Did you ever look at yet another typical Christmas dinner and say to yourself: “here we go again…”? Perhaps it is time for seasonal dinner with alternative flavours? While it’s true that Scotland shares the same broad traditions as Wales and England when it comes to the festive season, there are also some refreshingly different highlights to be found.
Not least of all, you have some exceptional produce. Whether it’s first class sea food or prime game meats, Scottish fare gives dry turkey and roast spuds a real beating! Blessed with some amazing regional specialities in western Scotland, it should come as little surprise that we’re big on fresh provenance here at the Kilcamb Lodge. Fresh, seasonal and imitative are all the rage in our specially crafted menus: http://www.kilcamblodge.co.uk/dining/sample-menus
But what would we recommend to add a twist to your own Christmas cuisine? Here are a few ideas to offer deliverance from soggy sprouts and turkey by the ton:
A taste of the sea can add a real difference to any meal, so why not begin with some quality sourced directly from the coast? It doesn’t get much fresher than shellfish. Our own Seared Scallops with Stornoway Black Pudding and Truffled Pea Purée is a fantastically tasty starter for guests, for example.
A slightly less decadent but equally traditional option would be a platter including locally smoked herring or smoked trout. In times gone by, smoking the fish was not merely for taste, but provided an excellent means of preserving food to transport it or make it last right through the colder, leaner months of the year.
Given a choice of supermarket turkey or some wild game meat, there really is only one winner. Which meat provides the tastiest, richest feast for a celebratory meal? Venison fits the occasion with aplomb.
Our own kitchen produces an incredible Venison Wellington that would grace any special occasion. Served with red cabbage, salt and pepper sprouts, squash puree and whisky sauce, this feast for two is always popular with hungry guests! A more straightforward meal to cook at home, however, would be a hearty Venison Stew, slow cooked using red wine and seasonal vegetables. Absolutely delicious! A lesser known fact is also that it is leaner and lower in fat than beef. Try this recipe.
Everyone likes a little indulgence to finish off Christmas dinner. A little added kick in the form of something warmingly “medicinal” makes a pudding even more appealing. But does it have to be Christmas pudding with brandy butter from now until the end of time?
When it comes to warming desserts, our very own Iced Whisky Parfait, served with tea soaked prunes and Early Grey Syrup is always a big hit for those who like a hint of booze. For a typically British dessert with a crowd pleasing kick, however, you could always opt for something like a Scotch Whisky Trifle. Here is a simple recipe (and if it all goes wrong, you can always just drink the whisky)
Don’t like alcohol in your sweet? Teetotallers could try a traditional baked treat such as Scottish Black Buns. Different regions and families have their own variations passed from one generation to the next. Traditionally enjoyed over the festive and New Year period, these spiced, crusty cakes are delicious with coffee or a cheeky drop of whisky. Try this recipe as a starter, and don’t skimp on the ginger.
However you decide to celebrate Christmas, we wish you an enjoyable holiday season. But just for a change, why not try something different in the