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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Robert Burns Day: My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

In honor of Robert Burns' Birthday yesterday, I am "recycling" a post from last year. But I will add a recipe I made in lieu of haggis for our Burns Supper - Hot Toddy Chicken with Pancetta and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. I made it with bacon instead of Pancetta but it was still delicious and seemed appropriate with the Scottish themed table, especially if you use Scotch. The recipe is at the end of the post.


My table today is inspired by Robert Burns and this poem -

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie
That’s sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

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Robert Burns Day is celebrated by Scots on or near his birthday, January 25th. Some of the foods traditionally served are haggis, cock-a-leekie soup, Scotch Broth and Scotch Whisky.

Now to be honest, I have never had haggis and don't intend to serve it any time soon. But as I hit the after-Christmas sales, I found this plaid tablecloth at Tuesday Morning for 50% off and these plaid napkins and gold napkin rings for 75% off. It seemed like such a shame to put them away for a whole year until I could use them. So I thought maybe a Scottish theme - then I discovered that Robert Burns Day was right around the corner. Red roses for the centerpiece seemed a natural due to the poem above!

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My flatware is "Betsy Patterson" by Kirk Steiff. It was my grandmother's wedding silver which has a place for engraving, but she never had the initials engraved. I thought this would be the perfect flatware since Patterson seemed like a Scottish surname. I did a little research and Betsy Patterson was actually the daughter of an Irish immigrant, who was the wealthiest man in Maryland in the early 1800's. Betsy married Napoleon Bonaparte's brother. I still think the flatware looks nice with the rest of the table, so it's staying Scottish or not! And you will all recognize my "Gollum" china from Big Lots. My stemware is Fostoria Heritage and a pattern with gold and silver Greek keys from TJ Maxx.

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So here's using red and green plaid at other times, not just Christmas AND here's to Robert Burns day!

And here is the recipe for Hot Toddy Chicken with Pancetta and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
This recipe is from my friend Karen whose wonderful blog is Lavender and Lovage!
Ingredients:Servings:6

Hot Toddy Chicken
12 slices pancetta
6 boneless chicken breasts, with skin
salt and black pepper
3 1/2 ounces butter, softened
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lemons, juice and zest of
1/4 pint whiskey, of your choice
2 tablespoons honey
6 fluid ounces hot chicken stock
1 tablespoon flour

Garlic Mash
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut into small chunks
4 tablespoons single cream
2 ounces butter, softened
2 -4 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
salt and black pepper
parsley, to garnish

Directions:
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
1 Cook the pancetta in a frying pan until crisp; set aside on kitchen paper.
2 Season the chicken well with salt & black pepper.Melt half of the butter & oil in a large frying pan - add the lemon zest & the chicken SKIN SIDE DOWN and fry until the skin is crispy & golden, about 5 minutes.Turn over and cook on the other side for about 3 minutes. Drain and place the chicken and the lemon zest on to a plate lined with kitchen paper & set aside.
3 Take the frying pan off the heat & add the whisky - return the pan to the heat for about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, honey & the hot chicken stock. Mix the remaining butter with the flour and gradually whisk in to the whisky sauce in the pan until thickened slightly.
4 Return the chicken & lemon zest to the pan & simmer without a lid for about 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over half way through.
5 Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until very soft. Drain & keeping the potatoes in the pan, add the butter, salt, pepper, garlic & cream to the potatoes inthe pan. Whisk until smooth or mash with a metal potato masher until smooth and there are no lumps remaining. Check seasoning and add more if necessary. Replace lid and keep warm.
6 Divide the garlic mash onto 6 warm dinner plates, top with the chicken and then 2 slices of pancetta for each serving. Drizzle over the hot toddy sauce & garnish with fresh parsley. Serve hot with lightly steamed winter greens.


Linking to Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.
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