Monday, January 30, 2012

Recipe: Nick's Cullen Skink

Might find a few Scottish people annoyed that I labelled this under "British recipes"- especially with all of this independance malarky being talked about at the moment, lol! Cullen Skink is a scottish soup, made with smoked haddock, potato, milk and parsley. I was very curious as to why it was called "cullen skink", so i checked it out on wikipedia. It said that first of all, traditionally you should use smoked "Finnan haddie" instead of haddock, secondly that it orginated in the north eastern scottish town "Cullen" (hence the first part of the name), and the word "skink" comes from gaelic and originally meant "shin" or "knuckle"- the cut of beef that they used to cook in soups and stews, so then "skink" eventually became the generic word to describe any type of soup. There you go- theres some education for ya! This is my boyfriend's recipe, and its absolutely delicious- I dont even like fish, but this soup is to die for! Mind you though, hated the smell of the kitchen after it was cooked- stank of fish!! This recipe was published in our local newspaper (The Bath Chronicle), along with Nick's Cranachen recipe, after he organised (and cooked!) a big burns night supper with entertainment, for 60 people a few years back.

Nick’s Cullen Skink (serves 4) £1.67 per serving with bread and butter

400g un-dyed smoked haddock
50g butter
1 white onion, finely chopped
450g potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1/2 inch size)
1.1 litres semi skimmed milk
A little vegetable stock (optional)
Large handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Fry the onion in the butter until soft, for about 10 mins. When the onion is nicely softened, add the milk to the pan, bring to the boil and add the diced potatoes. Simmer until potatoes cooked, approx 15 mins
2. Add the smoked haddock fillet and leave to simmer for 5 or 6 mins, until just cooked. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and put to one side until cooled enough to touch. Flake it roughly into a bowl, removing any skin and bones.
3. Crush some of the potatoes against the side of the saucepan in order to thicken the soup slightly. The soup needs to be fairly thick, like a chowder. At this point you can add a little vegetable stock if you wish, particularly if the milky mixture has thickened a bit too much.
4. Return the fish to the soup, add the chopped parsley and warm through. Season to taste and serve!

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