Saturday, April 9, 2016

Celebrating Outlander

As any Outlander fan can tell you the Scots know how to throw a party. The internationally loved series starts its' second season on Starz Chanell tonight at nine EST. .It's a wild ride through the French court and Scottish countryside.  What better way to celebrate than with a viewing party!

To be honest Scottish food doesn't really lend itself to parties.Luckily the two main characters, the ruggedly handsome and sharply witty Jamie and the smart, time travelling Claire start Season Two in  mid 18th Century Paris. This is where canapes come in . There can be a nod to Jamie's homeland by topping cocktail rye bread slices (these are the smaller loaves sometimes sold at deli counters) with smoked salmon and a sprig of dill.This can also take a French turn by switching the salmon for ham or French sausage . Another idea is making mini Croque Monsiuers for fellow fans . This is just making  sandwiches with ham and Gruyere cheese, quartering them and  then a quick fry in melted butter. If this is too rich , then think veggies and a simple vinaigrette dip. Jamie and Claire never traveled to the South of France  but they missed out on that Provencale treat pissaladiere, a kind of miniature  pizza topped with anchovies,pitted  olives  and onions.The onion puree takes about half an hour to forty minutes to cook up but the pies only take twenty minutes to bake. Wash it down with Jamie's beloved whiskey or better yet whiskey cocktails. End the evening with an Irish coffee, loaded with whipped cream (and make sure your fellow Outlanders don;t reach for a second).

If you still want to celebrate the Highlander way, you can with modified versions. Not many groceries in the States sell haggis,It has to be either homemade or mail ordered.It's made with sheeps offal or internal organs. A better take on it  is lamb burgers with neep chips. Neeps is the Scott vernacular for turnips which are the perfect root veggie for chips. These can be sliced wafer thin , drizzled with olive oil and sea salt and  then baked for twenty minutes. The same can be done with another Highland staple parsnips however the baking time is forty five minutes.Now for the bold culinary  move that even the Jacobites would have cheered on - add a few drops of whiskey to ketchup to create a  Highlander inspired condiment. Of course there can be sweets. You can  go with the light and airy macaroons , similar to the ones that the French royals munched on .These can be bought or made. The basic  recipe requires egg whites and almonds along with powdered and granulated sugar. These can be accompanied by that Scottish must have  - shortbread. Buy the buttery rich Walker's brand or make your own. You can even make the shortbread rounds , fork pricked with J's C's and F's - for the couple's last name Frasier, This last is from the French fraise, or strawberry. You can serve chocolate covered ones as  the episode ends.

If you;re a diehard Outlander fan, then celebrate the beginning of Season Two with a theme party. Knock back the whiskey, eat a few lamb burgers and cheer the Jacobites Go Team Frasier with good food and loyal fans.

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