Celebrating Scotland and Seafood

In her latest blog post for The Big Prawn Company, food blogger, Claire Partridge shines a spotlight on the Scottish celebration of St Andrews day and why it doesn’t all need to be kilts and haggis.

St Andrews Day is a funny old day in Scotland.  Sometimes it feels as if it belongs more to our overseas friends and family than us as a nation.  We don’t tend to have big parties, but we switch the news on to the sight of famous Scottish actors waving flags and wearing kilts as they march in the parade in New York. We occasionally go to an organised event, where there will be the classics – whisky, shortbread and a bit of ceilidh dancing once everyone’s loosened up and had a few drinks.

But does it have to be like this?  Could we reclaim the day for ourselves, throw in a modern version of events and take some Scottish classics, add in some seafood, throw out the twee and instead throw open the doors to our friends for a modern dinner party? (Kilts optional…) On the basis, I’ve got a plan to present to you all… my Scottish seafood twist menu, for a St Andrews night to remember!

Scallops to Start

Now I’m not sure if the delights of a scallop and black pudding combination has made it south of Carlisle yet?  If it hasn’t you’re missing out. If it has, you need more of it in your life! Scallops and black pudding go incredibly well together, combined with fried pancetta or bacon and served on a bed of colcannon.  Careful not to go overboard though – one scallop, one slice of black pudding and the accompaniments are likely to be filling enough,  to leave enough space for…

A Whisky Inspired Main

Whisky makes a great sauce or glaze for seafood, so I’ve a couple of suggestions the show stopping main.  You could make a creamy whisky sauce to pour over mussels and serve with chips (bonus points for dipping your chips in any leftover sauce) or if you want something a little lighter – make a whisky marinade for king prawns using whisky, chilli flakes, honey and lime.  Allow the raw prawns to soak in the marinade for around 4 hours before skewering and grilling and if you’ve any leftover marinade, brush on like a glaze, during the grilling process.  Serve with a side of rice and some steamed vegetables.

The Ultimate Scottish Sweet

Onto the final eating course… Keep it traditional with a cranachan. It’s a sort of Scottish take on an Eton Mess.  Whipped cream and raspberries are mixed with Scottish oats and whisky and layered up in a glass for eating.  Some say it’s the king of Scottish desserts and I might well agree with them. Is it my favourite ever dessert? Probably.

Room for Cheese?

Now if three courses have passed and you’re still thinking you have some space left, there’s nothing quite like a Scottish cheeseboard to finish the night – Scottish cheddar, Crowdie (it’s under-rated honestly), a Strathdon blue, some oatcakes or bannocks (for the confused, a bannock is like a thick oatcake) and a homemade chutney makes for an end to remember.

I must also say, your St Andrews Night dinner won’t be complete without a cheers at the end and to make that happen, you’ll also need a wee dram of your choice. Slàinte!! (That’s Gaelic for cheers, you pronounce it sl-an-j and will come in really useful to impress all your non Scottish friends at the party, when those drams are poured!) Enjoy yourself and make it an alternative St Andrews night to remember.

Written by Claire Partridge – alter ego What Claire Did – a 30 something blogger from Glasgow in Scotland who loves cooking, eating out and travel.

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