Monday, January 25, 2010

'Burns' the Scots bard, or burns the fat? You decide!

Ach aye! It’s ‘Burns night’, the one night of the year where we dish out the haggis and dance around with a wee dram o’ whiskey (um, which you will need after eating the haggis…) Ooh yes, and for those of you not familiar with the Scottish bard, you can just take my word for it!


Anyhoo, if you did have a ‘Burns supper’, let me suggest you get an early night and plan to eat a ‘fat burning’ breakfast to get you going in the morning after all that haggis. Don’t be fat with Burns, burn the fat!


Doctors also tell us that oatmeal lowers cholesterol and provides us with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidents. So put away the kilt for another year and start your day off right by adding a few power packed walnuts containing Omega 3 fatty acids with a handful of vitamin rich cranberries. Feeling better? Now, with all that guilt free goodness in your breakfast bowl you can afford a ‘wee’ drop of sweet whiskey sauce to pour over the top and start you day off in the most delicious and healthy way! Speaking from experience I recently dropped more than a few pounds and I am not just sharing a recipe secret, but the best kept one for loosing weight! Blueberries and strawberries are of course not in season but they also are another healthy fat burning topping! Check it out! Time to do away with the deep fried mars bars and heavy fried starches often associated with Scottish food and rethink with another recipe from the Ulster Kitchen to break the myth!..


Go ahead and cook Ulster-Scots, sure wee Robbie Burns would be proud!...


Ulster-Scots Oatmeal with Cranberries and whiskey sauce

(serves 4)

  • 7 oz (1 cup) organic steel cut Scots or Irish Oats
  • 1 pint (2 cups) spring water
  • 1 pint (2 cups) milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp dried cranberries (roughly chopped)
  • 2 ½ oz toasted walnuts (chopped)

Sweet Whiskey Sauce

  • 6 oz ( ¾ cup) butter
  • 5 oz (3/4 cup) fine granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (beaten)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp Irish Whiskey
  • 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream


1. Bring water, milk and salt to simmering point in a medium heavy based saucepan. Slowly stir in the steal cut oats, sprinkling lightly so the grains do not stick together in clumps.

2. Stir with a wooden spoon until the oatmeal begins to thicken. After about 5 minutes, reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until oatmeal is cooked, remembering to stir several times.

3. To make the whiskey sauce combine the butter, water and sugar in a medium heavy based saucepan and stir on low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the beaten egg yolk, whiskey, vanilla and heavy whipping cream.

4. Strain sauce in to a wee jug.

5. To enjoy the traditional way, serve the porridge in small individual bowls steaming hot, with the whiskey sauce and cranberries and toasted walnuts on top.


Judth the I F,.

(*oh, and as ever, if you want to print this recipe for your own kitchen I suggest cutting and pasting this entry into Word and printing, otherwise we will never replenish the Scottish highlands with those fabled trees from the Braveheart movie at all!)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Creamed Savoy Cabbage with Onion, Garlic and Wholegrain Mustard

So here we are, in the grip of a deep freeze. Georgia is in full panic mode. Wall to wall news coverage of the ice whilst hooded correspondents stand and point toward obscure patches of ‘something’ behind them. Oooh, shudder in horror!

Yes, it’s Winter fest in Atlanta.

But seriously, it is cold out there, and as it happens, it also shaping up to be one of the coldest winters globally! My family in Ireland are telling me that they are having the coldest winter in 80 years believe it or not. So much so that the river ‘Bann’ that flows through my hometown is frozen over! (And it’s comparable to the Chattahoochee in size!) Gulp!

Dublin has run out of grit for the roads, whilst Atlanta never had any in the first place! Go figure!

So what does all this mean? Could Al Gore be wrong!! We will never know, but I think it’s time for some yummy winter comfort food to munch on as we stoke the fire. Something you can make in a snatch, and something that will be healthy into the bargain. Try this…

‘Creamed Savoy cabbage, with garlic, onions, whole grain mustard and some warm bacon dressing’. Yum!

Growing up my mother always grew Savoy cabbage in our garden in Ireland and it was a regular side dish on the family table. My dad used to love it blanched and then quickly finished off in bacon fat, which sounds good, but these days we are all a tad more conscious of the type of fats we consume so I like to cook my bacon separately or eliminate it all together. Savoy cabbage is packed with nutrients and tastes great! Try this easy recipe for a quick warming winter lunch or snack whilst you settle back to watch more ‘winter fest’ on TV…Ha!



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (finly sliced)
  • 1 whole savoy cabbage, about 2lbs (thinly shredded)
  • kosher salt and white pepper
  • 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 4 slices of crispy crumbled bacon (optional)


  1. Saute onion and garlic in butter with olive oil until onions ae soft but not browned. Set aside.
  2. Pull off the tough outer leaves of the cabbage and gut around hard inner core. Wash and thinly slice cabbage.
  3. Blanch cabbage for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain in a colander.
  4. On medium heat, add cabbage to fried onions in skillet and heat through for 2 minutes. Add cream and wholegrain mustard and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Serve right away garnished with bacon or straight from the pan.

(*remember, if you want to print this out for your own kitchen I suggest copying and pasting into Word. If you print this blog, Al Gore's nightmares of deforestation may become a reality indeed!*)