Today’s blog entry may be offensive to sensitive Scotsmen and/or Scotswomen. Reader discretion is strongly advised – especially if you’ve ever worn a kilt.
Yesterday, on my way to dinner with Marty and co., I stopped by my local butcher shop and picked up a fresh haggis, determined to finally sample the Scotland’s national dish (I thought it was the deep-fried chocolate bar. That shows you how much I know). For those of you not in the know, haggis is comprised of various minced sheep’s innards (ie. lungs, liver, and heart), beef and/or mutton fat, oatmeal, onion, and spices stuffed into a sheep’s stomach, served steamed or boiled with a side of turnips and rutabagas.
While no doubt the traditional way to go, steaming or boiling my haggis seemed like, well, adding insult to injury, so I searched the internet and discovered several interesting recipes for roast haggis. I got the idea, by the way, from an episode of the F Word in which Ramsay takes on a Scottish celebrity in the recipe challenge – so it can’t be that much an affront to Scottish sensibilities. Can it?
I preheated the oven to 350 degrees celsius, wrapped my haggis in foil after piercing it several times to avoid an explosion similar to the one that claimed the haggis of a fellow butcher shop customer, and popped it in the oven. While it roasted, I made my whisky cream sauce – sweating some shallots in a pan of melted butter until translucent, then adding a few shots of 15 year old Scotch, reducing, adding chicken stock with chopped parsley and thyme, reducing that, then adding some honey, heavy cream, and another dollop of butter which I also reduced.
The recipe I was following instructed me to roast my haggis for 30 to 40 minutes. 35 minutes in, the A.I. built into my oven informed me that my haggis was done.
I wasn’t totally convinced it WAS done, however, given that another recipe had suggested a cooking time of an hour and a half. So, just to be on the safe side, I pan-fried my haggis to a golden brown finish and served with the whisky cream sauce and a side of sweet potatoes.
And the verdict? Delicious! I loved its oatmealy texture and nutty flavor. I think next year, I might try the traditional version. Maybe I can swing an invite to Robert Carlyle’s place for a Robbie Burns Day feast.
I’ll bring the rutabagas.
Well, I started work on my rewrite of Awakenings today. While I’ve compared writing a first draft to giving birth, I’d say doing a rewrite is more like being worked over by a thug for information you were once privy to but have long forgotten. Today, the muse worked my mid-section. Tomorrow, she’s moving onto the rib area.
So, as we prep for the show’s second season – and keeping in mind you haven’t seen the more action-oriented back half of season one – I’d like to know:
1. Which character would you like to see explored more?
2. What aspect of the show would you like to see exploited more?
3. What aspect of the show would prefer to see minimized?
4. What was your favorite “story moment” from the first half of SGU’s first season?
5. What element (I’m leaving this one wide open) would you like to see added to the series as a whole?
Today’s blog entry is dedicated to Chev. Thanks for the calendar! Paul put it up in my office today.