A Happy 2014 to all
Well it's been an age since I last posted a recipe, and I am sorry about that. The initial excuse was a pleasant one, Christmas with all its house and food preparation. I brought out old favourites like the Emneth Worthies, made new ones such as my mincemeat croissant, which I will publish the recipe for soon and Turkish delight, which although successful I think I still need to work on before sharing the recipe. The second reason for my absence has been less pleasant, a nasty cold which has knocked me sideways. Not a good start to 2014, but rescue steroids have brought me back and today, Aruba joined the list of visitors so I am inspired to mark that event and although probably rarely if ever eaten in Aruba, I am sharing my recipe for Cullen Skink.
Cullen Skink is a soup that comes from Scotland, it is rich, creamy and has smoked fish as a main ingredient. for me I find the use of fresh or dried bay leaves makes a big difference.
|Aruba, country number 120, welcome and Happy New Year!|
|Uruguay brings the number up to 121, welcome!|
|Antigua & Barbuda are very welcome, bringing the number up to 122|
To make this soup (enough for 4 large portions) you will need;
250g of undyed smoked haddock
1 large baking potato
3 or 4 bay leaves
Finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of light olive oil
200ml of double cream
800ml of skimmed milk + 1 tablespoon for slaking the potato flour
1 tablespoon of Noilly Prat
1 teaspoon of potato flour
Begin by bringing the fish up to a simmer slowly in the milk is a large pan, switch the heat off and allow to cool in the milk while you prepare the vegetables. You can of course finely chop the vegetables in a food processor, personally I enjoy the effort of finely dicing and the final result is certainly worth it. Dice the carrot and the potato, finely chop the leek and the onion.
Sweat the vegetables along with the bay leaves in the oil over a low heat for a good 10 minutes. It is important the vegetables don't take on any colour so keep an eye on them and stir frequently. Add the Noilly Prat and continue cooking until it has more or less cooked off. Strain the fish and add the milk to the vegetables. Keeping it on a low heat bring it all back up to a simmer, add the cream and gently simmer for another 10 minutes while you skin the fish and break up into flakes. Add the fish to the soup at the point where the vegetables are totally tender along with the teaspoon of potato flour, slaked with a tablespoon of milk. Stir through and cook for a further minute or so until the potato flour slightly thickens the soup, adjust the seasoning to taste, I use marigold bouillon powder and lots of white pepper. The fish will have already been salted so you will need less than you think. This is a soup I like to stir finely chopped parsley into at the last minute.
You can always double up the amount of fish if you would like to make it more of a main course but be careful when you taste and season as of course the salt content will already be higher.