Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Cullen Skink

Isn't this the most wonderful title?One of Scotland's national treasures. It is somewhere between a fish soup and a stew. Called 'Skink' locally. Whatever, it is a meal in a bowl and a very good one too. I could push the boat out and tell you you need Finnan Haddies to make it but I wouldn't be so cruel. Any smoked white fish will do. I used a mix of white and smoked cod. You do need the smoked fish to give the special flavour though. It is a perfect winter warmer or a good dish on a wet summer day here. Keep left over mashed potato to make this. It's a good use up.

Serves 4


750 mls / 1.6 pints full fat milk or a mix of milk and cream if you are feeling decadent
A small handful of chopped parsley (reserving the stalks)
1 bay leaf
12 black peppercorns
450 gms /1lb Smoked haddock fillets or any firm white smoked fish or a mix of smoked and plain fish. Whatever you have or whatever you fancy.
5ogms/ 2oz butter
1 medium onion chopped
2 scallions finely chopped
200gms/8 oz buttered mashed potato
Salt and Pepper


Chopped parsley and four poached eggs.


Pour the milk into a saucepan large enough to accommodate the fish.
Add in the bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley stalks and fish.
Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for five minutes or more.

Remove the fish, strain the poaching liquid and reserve.
Flake the poached fish removing any skin and bones.

While the fish is poaching heat the butter in another saucepan and fry the onion until soft but not brown.

Then stir in the strained poaching liquid, then the mashed potatoes until you have a thick creamy consistency.

Add the chopped parsley leaves, chopped scallions and the flaked fish and simmer for another 4-5 minutes
Season well with black pepper and salt if needed.
Pour into serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and a poached egg.

Poached Eggs

You can of course poach the eggs in a saucepan of boiling water. A short cut is to put boiling water and a little vinegar into a microwavable dish. Make sure the water is enough to cover the eggs well. Microwave for a minute to make sure the water is good and hot. Swirl the water and drop in the egg and microwave for 30-40 seconds per egg. They will not cook a great deal after removal but will keep hot.


Coby said...

Umm, I'm *always* feeling decadent;) I adore the sound of this dish, and I LOVE the name! It's one of my favourites in fact! Do you know why it is called this please Granny?

Rhyleysgranny said...

It is a great dish isn't it Coby. Here you go on the name

"The name is not derived from Gaelic. The first element refers to the town of Cullen in Moray, skink is a Scots word for a shin, knuckle or hough of beef which has developed the secondary meaning of a soup, especially one made from these. The word skink is ultimately derived from Middle Dutch schenke "shin, hough", also the root of the English word shank.

busygran said...

I have never eaten or cooked anything like it but it sounds good, healthy and looked delicious! I will bookmarked this and give it a try.

J e l e n a said...

how rich is this..it reminds me of clam chowder...without the clams..we don't have a lot of the smoked fish but i suppose any fish would do...poached egg... this is a whole meal....saved this recipe...

Brownieville Girl said...

Great tip on the poached egg ... maybe I will get my microwave mended.

I love the sound of this soup/stew, and it looks beautiful.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is one delicious dish! What a tasty combination!



Gloria Baker said...

This look really delicious Brenda, x gloria

Grannymar said...

It looks lovely, but I'll not come for lunch today. :) All that milk etc. My sister would love it so I'll pass it on.

Lucie said...

How delicious. I have never tried this but I can almost taste it looking at your picture!

Rhyleysgranny said...

Busygran - Enjoy

Jelena - I expect it is similar to clam chowder. Clams would be plentiful on the coastal regions of America as haddock is common in Scotland. I love the way these great dishes have their feet in what was peasant food

BVG - I love a poached egg for breakfast and have perfected the technique as I am so lazy. I think it's the only thing I actually cook in the microwave.

Rosa - Thanks Rosa. It is tasty and filling.

Gloria - Thank you

Grannymar - No this would not be a dish for you. I wouldn't want you keeling over LOL x

Lucie - It is good for a winter's day dinner. x

Vicky said...

Brenda, this is my lunch today. It's always been a favourite,I've been craving it since reading your blog yesterday! I can't wait! Vic xxxxxxxx

Sarah said...

Cullen Skink, one of my favourites. Such good and honest fayre. Lovely pictures. s x

thecelticcookinshanghai said...

One of my favourite soups. Always planned to blog it and will one day. It's a great supper dish in this house.