots back to the 16th Century, a fusion of native Latin American Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and African influences.
The menu’s full of flavour, from gorgeous Gringas to tasty taco toppings and their Mexican Tinga chicken will make your toes tingle. At Las Iguanas they hope you’ll try new things, discover delights and favourites along the way, but mostly enjoy the unique taste of Latin American hospitality. Definitely worth a try!
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experience the best of food & drink,
(Aberdeen) Ltd, WA Baxter & Sons and
interact with design & technology,
Walkers Shortbread will all be making
indulge in homes & gardens and shop from
Visitors to the ticketed event will be
an appearance at the festival.
Association, by gracious permission of
afternoon tea or create their own royal
Her Majesty The Queen, is proud and
hamper whilst experiencing the very
delighted to host the Coronation
best of food and drink from across the
Festival in the Gardens of Buckingham
UK and beyond. Visitors will not only
be able to sample the very finest food
The Festival is being held by the
and drinks but will be able to
Association to celebrate the 60th
purchase these items as well as watch
anniversary of the Coronation of Her
experts, chefs and food producers
Majesty The Queen. Many North East
demonstrate their skills on the
Tastings and Demonstration stage.
Grilled Tuna with Salad Ingredients: For the Salad: • 350 g mixed green and yellow beans • 1/2 baguette • 2 black olives, (stone in) • 3 ripe mixed-colour tomatoes • 1 romaine lettuce • 20 g feta cheese • 1 lemon. For the tuna & dressings: • 1 big bunch fresh basil • 6 anchovy fillets • 1 lemon • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 2 x 200 g tuna steaks, (2.5cm thick) (from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger) • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar • 1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard • 1 teaspoon runny honey.
Method 1: Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Medium lidded pan, high heat • Griddle pan, high heat • Liquidizer. 2: Line the beans up and cut off the stalks, put them into the pan with a pinch of salt, then cover with boiling water and the lid. 3: Slice the baguette into 2cm chunks and put on the griddle pan, turning when golden. 4: Pick and reserve 10 baby sprigs of basil. Rip off the rest of the leaves and blitz them in the liquidizer with the anchovies, juice of 1 lemon, the extra virgin olive oil and a splash of water. 5: Pour about 40% of the dressing on to a nice serving platter and put aside. 6: Rub 10% into the tuna and season with salt and pepper. 7: Pour the rest of the dressing into a big bowl with the vinegar, mustard and honey, then mix together. 8: Drain the cooked beans, remove the stones from the olives, roughly chop the tomatoes, then add it all to the bowl of dressing and toss together. 9: Put the tuna on the griddle pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until blushing in the middle. 10: Chop the lettuce into 2cm chunks, tear the toasts into croutons and arrange over a large board with the lettuce. 11: Scatter the dressed beans, olives and tomatoes over the top. 12: Tear each tuna steak in half and add to the dressing platter. 13: Scatter over the reserved basil leaves, crumble over the feta and serve with lemon wedges.
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Chicken & Black Pudding Terrine Ingredients • 3 large chicken breasts • 3 eggs • 100mls of cream • Pinch salt and pepper • 500g of diced black pudding
Method 1: Place chicken breast into a food blender with seasoning and blend until smooth. 2: Add cream and eggs until mixed through then put mixture into a suitable bowl. 3: Add black pudding and mix together. 4: Line terrine dish with cling film and fill with mixture. 5: Spread evenly into dish then cover with lid or tinfoil. 6: Put about 1 inch of water into roasting tray then place terrine dish into water. 7: Put in oven for about 40 minutes at 170 c. 8: When cooked leave to cool then slice and serve.
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Scott’s Traditional Favourites Q: Do you feel it’s important to retain traditional local dishes such as your beef steak mince and skirlie? A: Very important. The biggest sellers on every menu are the Atholl Favourites. These contain fresh quality products cooked simply, with the emphasis on quality presentation and value for money. We have great family values and people always return to tradition. Q: What’s the one thing you could never do without in the kitchen?
