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Soups

Clam Chowder

Ingredients

  • 'shucked' clams [strictly, these should be quahogs, but they are a bit hard to come by round here], mussels or flaky white fish
  • water
  • bacon bits,
  • onion
  • tin of chopped tomatoes
  • diced green pepper
  • raw diced potatoes
  • salt, pepper
  • blob of butter

Fry up the bacon bits, sweat the chopped onion and pepper and add to the shellfish in a big pan. Add the tomatoes and enough water to cook the fish. Simmer until the potatoes are done. Salt and pepper to taste. If not using shellfish, remove the fish after about 5 minutes and then shred and replace once the potatoes are done.

To make a New England chowder, use milk instead of water and don't include tomatoes or peppers. Make sure that there is no vinegar with the shellfish as this will curdle the milk.

Serve with water biscuits.

As with all soups 'if it simmers its delicious, if it boils it spoils' and of course its always better the next day and even better when eaten at the 'Try Pots' Inn.

'But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuits. and salted pork cut into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.'



Avgolemono Soup

Ingredients

  • Chicken stock
  • Rice
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ Cup lemon juice

Make a basic chicken stock.

Cook the rice in the stock.

Well beat the eggs and add the lemon juice stirring the while. Add some of the warm stock to the egg mixture, whisk well and return to the rest of the stock.

Continue whisking and re-heating until it thickens slightly.

Do not allow to boil.



Cock-a-Leekie Soup

This is traditional for Burn's night.

Ingredients

  • 1 boiling fowl 1-1.5 Kg (2-3lb) or use chicken pieces
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 400-800g (1-2lb) leeks, cut into inch long (2-3cm) pieces, white and green kept separate
  • Stock from boiling fowl
  • 1 bay leaf, some parsley
  • 6-12 prunes, soaked overnight (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Put the bird in a large pot and nearly cover with water, add herbs and salt and slowly bring to the boil. Skim, cover and simmer until tender, approximately 2 hours. Remove the bird, and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile add the green part of the leeks to the stock and and add the prunes and continue to simmer. Cut the meat from the chicken into smallish pieces and return them to the soup, with the white part of the leeks. Simmer for a further 10 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve. Soup is generally better the next day, so if you have time, try and prepare it in advance.

The format for a Burns supper

Chairperson's opening address

A few welcoming words start the evening and the meal commences with the Selkirk Grace

The company are asked to stand to receive the haggis. A piper then leads the chef, carrying the haggis to the top div, while the guests accompany them with a slow handclap. The chairman or invited guest then recites Burns' famous poem To A Haggis, with great enthusiasm. When he reaches the line 'an cut you up wi' ready slight', he cuts open the haggis with a sharp knife. It's customary for the company to applaud the speaker then stand and toast the haggis with a glass of whisky.

The company will then dine. A typical Bill o' Fare would be:

  • cock-a-leekie soup
  • haggis warm reeking, rich wi' champit tatties,
  • bashed neeps
  • tyspylLaird (sherry trifle)
  • a tassie o' coffee
Some sort of idiot

Of course all should be suitably attired


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