An Outlander dinner menu, and Outlander recipes, aren’t very sexy. Scottish food is pretty basic — meat, bread and maybe some kind of root vegetable. That’s because the Scottish Highlands are a harsh place to try to grow crops of any kind, let alone something exotic, like tomatoes (wink). The wind is relentless, the sun comes and goes, and the temperatures are rarely hot.
But, guess what? I recently had an Outlander dinner with my good friend, Mariannette Calon-Munoz, that was absolutely delicious! She put together several Outlander recipes (well, Scottish recipes that we re-named Outlander recipes) and cooked up a yummy meal.
Mariannette was kind enough to do all the grocery shopping. I just showed up with some props, a lot of enthusiasm and a healthy appetite.
While she and I were cooking everything (let’s face it, she was cooking; I was the moral support) we had serious doubts about how good our Outlander dinner would be. I mean, those bannocks didn’t look tasty — at all. However, by the time all the Outlander recipes were finished, our Outlander dinner really came together. Both of us were pleasantly surprised!
(I should also mention we jammed to music from Outlander on her new Amazon Echo. I don’t want to brag, but I’m kind of an Alexa expert, so that was another non-cooking way I contributed to our Outlander dinner.)
Here are the recipes Mariannette used and what we did to them to make them a wee bit tastier.
- Scottish Tattie, Neep and Carrot Soup – inspired by “The Gathering” episode, when the clansmen came to pledge their loyalty.
- Bannocks – inspired by “Lallybroch,” because Rabbie MacNab was beaten by his father for stealing a bannock.
- Cranachan and sausage rolls – inspired by, as Mariannette says, “something romantic since that’s why I love Outlander. And what says romance more than berries, sausage and alcohol!”
The first recipe we cooked was Scottish Tattie, Neep and Carrot Soup from Tinned Tomates: The Scottish Vegetarian. Mariannette did the fine chopping, while I chopped the carrots and potatoes.
Because it’s a vegetarian recipe, it calls for vegetable stock. I imagine, if you’re a meat-eater, you could substitute chicken stock and wind up with a soup just as delicious as ours.
Although the ingredients are fairly pedestrian, if you let it simmer all afternoon like we did, you will be very pleased with the results.
While the soup was simmering, we fried up a bunch of bannocks. (If you’re an American, bannocks are a lot like biscuits.)
The bannock recipe that Mariannette got from Pinterest led to a spammy website. I wasn’t suprised, because the recipe wasn’t successful “as-is.” The original batch of dough was way too sticky, and we ended up adding a lot of flour.
Rather than share the spammy recipe with you, I found a better one! The Outlander Bannock Recipe from Growing up Gabel is essentially the same (I mean, a bannock is a bannock) but with proper ingredient proportions.
On their own, bannocks are very bland, very boring. Their time to shine came when we put the Outlander dinner together, because they were wonderful once they were dipped in our soup. (They would also be fabulous with butter, sugar and cinnamon, or with some good PBJ. Mariannette suggested mixing in your favorite herbs into the dough, or raisins for a sweeter taste.)
The bannocks were also better after they cooled and sat for a few minutes. (Rested? Isn’t that a cooking term? Look at me!)
We (Mariannette) used a griddle instead of a cast iron skillet. (She said “comal.” When I gave her my “say what?” look, she said “griddle” and I was like, “Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?”)
By this time, Mariannette and I were pretty bored with what we were cooking. We needed some excitement, so we switched gears and worked on the dessert.
Mariannette chose Cranachan, A Lovely Scottish Dessert from Christina’s Cucina, which neither of us had ever heard of. Cranachan is essentially a trifle that’s liquored up with Scotch (or “whiskey,” as they call it in Scotland).
As Christina explains on her blog, Cranachan made in North America will never taste the same as Cranachan made in Scotland, because our fruit and cream tastes differently than Scotland’s.
Plus, Mariannette and I didn’t have heather honey on hand, so we mixed in organic honey. (I don’t know about you, but my palette isn’t sophisticated enough to tell the difference between honey that’s pooped out by a bee that noshed on heather, compared to a bee that sucked on clover. Or whatever.)
Let me tell you, whether it’s made in North America or Scotland, this is a wonderful dessert! It’s not too heavy or too sweet. And the Scotch adds a lovely taste and fragrance that blossoms in your sinuses. For real!
By this time, we were getting tired. And we were perhaps a little giddy after inhaling the Scotch fumes. So, giddy and tired, we made the final recipe, Homemade Scottish Sausage Rolls, again from Christina’s Cucina.
Full disclosure: I didn’t have a damn thing to do with making the Scottish sausage rolls. That was all Mariannette. I sat on a stool and — as I mentioned before — offered moral support.
Mariannette felt that having an all-beef sausage would be a little to bland and/or dry, so half of her sausage mix was ground pork.
Here’s where I made the biggest contribution of the day. Mariannette, tired and covered with flour and stuff, wanted to forego brushing the rolls with egg white before baking them. I put my foot down! Although my first attempt at separating the egg white from the yolk was really just a scrambled egg (I can’t “cook “and talk at the same time), my second attempt was successful! Let me tell you, that egg-white wash made the sausage rolls a lovely golden color that made me tearful with pride. Yes, they were that pretty.
I’ll also add that the sausage rolls would have benefited from either some pepper or a little more coriander.
With our (her) hard labor behind us, we sat down to a braw Outlander dinner. Mm-mm! All of the foods complemented each other well, with different textures and tastes. Mrs. Fitz would be proud!
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Mariannette Calon-Munoz is a licensed Nurse Practitioner who works in a cardio thoracic unit. Cooking is her passion. Look for more themed food posts from Mariannette, a Media Medusa contributor.