Scott Craig began his career at the Atholl Hotel in 1992 as a part-time dish washer whilst attending college where he was training to be a chef. When he wasn’t busy he
A: Team Work! Everyone is equally important from myself to the kitchen assistants and the waiting staff. This ensures that the dishes we provide and the service we give guarantees customer satisfaction.
would help the chef and this experience led to him being
Q: How do you source your ingredients?
offered the position of Commis Chef. He progressed to a
A: Where possible we use local suppliers who supply us with fresh Scottish produce. We go for quality rather than price.
full-time position whilst continuing college on a day release basis for 3 years. Scott worked his way through each section of the kitchen and last year was offered the position of Head Chef. His 20 year experience at the hotel has given him an amazing insight into what the customers appreciate and he has helped make the Atholl a resounding success. Savour’s editor talks to Scott to find out more about this successful chef. Q: You have a very versatile lunch and dinner menu: a mix of traditional and more modern dishes. Is this to satisfy existing customers and attract new clients? A: We believe customer feedback is very important. We ask if guests have any comments or menu suggestions they would like to put forward. Menus are changed quarterly with the seasons. Content is a combination of ideas and seasonal produce which creates an interest with regular guests and attracts new clientele.
Q: Cooking methods are constantly evolving. What’s your view of the new molecular techniques? A: I think it’s really not for the Atholl. Traditional food cooked by traditional methods has always been part of the Atholl’s success. Q: Why do you think The Atholl is held in such high affection by the people of Aberdeen? A: Quality, quantity, consistency, value for money and service with a smile. Q: If you could choose someone as the face of The Atholl who would it be? A: Not one person but definitely our whole team. We have over 15 members of staff who have been here for more than 10 years. That is amazing for a hotel. They truly are the face of the Atholl.
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The quaint village of Gourdon serves up more than just a stunning chunk of east coast charm; it is also home to Hornblowers, creators of the best chips in Aberdeenshire. This restaurant, with its glass fronted façade and panoramic views of the natural harbour, is legendary in the area for its prize winning chips. Do not, however, restrict yourself to sampling the fishy fayre as owners Alex and Ruth have just announced a new lunch menu bursting with local and homemade produce. Homemade soups, fresh sandwiches oozing delicious fillings, Hornblowers own made Scotch eggs and home cured ham and, as you would expect, a mouth-watering selection of fish dishes from haddock and lemon sole to scampi and hot smoked salmon. The changing ‘catch of the day’ is either supplied courtesy of the local harbour or from nearby Peterhead market. This charming restaurant is also open from 4.00pm – 8.00pm when, in addition to the usual array of yummy fish courses, it expands the menu to include Aberdeen Angus burgers, salads and delicious, if not a little indulgent, desserts. Open daily Tuesday – Sunday you’ll find Hornblowers on the West Quay. You’ll also find it affordable with the locally sourced produce cooked to perfection. All Hornblowers produce is sourced locally from suppliers such as Gourline of Gourdon, Devenick Dairy of Banchory and McWilliams of Aberdeen from which they have created a selection of delicious lunchtime dishes.
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Unwrapped what's actually in it. Kate landed her first reporter job for ITV West while she was still a student and went on to work as a Broadcast Journalist in Somerset for the BBC, spending a lot of her time with farmers, and reporting mostly on food. In the first episode of Food Unwrapped, Kate travelled to Swaziland to find out just how they get tinned grapefruit segments so perfectly peeled.
