'Cullen Skink' or Smoked fish chowder
About a week ago, after few days of frenzic reading of cookbooks' reviews, I settled on my first choice - twins: Leith's Cookery Bible and Leith's Technique's Bible. ( I always do that! I choose something straight-away that I know I like, but give it few days to settle and see whether I find something better. Then I go back to my first choice. I should know better by now and just buy it right-away!)
I quickly ordered them from Amazon whilst they were still in sale and was waiting for my 2-5 days super saver free delivery. (have I gone mad? did I really go for 2-5 days delivery? never again!) On my surprise, it arrived the next day!! I carefully opened the box and pulled out two brand new, shiny thick books, full of useful information and recipes.
The reason I decided on these 2 'bibles' was that I wanted to look at my ingredients in the fridge and then look them up in the book's index to give me a collection of recipes to choose from.
Well, that is exactly what I did to try the books out! I had a smoked haddock, looked it up and the suggestion was 'Cullen Skink' (must admit, it did not sound appetizing from the title) , a simple thick soup with a potato base.
When following the recipe: poaching the cod in milk with (only?) nutmeg spice - sauteeing 2 cubed potatoes with finely chopped onion - pouring the strained milk from the fish onto the potatoes, still cooking -blitzing the cooked potatoes with the milk - adding bite-size fish pieces (free of any bones) to the blitzed soup - pouring the soup into small earthenware dishes - finishing with fresh chopped tomatoes, parsley and ground pepper. I could not imagine how this simple looking soup could be so special. Then, after trying it, I admitted my defeat over my hesitations to keep the books and was fully convinced that the recipes in these books have been, just as the authors say, over 100x tried, tested and only the most liked recipes kept.
As for the name:
'Cullen Skink' - is a thick soup of Scottish origin with smoked haddock, potatoes and other vegetables.
'Chowder' - is a thick soup with fish and/or vegetables but having usually corn in it too.
Read about 'Cullen': http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/cullen/cullen/