– Scottish Seafood Chowder –
Cullen Skink my way…….with Smoked Whiting
Fish on Friday
This is my second fishy post of the day, a Fish in Friday double bonus. And, this wonderful soup has just been devoured for lunch along with crusty baguette and butter. As part of the Fish Fanatics scheme, of which I am a member, we receive boxes of fish and seafood throughout the year to sample, cook with and to discuss, and my last box of fish was sent to me as usual via Fish is the Dish with some lovely Scottish fish from John at Delish Fish. In the box was something very new to me, some smoked whiting fillets; whiting is a member of the cod family and has a similar flavour but is more economical and sustainable to buy than cod, and as I discovered, the smoked version also makes a great alternative to smoked haddock. On looking at the smoked whiting fillets, they looked very similar to smoked haddock, and with that in mind, I thought that I would try them out in a Scottish classic, a Cullen Skink, but cooked my way!
The smoked whiting worked a treat in this recipe; it does has a tendency to break up if cooked too long, so keep an eagle eye on it when initially poaching it in the milk. The flesh is very white and quite sweet when unsmoked, but when smoked, I couldn’t tell the difference between it and smoked haddock, which is brilliant for the purse strings, as smoked whiting is cheaper per kilo. John’s fillets came ready to cook and filleted, in handy sealed packets – you can see how handy the packets are by clicking on the link here: Smoked Whiting. As I was making a classic recipe with a new kind of fish, I also decided to walk on the wild side and substitute the usual parsley with some fresh chopped chives, as well as adding in a little bit of smoked salmon at the end, which added a richer flavour. I would challenge even the most experienced of fish eaters to say that they could tell the difference between smoked haddock and whiting; the flake is slightly different, but that’s not that obvious when used in a soup, fish cakes or a pie.
This soup was wonderful…….thick and unctuous and the smoked flavours were subtle, and yet pronounced enough to make it special, as Cullen Skink is – it is probably my all time favourite soup, and is usually the first item I choose from the menu when I am at a good restaurant; the fact that it can made at home with a cheaper type of smoked fish is a real bonus, and it’s also very simple to make too. I hope you will try smoked whiting, and if you do, let me know what you think, as well as maybe having a go at making this soup, it would be a wonderful starter for a Good Friday supper or lunch.
That’s all for my double fishy posts for today, see you tomorrow with a Random Recipe and then on Sunday with more CAKE and flowers! Have a wonderful weekend, Karen.