If, like me, you watched the intriguing Channel 4 series Food Unwrapped, your attention would undoubtedly be drawn to a bubbly new female presenter. The brand new science series aired in autumn last year explored how our food is really made and the industry secrets behind our favourite produce. With fellow presenters Matt Tebbutt, James Watt and Martin Dickie, the effervescent Kate Quilton travelled the globe to discover just how the food we love is produced. Kate will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of what's on your dinner plate. Whilst at university, she undertook a student equivalent of Morgan Spurlock's 'Super Size Me’; she ate kebabs for one week - breakfast, lunch and dinner. The stunt was picked up by a national paper. When she's not finding out about what's in your fridge, Kate is one of Channel 4's youngest commissioning editors. She has run the online editorial for some of the Channel's biggest shows and now manages Factual multiplatform commissions including The Food Hospital and Foxes Live. Kate has worked in journalism and broadcasting for seven years, is big into food - and more specifically,
Then it’s a quest to find out what many producers wax our lemons with beginning in Spain, one of Europe's biggest producers of lemons. Kate travelled to Murcia, one of the main lemon growing regions of the country and visited a large lemon grove and processing factory to see how lemons are waxed using clever technology. Many of the prawns we buy are labelled as farmed. Kate travelled to Thailand - the world's biggest producer of farmed prawns - to get a sense of the scale of the industry. She saw how 1500 peelers at a large factory process over 600 prawns an hour, and millions a month, by hand. She then travelled to Thailand to visit a seafood stick factory and saw that the production techniques are incredible. But even more intriguing than the clever machines used, are the giant frozen blocks of fish which are used as the key ingredient. Kate is told these are surimi - which is a ‘white fish protein'. Then it’s off to a large orange grove in Valencia where the workers are harvesting. She squeezes fresh orange straight from the tree, and realises it tastes very different to ‘fresh' supermarket juice. Kate then travelled from Essex to Holland to try and find out how sandwich manufacturers stop our packet tomato sarnies from going soggy. An intriguing series showcasing a face I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of on our television screens.
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Gordon & MacPhail, the malt whisky specialist and specialist drinks wholesaler, has been named the official title sponsor of the 2013 Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards. The family-owned and managed business, established in Elgin in 1895, is one of the UK’s leading independent specialist wholesalers stocking over 4,500 product lines, including an extensive wine list, an impressive portfolio of spirits and a wide range of craft beers and ciders. Gordon & MacPhail is also the UK’s top wholesaler for malt whisky, stocking every distillery bottling of single malt available in the UK market. Included in this portfolio is the award-winning range of single malts from its very own Benromach Distillery Stephen Rankin, Director of UK Sales, commented: “The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards are extremely important because they showcase the quality and diversity that this region has to offer. “As title sponsor, Gordon & MacPhail can help the industry build its reputation,” he added. “The Awards are very much associated with quality and
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innovation, and enable producers to demonstrate that being located in the Highlands & Islands is by no means a barrier to success.” Entries are already being invited by the organiser, Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Forum which is urging food and drink companies from across the region to seize the opportunity to promote their products and businesses by entering one or more categories. The Awards, now in their ninth year and sporting a fresh new logo and website, recognise and reward the businesses which are displaying best practice, achieving exceptional standards and pushing boundaries in a key growth industry sector. Quintin Stevens of Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Forum said: “We are extremely excited to have Gordon & MacPhail on board as our title sponsor this year – the company’s decision to support the Awards adds value to the initiative and helps reinforce the message that we have an extremely buoyant food and drink industry in the Highlands & Islands.” Categories in 2013 include the New
49 Business Award, Healthier Food & Drink Award, New Product Award, Environment Award, Development of Export Markets and Restaurant of the Year.
food and drinks awards, celebrating excellence and achievement in the industry and recognising industry players at the top of their game.
The Awards also recognise the younger members of the industry who show potential, enthusiasm and promise with the Young Shining Star Award while the Ambassador of the Year is chosen by industry leaders and announced on the night.
Entries are now open until Wednesday, 5th June. Further information on award categories and how to enter can be found at hifoodanddrinkawards.com.
Supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the Awards are the regionâ€™s most prestigious
The shortlisted finalists will be announced in midSeptember and full details of the Awards Dinner & Ceremony will be announced in due course.
