As Covid closed-in once again in the Autumn of 2021, Ghillie Basan found herself one of a number of people appointed by Scotland: Food and Drink as an ambassador to inspire food tourism growth. Now, as the country shakes off restrictions, she is keen to kick start initiatives and help with the road to recovery. Ghillie hosts cookery workshops and whisky and food pairing experiences for staycationers and international visitors alike. And she is bringing the Highland’s natural produce to the attention of the world at a vital moment. She is determined that producers, farmers, crofters, fishermen and women, and distillers will all be part of our recovery and will benefit from it. In her book, A Taste of the Highlands, Basan writes from the heart as she takes readers on an uplifting culinary journey through the Highlands, meeting true food adventurers and entrepreneurs along the way.
An unusual recipe from Ghillie Basan’s Taste of the Highlands that proves very moreish and will be a hit on pancake day (Peasemeal can be sourced from Golspie Mill in Sutherland – firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter ):
Peasemeal Pancakes with Crowdie, Rowan Raisins and Birch Syrup
115g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
a scant tsp bicarbonate of soda
250 ml milk
oil or butter, for frying
2-3 tbsp rowan raisins
2-3 tbsp whisky, gin or Earl Grey tea
birch or maple syrup
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl,. Drop in the eggs and whisk to a batter with the milk until smooth and a similar consistency todouble cream. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat the whisky, gin or tea with a squeeze of honey and stir in the twoan raisins. Turn of the heat and leave them to soak, just they plup up a little.
Heat a gridle or heavy-based non-stick frying pan. When it’s hot, wipe a little oil or butter over the gridle or pan base with a piece of kitchen paper and, using a small ladle or a dessert spoon, drop in portions of the pancake batter – you can make these the size of a blini or good-sized drop scone.
Cook the pancakes in batches, flipping them over when begin to puff up and come away easily from the base. They should be firm and ligfhtly browned. Keep them warm as you make them.
Serve with a spoponful of crowdie topped with a scattering of rowan raisins and a generous drizzle of birch syrup./