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Memoirs of a food lover

Smoked salmon with a Japanese Twist

Take a side of smoked salmon, cut off the belly and trim tail and shoulder. Now slice at a sharp angle to give fish finger shaped slices. The thickness can be varied according to your pocket, be generous though.

Place the trimmings in a blender with cream, melted butter, black pepper and lemon juice. Blend to a smooth pate. Toast thickly sliced seeded bread, cut off the crust and then cut into four slices, spread with the pate, place the salmon on top and then garnish with pickled ginger, wasabi, chopped fresh lemon grass or a dribble of soy.

For a party and a lazy Susanne this can all be presented for the guests to help themselves.

Thrashed bacon and Scallops

Just give me a minute to explain – Take a pack of bacon place in a frying pan and cook slowly, when its done just leave it there and carry on cooking slowly until it is completely dry, do not burn the meat, it changes the flavour.

Remove the now crispy bacon and leave the fat behind. Add floured scallops (the fresher the better) to the pan . Add a knob of butter and the fry until done, to check cut a scallop in half, white is cooked, opaque is not.

Place the bacon in a blender and whizz until a dust is formed. Serve the scallops and sprinkle with bacon dust.

Warmed smoked mussels

A very simple way of eating our smoked mussels and what a difference.

Place a enough smoked mussels in a ramekin and add a knob of butter, a couple of slices of garlic clove and a dust of black pepper. Warm in the oven or microwave and serve with crusty bread to dip the juice.

Crab Thermidor

First of all make a thermidor sauce. Sweat a small onion in butter until soft, add double cream and smoked cheddar to thicken. Season with black pepper and a touch of garlic. Warm a dressed crab in the oven or microwave and pour the sauce over it. The crab is best eaten with the sauce on top rather than all mixed together, as the brown and white meat have different flavours and textures.

Serve with a crusty roll and a bottle of chilled white!

Crab and haggis soup

You will need a pan and a pint of water, add two slices of smoked haggis and boil till the mixture thickens (the barley acts as the thickening agent).

Now add the contents of a dressed crab, reserving the claw and two cracked eggs. Stir until the egg thickens then serve immediately. Add a dollop of crème fresh and carefully sprinkle the white claw meat over.

A dust of Chinese five spice gives an oriental twist. I dare you to try it.

Smoked salmon with prawns

The texture of prawns is always a delight, so using cold water prawns (Icelandic) thaw and allow to drain thoroughly. Mix with a spoonful of mayonnaise to bind and place on a slice of smoked salmon. Roll the slice around the mixture and serve.

A wedge of lemon is always nice.

Smoked haddock Mornay (my way)

Place a smoked haddock fillet skin side up on a plate and add enough milk to just cover the plate. Microwave for a couple of minutes then pour off the milk onto a pan.

Add grated smoked cheddar, double cream, butter and black pepper and carefully heat. Stir as it warms and do not let it boil or the cheese will not forgive you.

Carefully remove the haddock skin pour over the sauce and grill to crisp the cheese.

Serve with crusty bread.

Crispy duck wrap

Roast a smoked duck leg until the skin is crispy and the meat will shred.

Chop a salad mixture and prepare a sour cream and tomato salsa (or buy the ready made versions) spread on flour tortillas.

You will be amazed how much meat is produced so divide it between the tortillas you have. You can go down the Chinese route and serve with a plum sauce. Either way the intense flavour of the duck is tempered by the salad.

Lorne sausage butty

A Scottish secret and worth a try – Fry a slice of Lorne sausage and an egg, add two slices of bread to the pan to crisp. Make the butty and add brown sauce or for heathens the red version. Enjoy!

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