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French Apple Tart Ingredients • 90g butter • 1.5kg cooking apples, quartered, cored, and cut into chunks • 3 tbsp water • 6 tbsp apricot jam • 125g caster sugar • Grated zest of 1 large lemon • 375g eating apples, quartered, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced • Juice of 1 lemon • 1 tbsp caster sugar • 6 tbsp apricot jam • For the Pastry • 250g plain flour • 125g chilled butter, cubed • 125g caster sugar • 4 egg yolks • cold water
Method 1: Make the pastry: put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then the egg yolks and a little cold water to make a soft dough. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured sur face and use to line the flan tin. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 2: Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and add the cooking apples and water. Cover and cook very gently for 20–25 minutes until the apples are soft. 3: Rub the apples through a nylon sieve into a clean pan. Add the jam, sugar, and lemon zest. Cook over a high heat for 15–20 minutes, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has evaporated and the apple purée is thick. Leave to cool. 4: Bake the pastry case blind in a preheated oven at 190°C/gas mark 5 for 10–15 minutes. Remove the beans and foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Leave to cool. 5: Spoon the purée into the case. Arrange the apple slices on top, brush with lemon juice, and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for another 30–35 minutes until the apples are tender and their edges browned. 6: Heat the jam, work through a sieve, then brush over the apples. Serve warm or cold.
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It was definitely worth the drive to imposing Delgatie Castle, just outside Turriff, where the pretty little tearoom offers a great selection of tea’s offees freshly baked cakes, scones and pancakes. The team at the ‘Laird’s Kitchen’ make everything on the premises and have recently received a national award for their home- baking. It’s easy to see why! You can also enjoy something more substantial such as home-made soup, main courses and puddings for lunch or tuck into a delicious afternoon tea. Open 10.00am – 5.00pm daily it’s definitely worth a visit. www.delgatiecastle.com Nestled into the roadside on the A96 just twelve miles north of Inverurie sits Morgan McVeighs, a delightful 80-seater, child-friendly restaurant with log burning fire and delicious food. There is an extensive lunch menu with such delights as their famous ‘Cullen Skink’ sandwiches and home-made specials, but it is their renowned morning coffees, teas and cakes that attracts me here again and again. When the weather improves you can sit outside on the decking and take in the fantastic views over the Glens of Foundland. Remember to leave enough time to browse the foods, giftware and tableware in the Country Food Shop. www.morganmcveighs.com There’s nothing like a freshly made ‘fancy piece’ and there is plenty to choose from at the Happy Plant Garden Centre in Mintlaw. I’m sure everyone has heard of this place as it has a great reputation for delicious cakes made on the premises. Shortbreads, doodle bugs, fudge, cupcakes, scones, the list goes on and on! My personal favourite is the tiffin! Kids are catered for too with their own ‘Pack up’ with sandwich, crisps, juice and yoghurt. You can, of course have breakfast and lunch here too but did you know they offer an amazing Sunday roast? My tip – try the homemade oatcakes….yummy! www.happyplant.co.uk The aptly named ‘Chatterbox’ in Banchory is a great place to meet up with friends and exchange gossip over a nice steaming cappuccino. Perfect for lunch or an afternoon chinwag you’re spoilt for choice from the amazing selection of home-bakes. From scones with jam and cream, cupcakes and muffins, to loaf cakes, sticky toffee pudding and ice creams, they’ll have something to tempt you. If you’ve time, try a bowl of homemade soup or a delicious hot sandwich with tortilla chips and salad. Yet again, the Cullen Skink is fantastic! If you need an excuse to head out to Banchory, make it this place! www.thechatterboxbanchory.co.uk Stonehaven is one of my favourite places to meet with friends for a brisk walk followed, of course, by a nice cuppa. We all love Maggie Mays in the Market Square and it’s little wonder. There is a great selection of coffees and teas but it’s the fabulous cake and loaf that steals the show. Tuck in to carrot cake, fruit loaf, banana loaf or Victoria sponge. There are also Danish pastries, chocolate fudge and muffins and at the weekend you can treat yourself to a slice of Strawberry Pavlova or a chunk of cheesecake. If you’re feeling naughty or particularly decadent try a Rizza’s chocolate or lemon truffle. www.maggiemaysstonehaven.co.uk
