January 30, 2015 by Varga László
Cullen Sink is a fish soup from North East coast of Scotland, from the fishing village of Cullen – hence its name, skink is a local word in Scots for soup.
The recipe’s main ingredients are smoked fish (haddock) and potatoes, with addition of milk and butter for its creaminess. Its somewhat similar to the American chowder and the French bisque.
I came across Cullen Skink by watching Heston Blumenthal’s – In Search of Perfection – The Fish Pie Episode. He goes to Scotland in search for ingredients and tastes this wonderful creamy soup.
Next day, on Sunday evening some friends came over and because of the cold weather from outside I wanted to cook something hearty – a soup or a stew. I had the Cullen Skink in my mind for a whole day and decided to cook it. It was a very good choice, all my friends liked it and one of them, Anca, almost literally licked the pot.
Because she loves fish dishes and specially sops I promised her to cook soon some other fish dish, maybe Hungarian – Halászlé, maybe Italian – Acqua pazza or Brodetto, perhaps some Asian fish soup.
Although the original recipe had smoked haddock, I had to replace it with smoked mackerel, not being to find haddock in time.
So here is my recipe:
Ingredients (6 servings):
- 500 g of smoked haddock – I used smoked mackerel
- 500 g potatoes
- 3 small onions
- 750 ml full fat (whole) milk
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 green onion
- Peel and dice the potatoes into 1 cm cubes.
- Cook them until soft then mash them and set aside.
- Place the smoked fish in a pot, add the bay leaves and enough milk to cover the fish.
- Bring it to boil and poach the fish over low heat for about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the fish from the milk. Carefully flake the fish removing all the bones and skins.
- Slice thinly the onions.
- Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions. Sweat the onions over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, without browning them.
- From time to time, add some cooking water from the potatoes to prevent the onions from caramelizing.
- Add the mashed potatoes and the milk from the fish pot.
- Bring to boil and add if needed some milk until the desired consistency/creaminess.
- Add the fish flakes, stir gently and season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve immediately while still hot, garnished with sliced green onions.
Category Soup | Tags: butter,fish,milk,onions,potatoes,Scottish,smoked,soup | 2 Comments
December 26, 2014 by Varga László
Ingredients (5 servings):
- 5 eggs (one egg per serving)
- 6-8 small onions or 3-4 medium onions
- 400 g of ripe red tomatoes, I used a huge one from the farmers market
- slices of stale bread
- fresh pecorino cheese
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- baby spinach
- 4 medium carrots
- 2 parsley roots
- 1 medium celery root with stalk and leaves
- Prepare the vegetable broth:
- Slice the roots: carrots, parsley and celery.
- Melt the butter in a soup pot, add the sliced roots and fry them for 5 minutes in the butter.
- Cover the pot with plenty of water (about 3 liters), add salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 40-60 minutes until the roots are done.
- Meanwhile, clean the onions and cut into thin slices.
- Chop the celery stalk
- Wash the celery leaves and chop them coarsely.
- Peel the tomatoes by placing them for a few minutes in boiling water
- Cut them into quarters, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into cubes.
- In a pan, put a tablespoon of olive oil and virgin olive oil to soften the onions on low heat.
- Add a bit of chili flakes and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the onion is caramelized.
- Add the chopped celery stalk, pour a liter of the hot vegetable stock and keep cooking for another half an hour until the broth slowly halves.
- Add the tomato pulp, celery leaves, (baby) spinach and coarsely chopped basil. Adjust salt and pepper.
- Once this time has elapsed (the result will be that of a kind of soup but still enough “soupy”) add the eggs, one at a time, directly into the pan making sure they do not break.
- Cook them for 3-4 minutes until they become poached eggs.
- Toast the stale bread slices, i used the oven for this.
- In each bowl put a slice of toast, slices of cheese and pour over with a big spoon, acquacotta hot and one egg each.
Category Italian, Soup | Tags: celery,cheese,eggs,italian,onions,soup,tomatoes | 1 Comment
October 16, 2014 by Varga László
During the summer, I had visiting a friend from Latvia, Dace, very pretty girl, studying theater.
After a while, this autumn we chatted online and she told me that she was as most of her countrymen busy picking mushrooms, she laughed when I told her I never did mushrooming ;). (Though, a few weeks later I went picking mushrooms and the ensuing recipe will follow soon).
Inspired by this huge Latvian tradition for mushrooms I cooked the following recipe with some wild mushrooms bought from the farmers market, you can you whatever you find as long they are wild!
The recipe turned out to be very tasty as my Ukrainian guests agreed, soon I will cook Varenyky inspired by talks with them.
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 500 g wild mushrooms – I used once scotch bonnet mushrooms
- 6 larger potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 100 ml white wine
- 1 l vegetable stock
- 1 medium onion
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 100 ml heavy cream
- some freshly dill for garnishing
- Chop the onion roughly.
- Peel and dice the potatoes.
- Chop roughly the mushrooms if using larger ones
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large soup pot.
- Saute the chopped mushrooms until soft.
- Add the white wine, vegetable stock, potatoes and salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are soft.
- In a different small frying pan heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chopped onion and fry until golden brown and having a nice aroma.-
- When potatoes have cooked take out about half of them into a blender. Add some liquid from the soup and puree them.
- Add the pureed potatoes add back into pot of soup, together with the heavy cream, paprika and some salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the soup while hot, add a tablespoon of creme and some dill leaves.
Category Soup, Vegetarian | Tags: Latvian,mushrooms,onions,potatoes,soup,vegetarian | 1 Comment