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Cullen skink (smoked haddock and leek chowder)

Cullen skink (smoked haddock and leek chowder)

If you can't face the thought of haggis on Burns' Night how about a warming bowl of deliciously creamy cullen skink - the Scots' answer to chowder?

serves 4

225g (8oz) smoked haddock, preferably undyed

300ml (1/2 pint) whole milk

1 medium to large potato (about 225g/8oz), peeled and diced

40g/1 1/2 oz butter

1 large or 2 small to medium leeks (about 225g/8oz sliced weight), cleaned and finely sliced

A good handful of chopped parsley

White pepper and a little salt (for boiling the potatoes)

Place the fish, skin side up in a single layer in a medium-sized saucepan and cover with milk. Bring gradually to the boil, simmer for a minute then take off the heat. Meanwhile put the diced potato in another pan, cover with water, bring to the boil, salt and simmer until tender. Scoop out half the potato chunks and set aside. Crush the remaining potato roughly in he remaining water. Melt the butter in a third pan* and cook the leeks over a low heat until just soft. Skin and flake the cooked fish, taking care to remove any bones. Put the crushed potato, cubed potato, fish and milk in the pan of leeks, adding enough water to get the consistency you’re looking for (surprisingly if you add water it'll still taste creamy. Heat through and adjust the seasoning (it should be salty enough but might benefit from some white pepper). Add a good handful of chopped parsley, heat through again and serve.

* you don’t need to use all these pans, obviously. You can cook the fish, then the potato in the same pan - it’ll just take longer.

What to drink: If you want to drink whisky I'd go for a light malt like Dalwhinnie or grain whisky although see Ewan Lacey's other suggestions here. Alternative you could have a glass of smooth dry white like a Chablis, Gavi or a chenin blanc

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