Friday, 25 November 2011

Haggis and Acorn Squash Risotto

I shouldn't call it "risotto".  It's made with spanish paella rice instead of arborio or carnaroli. Nor did I use white wine, but english cider. I've also recently developed an aversion towards parmesan so I used manchego cheese, not to mention that I put haggis on top, but the cooking method is like a risotto so I suppose I can still use the name.

Don't give me that look. It really works, is amazing how versatile haggis can be! In fact, while we were eating this, we arrived at the conclusion that haggis is like bacon or ham, it goes well with everything.

Yes, it doesn't look that great on the plate, but it was rich, full of flavour and the squash worked really well with the salty spiciness of the haggis.

Here is how I made it (for 2)

120g short-grained rice
1/2 an acorn squash diced small
1/2 a leek finely chopped
1/2 an onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 1/2 litres of chicken stock
1 splash of cider
Grated Manchego cheese
Olive oil
A small knob of butter
Salt and black pepper
1 packet of sliced haggis

Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Put the olive oil in a separate large pan, add the onion, garlic and leek and cook very gently until soft. Now we can put the squash in. Cook altogether for about 15 minutes. Add the rice and turn up the heat, keep it moving.

In the meantime heat up your haggis in a pan.

Pour in the cider and keep stirring until it has evaporated. Add the stock to the rice a ladle at a time, stirring and waiting until it has been fully absorbed before adding the next. Continue to add ladlefuls of stock until it has all been absorbed. With this type of rice it takes about 25 minutes.

Turn off the heat, season well and add the butter and a handful of grated cheese stirring until it's all well mixed. Serve with the haggis on top.


Monday, 14 November 2011


I've got a lack of cooking mojo lately. I cook everyday, mostly simple things and when I cook something different I'm not entirely happy with the result so I don't publish it. I guess it's just a phase.

Good job that the people from La recepta del 15  always motivate me to try something new.  Their proposal for this month is bread.

After a few failed attempts I've chosen the fougasse. Traditionally, fougasse was used to assess the temperature of a wood fired oven. The time it would take to bake gives an idea of the oven temperature and whether the rest of the bread can be loaded.

It's quite simple to make although it takes time and practice to shape it nicely. I've got the time but, not the practice.

See, the onion one was the first one I made, the cherry tomato one looks nicer.

Here is how I made it (Richard Bertinet's recipe).

250g strong bread flour
175ml water
2.5g dry yeast
5g  sea salt

Toppings of your liking although I'm going to make them plain next time.

Makes 2
  • Preheat oven to its highest level.
  • Mix in the  yeast. Add the remaining ingredients and the water. Mix for a couple of minutes until the dough starts to form.
  • Transfer the dough onto your working surface. Continue to mix the ingredients by stretching out the dough and folding it over onto itself.
  • Keep working the dough until it comes cleanly away from the work surface and is not sticky.
  • Lightly flour the work surface, place the dough on the flour and form the dough into a ball.
  • Place the dough into a mixing bowl and cover with a tea towel.
  • Rest the dough for a minimum of an hour. Turn out gently onto a well-floured surface. Be careful not to deflate. Generously flour the top of the dough, cover with a clean tea towel and rest for five minutes.
  • Using a plastic scraper (or a thin wooden spatula), divide the dough into two triangles.
  • Make 1 large diagonal cut in each piece of dough, making sure you cut right through to the work surface but not through to the corners.
  • Make 2 smaller diagonal cuts on each side of the central one. Gently open out the holes with your fingers and shake off the excess flour. Add the toppings at this point if using.
  • Lift onto a lightly floured baking tray and slide onto the hot baking stone or tray in your oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.