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Ross Douglas

Edinburgh never knew what it was about to spawn.

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Food

Pumpherston…

Hasn’t changed much since the last time it appeared out of the mists of time like some council house version of Brigadoon. The bookies is indeed a run down Coral and the dominant wildlife is still the shaking dog.

I did however see a badger throw itself under the wheels of a passing truck in a desperate attempt to stop having to eat the half finished Fray Bentos “steak and kidney” pies that the locals think is an upmarket Sunday lunch. A quick death under the wheels of a big rig is a far better thing in the mind of an MSG riddled badger than a heart attack brought on by Aldi’s bargain burgers. I’m sure I could see the look of acceptance in the badgers eyes as it came into contact with the truck bumper.

It was the same look I had on my face as we pulled into the carpark of the Chinese restaurant…

Family…

I’m off out tonight with my folks. We’re going to a Chinese place that’s in Pumpherston.

Strangely enough I have never associated Pumpherston with China. Or indeed restaurants. When I think of Pumpherston I think of run down Coral betting shops, Farmfoods, chip shops and stray dogs that shake uncontrollably when left alone and turn into vicious masses of teeth when approached.

That is the Pumpherston of my long gone youth though and for all I know it may be a picturesque haven nowadays. There could be a Starbucks, a New York dining car burger joint and baskets of hanging flowers. There may be hipsters with Mac’s watching street performances of the latest works by some obscure French poet. But I don’t hold much hope…

Chances are Pumpherston is still the toilet I remember it to be.

Mahalo.

Really Easy Chicken Pie.

As I’m in the mood for posting recipes I figure I’d better pop my chicken pie recipe up.

This is a very simple recipe (As all my recipes are. If I can cook these, anyone can.) and is very easy to change to suit your tastes. I can’t recommend the Knorr stock pots highly enough for using in this recipe.

What you’ll need. Serves 2 – 3 people.

  • 500g Chicken. Breasts or Goujons.
  • Two Carrots. Diced.
  • 3 rashers of back Bacon. For an even nicer pie replace with Pancetta.
  • Shallots. Finely diced.
  • Knorr Chicken stock pot.
  • 500ml double cream.
  • Ready rolled Puff Pastry.
  • Pie Dish.

First off you need to fry the shallots in a small amount of butter and drop in the diced carrots. Add the stock pot and allow the stock to coat the shallots and carrots. Basically at this point you want the carrots to get slightly cooked but not too much as no-one wants soggy carrots in their pie. Cut the chicken into cubes and add to the pan with the shallots and carrots. Allow the chicken to cook almost all the way but don’t overcook it.

Put the oven on at 180°

When the chicken is almost cooked pour almost the cream into the pan beside the shallots and carrots. Bring the heat up on the pan until the cream is starting to bubble. Stir for a couple of minutes so the cream is getting slightly thicker than when you poured it. If the cream gets too hot it will start to split so make sure you don’t overheat it. If you do, turn the heat down and add a small amount of cream to bring it back.

Empty the contents of the pan into your pie dish. .

Take your sheet of ready rolled puff pastry and lay it over the top of the pie dish. Crimp the edges of the pie dish with a fork and put a small cross-shaped hole into the centre of the pie.

Place the pie in the middle of the oven until the pastry has risen and is nice and brown. When the pastry has risen enough and looks nice and golden in colour remove it from the oven and serve.

As I said, this Pie can easily be customised to suit your tastes. Try replacing the bacon with smoked ham or mix up the types of vegetables that you put in. For a even better pie wild mushrooms are a good addition. Feel free to try this recipe and let me know in the comments section what different ingredients you used.

Chicken pie

Don’t tell…

This recipe is a closely guarded secret in certain areas of Edinburgh. I’m giving it to you as something that is a surefire way to be invited to an amazing amount of barbeques. Whilst it’s a bit pricey to put together it’s well worth the effort.

German Potato Salad.

1k of new potatoes.
6 eggs.
Pickled gherkins.
Pickled cauliflower.
Pickled silver skin onions.
Jar Mayonnaise.
Bunch of spring onions.

Half the potatoes and boil.
Boil eggs.

Cut gherkins into small cubes.
Cut silver skin onions in half.
Cut spring onions into small slices.
Cut cauliflower into small florets.

If you’re trying to keep the price down get a jar of mixed pickles, if not go for your favourite kinds of pickled vegetables.

PICKLES I love Mclures pickles and think that the potato salad is as good as its ingredients. The better they are the better it will be. If it’s for a student BBQ grab the cheapest jar of mixed pickles and go with that. Best to go for the industry standard Helmann’s mayonaise. Full fat works best but you can use the reduced fat if you so desire.

Take eggs off the boil and peel while still warm.  Here’s a quick way to peel a hardboiled egg.

Take potatoes off boil and drain. Peel while still hot. Put into a large bowl. Mix in the mayonnaise as you go so that the hot potatoes slightly melt the mayo. Quarter the eggs. Add the quartered eggs to the potato and Mayo mix. Put the rest of the pickled veg into the bowl and mix through.

Use the sliced spring onions as a garnish or mix them in with the rest of the ingredients.


The trick to this recipe is the amounts of ingredients to use. Add pickles in small amounts until the mix looks like it has a good pickles to potato and eggs ratio.

Enjoy.


The Best Tomato Soup ever.

Tomato SoupThis Soup is simple and delicious. Ingredients.

  • Six tins of tinned plum tomatoes.
  • 500ml Passata.
  • Bunch of chopped fresh Basil.
  • Two onions. Chopped.
  • Two good size garlic cloves. Chopped.
  • Kilo potatoes. Cubed.
  • 1l Vegetable stock.
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce.
  • Tabasco sauce.

There are many different ways to make a good tomato soup. The best way is to keep it simple. Throw the chopped onions, basil and garlic into a pot with a small bit of butter and give it  a gentle fry. Once browned throw in the tins of tomatoes and the passata. Add Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil.

Blend with a hand blender. Garnish with a small sprig of basil. There’s nothing that goes with a great tomato soup than warm cheese bread, olives, oil and balsamic vinegar.

bread olives

Soup glorious soup!

sweet potato soup

This simple soup recipe is a doddle to make. Here’s what you’ll need.

    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
    • 1 onion, chopped.
    • 1 Chilli of your prefered strength.
    • 1 tsp Thai Red or Green curry paste.
    • 1l vegetable stock.
    • 1/2 can coconut milk.
    • handful coriander, roughly chopped.
    • 750g sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes.

In a large pot put the vegetable oil and get it medium hot. Throw in the onions and get them slightly browned. Add  the sweet potato. Fry the sweet potato and the onion for a few minutes more. The sweet potato should be lightly browned. Add curry paste and chilli and stir. Add stock and coconut milk, bring gently to a boil. Blitz with hand blender.

Grab a bowl, ganish with coriander, serve with naan bread.

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