|Haggis sausage rolls served with chive garnish|
A large plate of haggis, tatties and neeps or perhaps a Scottish steak and sausage pie is probably what most people think of when they think of meals for Burns Night. If you are simply eating at home, however, you may not want to go to the bother of preparing a formal meal and prefer instead to enjoy a loosely Burns themed buffet with your family and perhaps friends. These are just a few ideas for Burns themed finger food and nibbles that can be enjoyed informally in front of the TV.
|Prerolled puff pastry and single portion of haggis|
To make twelve of these little haggis sausage rolls, you will need a half pound (225g) haggis and three-quarters a pound (325g) pre-rolled puff pastry. Both should be removed from the fridge about twenty minutes before use to reach room temperature. You will also need a beaten egg for glazing the pastry and a little vegetable oil for greasing the roasting tray.
|Haggis meat is squeezed from skin|
Start by putting your oven on to preheat to 210C/425F/Gas Mark 7. Cut the haggis open and squeeze the meat in to a bowl. Use your hands to divide it in to three equal portions.
|Strip of haggis meat is arranged across beginning of puff pastry|
Open the pastry and part roll it out on a large chopping board as shown above. Take one-third of the haggis meat and squeeze/shape it in to a large sausage about an inch from the edge of the pastry.
|Beaten egg for glazing|
Lightly glaze the pastry on the far side of the haggis meat to help it stick and roll/fold it over the haggis.
|Puff pastry is folded over haggis strip|
Lightly press down to seal the pastry and use a sharp knife to slice along and free the large haggis roll.
|First long haggis sausage roll is cut free|
Cut the long roll in half and then each half in half again to form four haggis rolls, each around two inches (5cm) in length. Repeat the full process twice more until you have twelve haggis rolls.
|Haggis sausage rolls are cur from long strip|
Lightly oil a large oven tray and sit the haggis rolls on it, ensuring the pastry joint is on the downside. Glaze carefully with more beaten egg.
|Haggis sausage rolls are glazed and ready for the oven|
Bake the haggis rolls in the oven for about twenty-five to thirty minutes until raised and beautifully golden.
|Haggis sausage rolls are cooled on wire rack|
Lift the haggis rolls to a wire rack to cool briefly (or completely) before transferring to a serving plate. Chopped chives make an excellent, optional garnish.
|Haggis sausage rolls|
|Scottish oatcakes and venison pate|
Oatcakes are commonly eaten with butter, cheese, or just about anything with which crackers would be served. In this instance, I decided to spread them with some venison pate. Although the pate is not Scottish (it is French, bought from the German supermarket, Lidl), venison is of course a hugely popular foodstuff in Scotland where it is widely farmed and prepared.
|Mexicana spicy cheese|
The oatcakes and pate are delicious as is but it so happened I had some Mexicana cheese in my fridge. This cheese is spicy (just like haggis!) so I sat a slice on top of each oatcake and really enjoyed the results.
|Mexicana cheese is laid on venison pate oatcakes|
A few chopped chives again make an attractive garnish.
|Venison pate on oatcakes with Mexicana cheese|
|Vegetarian mushroom pate on oatcakes|
Pate is probably most commonly made from pork or chicken livers so vegetarian pates are not something most of us will often come across. It was in my local supermarket recently, however (Morrsions), that I came across this interesting sounding roasted mushroom pate with garlic and thyme. It is produced by Castle McLellan in Kirkcudbright in the south of Scotland. I am of course no vegetarian but I decided to give this stuff a try as I do like a lot of foods which are vegetarian or even vegan friendly.
|Scottish oatcakes and roast mushroom pate|
I also served this pate on oatcakes with an additional slice of toamto and some sliced basil leaves. It was delicious.
|Spreading roast mushroom pate on oatcakes|
|Scottish duck egg and chive sandwiches|
I'm stretching a point with this one perhaps but essentially I'm thinking clapshot (mashed potatoes and turnip with chives) when I take some fresh Scottish duck eggs, hard boil them and incorporate them on sandwiches with chives. Similar colours to clapshot...
|Fresh Scottish duck eggs|
As a rule of thumb, three duck eggs should comfortably make two rounds of sandwiches. Put the duck eggs in to a pot of cold water and on to a high heat until the water starts to simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain the simmer for about ten minutes.
|Preparing to boil duck eggs|
Take the pot to your sink and run cold water in to it until the duck eggs are cool enough to handle. Crack the shells on a hard surface and carefully peel.
|Hard boiled duck eggs are mashed with butter and seasonings|
Put the eggs in to a bowl. Add a little butter, some salt and a little white pepper. Mash with a fork.
|Chopped chives are stirred through mashed duck eggs|
Chopped chives are stirred through the eggs after they are mashed.
|Mashed duck eggs and chives is spread on bread|
Spread the egg mix on a slice of bread, top with a second slice and cut to serve.
|Scottish duck egg and chive sandwiches are plated|