All posts by Shetland Life

Malabar Chicken Curry

Malabar Chicken Curry
by Manju Malhi

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 4-6 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 500g skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2cm pieces
  • For the spice paste mix:
  • 500g desiccated or freshly grated coconut
  • 2.5cm piece of peeled root ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2.5cm piece cinnamon or cassia bark
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • For the tempering:
  • 1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tsp brown or black mustard seeds
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthways

Method:

  1. To make the spice paste, heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add the coconut, ginger, garlic, cinnamon or cassia bark, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns.
  2. Dry roast until the coconut turns brown and you can smell the aroma of the spices.
  3. Allow to cool, then place all the ingredients in a food processor and grind with 200ml of water to make a fine paste.
  4. Heat the oil and add the shallots.
  5. Fry till soft. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes until the chicken turns white on the outside.
  6. Add the ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Mix well and add the spice paste. Add 400ml of water and cook for 10 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through and when a piece is cut in half it’s white on the inside.
  7. Heat a frying pan and add the 1tsp of olive oil. Add a few of the mustard seeds, if they start to crackle, add the remaining seeds followed by the chillies. Saute for a minute.
  8. Pour the mixture over the chicken curry and cook for a further 3 minutes.
    Serve hot.

Bombay Sandwich

Bombay Sandwich
by Manju Malhi

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 cucumber slices
  • 2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Bombay mix

Method:

  1. Lay out the four slices of the bread on a work surface. Spread butter on each slice of bread followed by the green chutney.
  2. Then on two slices of bread, layer with the cucumber slices and then the potatoes and tomatoes.
  3. Sprinkle over the black pepper. Arrange the onion slices on top.
    Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat.
  5. Place the sandwich into the pan and cook until the bread is evenly golden brown, about two minutes.
  6. Flip the sandwich over with a fish slice and cook until the bread is golden brown.
  7. Add the remaining one tablespoon of oil to the pan.
  8. Repeat with the remaining sandwich.
  9. Sprinkle the sandwiches with Bombay Mix and serve with tomato ketchup.

Bacalhau Rice

Bacalhau Rice

from saltcod.co.uk

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size piece of bacalhau (salted cod)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 sprigs of leeks, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Vegetable or fish stock
  • 1 & 1/2 cups risotto rice

Method:

  1. Soak a medium size piece of cod for 2/3 days.
  2. Boil water and insert piece of cod for approximately 4 to 5 minutes, taking care not to overcook.
  3. In a pan, saute onion and garlic in the olive oil on a medium heat for approximately 4 minutes (or until the onion is translucent) and then add rice.
  4. Start adding the stock (vegetable or fish). After 4 minutes, add the cod (flaked).
  5. Add 3 cups of water and let it boil.
  6. Add rice, cover and let it cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Once done, transfer it to a dish and sprinkle the sliced leeks over the dish. Mix well and serve.

 

Brandade de Morue

Brandade de Morue

by Marian Armitage

This is a delicious dip made from salt cod and potatoes with garlic, lemon and oil whipped in. It takes just minutes to make in a food processor. Sometimes it has cheese sprinkled over and then browned under a hot grill­­ – brandade de morue au gratin. Served with crudités it makes an interesting starter alongside hummus, tzatziki and guacamole.

Ingredients:

  • 150g salt cod – one large fillet – reconstituted
  • 100g potatoes – plain boiled
  • 1 lemon – grated rind and juice
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic – crushed

Method:

  1. Put everything into a food processor and blend till smooth.
  2. Garnish with a little smoked paprika, if you like.
  3. Serve with crudités.

Love Island

Summer’s a romantic time of year, isn’t it? Long walks on the beach, secluded picnics in the sun, and warm evenings that never seem to end. Romance is in the air, and this month Shetland Life is taking a look at love — celebrating it, reminiscing about it, and seeking it out in the first place. We’ve looked at love in Shetland from many different angles to make sure there’s something for everyone.

So whether you’re leafing through as you idly swipe away on Tinder, or you’re curled up with your sweetheart, read on and enjoy!

The girl in the photograph

Life story
If you don’t believe in fate; read on. Dale Smith recounts a real-life love story of chance that might just change your mind.

The large framed photograph, currently hanging in Isles­burgh Community Centre’s Room 9, had intrigued the staff for years. Not even the long-established employees knew who the two teenage girls pictured were. All that changed one day when Janice Drummond confirmed that one of the girls  was her auntie.

August’s issue: out now!

Hello Shetland,
It’s a privilege to be guest editor for this edition of Shetland Life.
I’ve written a lot of stuff for Shetland Life over the last couple of years, but not til right now did I fully appreciate how big a job it is to put it all together. I am genuinely in awe of our regular editor, Genevieve, and how she does this every month without breaking a sweat.

And this is the issue she left me with: Love and Relationships. Which is fairly apt, since ‘love and relationships’ is the only reason I’m in Shetland in the first place. If I hadn’t met a certain, beautiful Shetlander in a bar in Glasgow, and followed through on a promise to come and visit her for Hogmanay, I wouldn’t be writing this now. I’d probably not have set foot on Shetland at all, come to think of it.

