An inspiration to forage by Mark Williams

Pretty much since I started to blog and then tweet I’ve followed Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. Many a time I’d find myself desperately trying to get a signal on a beach or a forest to ask him what some seaweed or shellfish or berry was as it looked…

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Apple and bramble crumble

Foraging is a term that is on everyone’s lips these days. Wild garlic, mushrooms, nettles and elderflowers are now seen as fairly standard ingredients as the search for free food has become fashionable. However growing up in the 1980s, for me wild food meant only one thing. Brambles, lots of…

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Keema aloo

If the early part of the twentieth century was heavily influenced by the arrival of Italian flavours, the latter part was definitely defined by one word. Spice. Spices such as salt, pepper and ginger had already made their way to Scotland via historical trade routes, but post-war immigration from India…

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Isle of Ewe Smokehouse, Aultbea

One of the real joys of holidaying in Scotland is getting to discover local producers and cook with their produce. This year whilst in Gairloch I had the delights of fresh picked local chanterelles from Poolewe weekly market and squat lobsters from Dry Island. However it was the chance discovery…

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Chilli and lime crab cakes

Crab is one of my earliest seafood recollections, with toast being spread with Shippams crab paste by my Gran for supper before bed sometime in the late seventies or early eighties. The memory of the sweet, earthy briny flavour has never left me and I think that’s why I’m one…

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Roast chicken with fennel and tarragon

Fennel and tarragon were always slightly scary to me, maybe because of the urban myth that all things with a hint of anise somehow overpower everything. However now that I’ve got to grips with this irrational phobia fennel becomes one of my favourite vegetables when in season. It has such…

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Hairst bree – Lamb and summer vegetable soup

This is my take on a traditional Scottish dish which is called variously hotch potch or hairst bree (harvest broth). Traditionally made made with neck of lamb or mutton, I prefer to use the shank as it renders it a bit meatier with less fat in my experience. The vegetables…

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Roast lamb with mushrooms and Marsala

Pot roasting is not in my comfort zone particularly. I tend to do my roasting and stewing in the oven, maybe because it’s easier to leave to cook, go for a run (or a pint!) and forget about it. Somehow I just trust my instincts better with that method. However the boned…

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