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The stunningly grand Crieff Hydro Hotel, set in the heart of Perthshire, must surely offer more than any other hotel for short breaks or family holidays. The service makes you feel like an old family friend, whether you’re roaming the estate or taking it easy in the Victorian Spa. There are five places to eat, seven accommodation options and free childcare, so mum and dad can take advantage of everything on offer too. Whether you’re looking for formal dining, a relaxed family friendly meal or a quick bite, you’ll find it at one of Crieff Hydro’s quality Scottish restaurants. Pop into the Brasserie at lunchtime for a spot of pasta or indulge in the ultimate all-day breakfast. In the evening under 12’s can feast on their favourites at the famous children’s high tea while mum
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and dad do their own thing for dinner. Or perhaps you’d like to have a family meal together. The Brasserie offers relaxed informal dining to delight both parents and children. For a culinary experience the whole family will enjoy book a table at The Meikle. The setting is grand and spacious but the atmosphere is bustling. Four-star dining here doesn’t mean stuffy, as smart casual is the order of the day – but it may be an excuse to dress a little more formally. The Meikle Bar with its grand piano and outrageously comfortable chairs is also the perfect place for an aperitif, or a tour of Scotland courtesy of the whisky wall! At the Hub there is plenty of healthy food on offer like spicy soups, classic Paninis
and filled Ciabattas. You can catch the latest music videos on the big screen, or see the big game in a family-friendly setting. It is, of course, fully licensed so you can enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine while you’re soaking up the action. Then there is the Winter Garden, a grand old room with food that is simple and hearty. It’s the perfect spot to soak up the sun over breakfast, lunch on home-made soups, sandwiches and salads and fill up the kids on packed lunches. It’s also the perfect location for afternoon tea and a delicious scone. After all, you have to fuel up before one on the Hydro’s legendary Ceilidhs! You may have often heard the phrase ‘there’s something for everyone’ but in this case it just happens to be true.
Looking for somewhere for a short break
superb service. The Ptarmigan Restaurant
away where you can enjoy quality food?
creates classic meals with a contemporary
conversation and a little snack.
The Loch Rannoch Perthshire hotel,
twist while the family friendly Schiehallion
The Leisure Club, with heated swimming
nestled in the heart of the Highlands is a
Bar is an excellent choice for a relaxed
perfect retreat. The hotel is situated on
pool, steam room, sauna and gym offers
meal after a day outdoors. The Prime
the shore above Kinloch Rannoch with
the perfect way to unwind, relieving
Scottish Beef Burger with chunky chips is
majestic views of the loch and hills which
stress and leaving you feeling refreshed.
a recommended highlight from the fresh
are simply breath-taking. Steeped in
menu of family favourites.
tradition and rich in heritage, the hotel invites one to step back to a quieter time,
The chefs have the freedom to create
while still enjoying the comfort of a
menus that are unique and make the
most of the fresh, seasonal ingredients
Thereâ€™s a fine selection of meals to be enjoyed in the Ptarmigan Restaurant or
they source, wherever possible, locally or within the UK.
There are numerous woodland walks nearby and for the more energetic, Schiehallion, the local Munro beckons. The Macdonald Loch Rannoch Hotel is a perfect Highland retreat offering superb service
allowing you time to relax and rejuvenate.
the Schiehallion Bar. The finest, freshest
After dinner, relax in the Malt Bar or sit on
The magnificent setting
the loch side terrace and drink in the
ideal location to enjoy a break away from
expertly prepared and delivered with
pleasures of Scotlandâ€™s finest malts. This is
busy lives or for a romantic retreat.
makes this an
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Banoffee Pavlova Ingredients • 85g caster sugar • 250ml double cream • 2 large bananas • 4 ready-made meringue nests or 8 small meringues • 2 tbsp water
Method 1: Put the caster sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring, for 30 seconds–1 minute or until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil over a high heat and boil for 4–5 minutes until the syrup has turned a medium caramel colour. Remove from the heat and stir in 6 tablespoons of the cream, being very careful as it may sputter a bit. 2: Return the pan to a low heat and cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes until any hard lumps of caramel have dissolved, then keep warm over a very low heat. 3: Put the remaining cream in a large bowl and whip, using an electric mixer, until soft peaks form. Peel and slice the bananas. 4: Put the meringue nests on four plates and spoon the whipped cream over them. Top with the banana slices, drizzle with the sauce and serve. Alternatively, crumble the meringues into four glasses, layer with cream, bananas and sauce and serve.
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