I remember a close (Shetland) friend once asking me if people “really go on dates” down south. They explained that they had never been on a formal get-to-know-each-other date, as their relationships had been with people that they had already known on some level beforehand. In a place where you are quite probably familiar with 80 per cent of the people in your age group, that seems entirely possible.

I was told that often the way of winding up in a relationship was to ‘bag aff’ with someone, and once you had ‘bagged aff’ with that someone a number of times you would have seamlessly transitioned to being in a relationship.

It was a slightly mind boggling concept for me, like being told that all romantic matches are determined by the casting of sheep-bones under a waxing moon. To a Glaswegian such as myself, Shetland courtship seemed a strange and exotic thing.

This month, the Shetland Life writers have done a terrific job (as usual) of looking at love in the isles. Getting to grips with Shetland romance has been an absolutely fascinating experience; I hope it is as enjoyable to read as it has been to put together.

Alex Garrick-Wright
Editor

Couscous and Labneh (Strained yogurt)

COUSCOUS

By Susan Msalila

Ingredients:

  • 200g couscous
  • 250 ml stock
  • 25g butter
  • 25g dried apricots
  • 25g dried cranberries
  • selection of fresh vegetables, cut into small pieces – I used courgette, rainbow chard leaves and stalks

Method:

  1. Chop the apricots into cranberry-sized pieces, and soak together with the cranberries in enough orange juice to cover them. If you have time, leave them for several hours to plump up, if you haven’t then give them a short blast in the microwave to hurry them up.
  2. Put the stock in a pan and bring to the boil. Add the butter and the couscous, cover and turn off the heat. After about 10 minutes stir with a fork to break up any clumps, and add the vegetables, apricots and cranberries (drained of excess orange juice). Check the seasoning, add salt if required. Leave another 10 minutes, on a very low heat for part of the time if it seems to have cooled too much. Serve with the lamb.

LABNEH (STRAINED YOGURT)

This really needs to be made ahead of time, although if you only start it when you start cooking the lamb it will have thickened up somewhat.

Ingredients:

  • 500g of natural yoghurt (greek style is best)

Method:

  1. Put the yogurt in a cloth lined sieve (something like a j-cloth, or muslin square). Pull up the corners of the cloth so the yoghurt is enclosed, tie the top, and hang it from a cupboard door handle or other convenient place where it can drip into a bowl for a couple of hours. Once it is thick enough – you are looking to get about 200ml of liquid dripped out – take it out of the cloth, mix in some salt and 1 – 2 mashed garlic cloves, to taste. The flavours will develop as it stands, so better to start under seasoned and adjust. Serve really cold. This will keep in the fridge for days, and is great as a healthy alternative to mayonnaise on all sorts of things.

Lamb and Orange Khoresh

Lamb and Orange Khoresh

by Diane Henry

Susan’s lamb and orange khoresh took home the prize at the Taste of Shetland Cooking Challenge last year. Now you can try this recipe for yourself. Go for some local Shetland lamb to really add something special. Serve with couscous, accompanied by strained yoghurt (see overleaf) and roasted tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oranges
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • olive oil
  • 675g lamb from the leg, cut into 2-3 cm cubes
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 275 ml orange juice
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 275 ml lamb stock or water
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 carrots
  • a good handful of mint leaves, torn
  • 2 teaspoons orange flower water (optional)
  • 25g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped, to garnish.

Method:

  1. Remove peel from the oranges, taking care to leave the pith behind, cut into fine strips about the size of a match. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil, cook for 2 min, then strain. Heat half the butter in a small pan and add the orange rind. Stir, then add the sugar and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, until the sugar has melted and the rind has lightly caramelized. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Fry the lamb cubes over fairly high heat, so that they get a good browning on the outside. You should do this in batches to ensure that they get properly coloured. Remove and set the lamb aside.
  3. Add another 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan with the rest of the butter. Heat this and sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Sprinkle on the cinnamon and cardamom and cook for another minute. Add the juices, stock and water, and the lamb, with any juices that have run out of it. Season, and simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until tender.
  4. Peel the carrots and cut them into batons about 6 cm long. Using a very sharp knife, remove the white pith from the oranges then, cutting close to the membrane, remove each segment. Add the carrots and caramelized orange peel (reserving a little for garnishing) to the lamb once it is tender. Simmer, uncovered, for a further 20 min, adding the orange segments in the last few min with half of the mint.
  5. Stir the orange flower water, if using, into the khoresh and serve, scattered with the remaining mint and orange peel and the pistachios.

What is a Shetlander?

What is a Shetlander?

As an incomer to these islands I’ve found that this question can result in heated debate. Some folk believe that a Shetlander can be anyone who lives here; others maintain that your family needs to have been in Shetland for at least two generations before you can go making any such claims for yourself. Then of course, there are all kinds of Shetlander definitions in between these two poles.

Genevieve White, Editor