Food lovers often find inspiration from literature, with dishes served up in novels ranging from Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse (boeuf en daube) to Chocolat by Joanne Harris. So Scottish Book Trust asked chef Mark Greenaway of award-winning Restaurant Mark Greenaway (www.markgreenaway.com) in Edinburgh to come up with literary treats to celebrate Book Week Scotland (23 -29 November).
As Greenaway applies modern techniques to the best local, seasonal produce, in keeping with the Book Week Scotland 2015 theme of transformation, he puts his own twist on five fictional feasts inspired by Scottish books.
Inspiration: Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
There is quite a debate amongst Harry Potter fans as to whether these pasties should be sweet or savoury, so I used some wizardry of my own to come up with a solution. These pasties are split in two halves – half filled with a roast chicken dinner and the other with a sweet pumpkin pie filling. The trick is that you don’t know which side you are tucking into. An entire meal encased in one pasty.
Makes two pasties
• 125g puff pastry
• 1 chicken leg, roasted, meat picked
• 3 new potatoes, diced and boiled
• 1 carrot, diced and boiled
• 400g roasted pumpkin
• 100g caster sugar
• seeds of 1 vanilla pod
• 100ml double cream
• 1 beaten egg
1 Combine the chicken, potato and carrots in a bowl.
2 Blend the pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and cream, then pass this mixture through a fine sieve and chill in the fridge.
3 Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Roll the pastry and cut out two circles roughly 20cm in diameter. Place the chicken mixture on one half of each pastry circle, then place the sweet pumpkin mixture on the other half. Fold each circle over to create a pasty shape using egg wash on the edges to seal it.
4 Crimp the top with your fingers and brush with egg wash all over. Bake for 25 minutes.
Inspiration: Voyager, Outlander 3 by Diana Gabaldon
We serve this broth tableside at the restaurant in a Napier Coffee Maker. This coffee maker was developed by Scottish naval engineer and inventor James Napier in the 1840s. Napier’s prototype was made of standard laboratory equipment. Of course, you could simply use a pot.
• 500g oxtail
• 1.5kg of beef shin bone
• 200g flat pancetta
• ½ bottle of your favourite red wine
• 1 carrot, chopped
• ½ an onion, chopped
• 1 stick of celery, chopped
• 1 leek, chopped
• 2 star anise
• 1 sprig of thyme
• 1 sprig of rosemary
• 50g flat pancetta
1 Roast the beef bones and oxtail at 200C/Gas Mark 6 in a large tray until golden brown. Remove from the oven and lift out the bones and oxtail into the largest pot you have. Add the vegetables, star anise, wine and 200g of pancetta to the tray to deglaze and cook down until the wine reduces by half.
2 Pour the wine mixture into the pot with the bones and oxtail. Add enough water to cover the bones, then simmer for four hours and remove the oxtail.
3 Pick the meat off the oxtail, set it aside and place the bones back in
the pot. Simmer for a further three hours, then pass the mixture through a fine muslin cloth and back into the pot before reducing the liquid by half and passing through a muslin cloth again.
4 Warm up the oxtail meat and scatter into four bowls. Warm up the broth and add the thyme, rosemary and remaining pan-fried pancetta. Pour over the oxtail.
Fish and chips
Inspiration: Strip Jack by Ian Rankin
When putting together this recipe I went straight to the man himself. Ian Rankin gave me concise suggestions for his idea of the perfect plate of fish and chips.
• 2 Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into chips
• 2 fillets of haddock, halved and trimmed to equal sizes
• 200ml beer of your choice
• 150ml plain flour
• a good pinch of salt
• 1 tbsp vinegar
• extra flour for dusting
• vegetable oil for deep frying
1 Whisk together the beer, flour and salt. Add the vinegar. Leave to rest for at least half an hour.
2 Cook the chips in oil at 130C for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to sit in the fridge uncovered overnight, then, deep fry until golden brown at 190C.
3 Dust the fish with flour, shaking off any excess and then dip each piece in the batter. Deep fry at 190C/Gas Mark 5 for 7-8 minutes until golden and cooked. Garnish with brown sauce.
Inspiration: Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
Rather than the more expensive loin, haunch of venison is a cheaper cut of meat and would traditionally have been broiled.
• 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 2 rectangles
• a handful of duck fat
• 2 x 220g haunch of venison, fully trimmed and sinew removed
• a drizzle of rapeseed oil
• 40g butter
1 In a pan, cover the potato rectangles in duck fat and season with a pinch of salt. Gently simmer until tender then remove from the fat.
2 Preheat the oven to 185C/Gas Mark 4½. In a pan on the hob roast the venison in the rapeseed oil until evenly browned on all sides. Place in the oven for 9 minutes turning half way through.
3 Remove the pan from the oven. Add the butter and a pinch of salt. Baste the juices over the meat and rest.
Inspiration: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Miss Brodie poured tea and cast a glance at Gordon Lowther’s plate.
“Gordon,” she said, “a cake.”
He shook his head and said softly, as if soothing her, “Oh, no, no.”
“Yes, Gordon. It is full of goodness.”
And she made him eat a Chester cake, and spoke to him in a slightly more Edinburgh way than usual, so as to make up to him by both means for the love she was giving to Teddy Lloyd instead of to him.
• 140ml water
• 415g butter
• 185g caster sugar
• 7g treacle
• 465g plain flour
• 7g ground cinnamon
• 7g ground ginger
• 15g mixed spice
• 3g bicarbonate of soda
• 225g mixed dried fruit
• 1 egg, beaten
• extra caster sugar for dusting
1 Melt 115g of butter with 55g of the caster sugar, water and treacle in a large pan.
2 Mix 30g of caster sugar with 165g of flour, the spices and bicarbonate of soda. Fold these dry ingredients into the melted mixture.
3 Stir in the mixed fruit and beaten egg until all ingredients are combined.
4 To make the shortbread that will sandwich the filling, cream 300g of butter and 100g of sugar together. Mix in 300g of flour to form a dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for half an hour.
5 Preheat the oven to 175C/Gas Mark 3½. Cut the shortbread dough in half, then roll one half into a rectangle large enough to fit into a baking tray. Place in the tray and cover with the dried fruit filling.
6 Roll out the remaining dough and cover the filling, then bake for 40 minutes.
7 Sprinkle with a little caster sugar and allow to cool completely. Cut into 24 rectangles.
More than 400 activities will take place during Book Week Scotland 2015 including appearances from Diana Gabaldon, Kate Mosse, AL Kennedy, Michel Faber, Val McDermid, Brian Blessed and Neil Oliver.
There will also be author visits to schools, poetry readings and free books including 150,000 copies of Journeys – a short story and poem collection and the Bookbug Family Bag gifted to every Primary 1 pupil in Scotland.