Hubby and I do not need an excuse to break out the haggis and will happily devour it in most any of its incredibly versatile size shapes or forms. Not content with its traditional chums of neeps and tatties, I’ve tried it Chinese style in spring rolls, Indian style in samosas, Mexican style in quesedillas, poshed up in filo pastry parcels with a sweet plum sauce, deep fried out the chippie, not to mention as an unmissable part of a “full Scottish” breakfast fry up! I’ve even recently been sent a recipe for haggis lasagne which I’m very very intrigued by… (watch this space!). But on Burns Night it really has to be eaten traditional style, which means the ‘holy trinity’ of haggis, neeps and tatties.
So we couldn’t let Burns Night go by without honouring Rabbie with a plateful of the good stuff, and the good stuff is hands down Macsweens! Much easier to pop into the supermarket and buy one of theirs than chasing down one of the damn beasties in the wilds yourself 😉
I won’t lie and say that the ingredients aren’t a little offputting… In fact, I had quite the fight to get Hubby to try it at all but once he did he was quite smitten and probably has it more than me these days! And if you can eat a hot dog then you can eat haggis, and at least the offputting in haggis is quality offputting…
But once you get past what’s in it, it really is properly delicious. All peppery and spicy with an earthy and grainy and chewy texture that I’m really not doing justice to! Just trust me and try it, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised 🙂
Back to Burns Night 2013! Here’s the before picture…
Haggis, Neeps & Tatties | fifigoesnom
And here’s the after picture, with a requisite shot of whisky in the glass as well as in the cream sauce (delicious recipe courtesy of The Macsween Haggis Bible).
Haggis, Neeps & Tatties | fifigoesnom
And the after after picture 🙂 Haggis all gone…
Haggis, Neeps & Tatties, the empty plate version | fifigoesnom
And for desert, who could resist these cute “Babbie Haggies” jelly belly beans which, much as I love Scotland’s national dish, are only haggis coloured and not haggis flavoured!
A break in the weather allowed fifi and I out this morning, and we decided to take advantage of the clear skies while they lasted. As it was a nice morning, and we were up early, we decided to take a trip to the Edinburgh Farmer’s Market.
I can’t say enough good things about the producers who sell and share their goods here, it’s all seriously good, top-quality, and best of all, locally produced stuff. From meat, fish and dairy, to fruits and vegetables, baking and sweets, juices, drinks, and other speciality products, there’s something for everyone. And don’t forget the whole hog roast while you’re there. Heaven on a bun!
But, I digress. I want to post today about a fantastic cheese I picked up at the market this morning. Let me preface this by saying that, while I love cheese of all kinds, I don’t tend to get excited about blue cheese. I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s never grabbed me and said HEL-LO. Until now, that is.
I was browsing at the Arran’s Cheese Shop stall, and the lovely lady behind the counter was offering samples of everything she had on sale. Now, as fifi’s not a big cheese fan (she mumbles about it being a Chinese thing), I was certainly up for having a go. They had an award winning blue on offer, and I decided I’d try it.
Wow. Arran Blue – which I’ve since discovered seems to come from Arran’s Bellevue Creamery Cheeses, is one exciting cheese. It’s a rich, soft, young blue cheese with a reserved aroma that lacks a lot of the overly pungent (or stinky, as fifi would call it) smell of stronger blues. On the tongue there’s that first bite of salt that you expect from a good blue, and then it blooms with the wonderfully musty hint of the veining, and mellows into creamy happiness. Very moreish, very highly recommended.
I paired this with some fantastic oatcakes from Wooleys of Arran, but this would also be great in a salad, or crumbled onto a nicely-rare bit of steak. If you can find this, and you should, enjoy! It’s well worth seeking out.
Foodie mags aren’t just for recipes, they’re for lovely quirky things to fill your kitchen with like these fabulous tea towels (and yes, I just called a tea towel fabulous!). I was flicking through the Great British Food mag last night and saw the English version of these tea towels available at www.victoriaeggs.co.uk and would have been happy enough with those, but then I saw THESE on their website… What a fab way to celebrate Scottish food! Although deep fried mars bars seems to be missing from the list… 😉
Scottish Tea Towels! Soon to be decorating my kitchen!
So… It’s safe to say that I’m very much a newbie blogger, and as such have been a little shy about self promoting in the belief that there’s no point telling anyone this blog is here until there’s a respectable amount of stuff to look at (one recipe does not an interesting blog make!) After posting up my Haggis Spring Rolls recipe last weekend, I thought I’d tweet Macsween about it and hoped that, at best, they might like it enough to retweet me and I’d get a few more people popping by here.
Not only did the very very lovely people there retweet me, but they emailed me to say how much they liked the look of my spring rolls, and could they send me some of their delicious noms! To say I was giddy with glee at getting such a response (and offer!) is an understatement, the more so because I picked up the email after having a wisdom tooth taken out and it put a much needed grin on my poor sore face 🙂
And then the delicious noms arrived…
Look at the size of that box! And a lovely canvas bag too (Tim Minchin would be so proud!)
HOW much noms??
And a little bit of everything too! Variety is the spice of life!
Thank you again, Macsween! Like I didn’t already <3 you enough!
Hello there, and welcome to my little corner of the foodie blogosphere, and my husband’s wedding anniversary present to me! In all fairness, our anniversary was back in August, but I’ve been so paralysed by “first post anxiety” that it’s taken me until now to actually grab the blog by the horns and say my first something. That, and the increasingly sadder panda face that my husband turns on me when he checks here and finds it still unblogged…
So why another foodie blog? To be honest, I never set out to be a blogger, and I’m not sure that I will actually ever BE a proper blogger. What I am is a girl who loves to cook, and a foodie magazine addict. More than that, I’m a recipe-tearing-out foodie magazine addict! Only, torn-edged recipes are easily lost, not to mention easily splattered upon whilst following them. So the original fifigoesnom was less a blog and more a place to hold those recipes that the husband and I had tried and liked, or to share with friends the family recipes that I’d cooked for them and they wanted to try themselves. And then my very lovely husband decided to surprise me on our wedding anniversary with my own domain name for fifigoesnom so that I could actually try this blogging thing properly.
So here I am! And here you are! Hello! And welcome! Again!
The plan, as much as there is one, is to try out those magazine and cookbook recipes and see if they really taste as good as they look (because sometimes they really really don’t…) and to share the best ones with anyone who happens by. I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for a little bit of kitchen inspiration, and hopefully that’s what you’ll find here.
Tried and tested by fifigoesnom! That pretty much sums up this little blog’s raison d’etre 🙂
ps – “fifi goes nom!” is my happy shout out at home when my husband has made something particularly tasty, which is most of the time to be honest as he’s an insanely good cook and now that I think about it should probably be the one blogging about food, not me… the tricksy hobbit!!