Thursday, April 21, 2016


When a Chinese friend messaged me to say she had been in Beijing and brought me a duck I was a bit surprised to say the least. I know Beijing is the original home of, what I always knew as Peking Duck, but I hadn't expected one in a gift.

It duly arrived a few days later with the instructions to cook at 180c and it will keep for 3 months. That was it. It did come complete with pancakes and the hoisin sauce. It lay around in the fridge for a few weeks before I decided to cook it. Out of the vacuum pack it didn't look too appetising and the pancakes had gone mouldy. On reflection I should probably have frozen them.

I stuck it on a baking tray and put it in the oven. I thought around 40 minutes should be enough time. I  was not in the mood to make more pancakes so pulled out a pack of tortillas and proceeded to chop some cucumber and spring onions. 40 minutes later when I took it out the oven it had been transformed into a lovely glistening duck which when pulled at with two forks shredded beautifully.

Once piled into warmed tortillas it provided a very delicious supper. I have to say I had been doubtful but obviously coming from the home of the Peking Duck I should have realised how tasty it would be.
I had forgotten just how much I like to eat this and I'm thinking I'll be searching out a duck restaurant here in Shanghai. Or maybe I will try ant attempt it myself. Whatever way I know I want to eat it again very soon.

Monday, April 11, 2016


I love tapas and for some time have thought it might translate well into some tasty Scottish treats. I finally got my act together and put together a menu of, what I hoped, would be a selection of delicious Scottish Tapas. Little tastes of home served tapas style.
Once I began thinking of what to serve I realised that so many our national dishes come with pastry or indeed are deep fried. Would need to think of something bit lighter to serve alongside the other dishes.
This is what I came up with.

Mini Steak Pies
Black Pudding Croquettes
Haggis Samosas
Sausage Rolls +Baked Beans
Scotch Eggs
Fish Gougons + Mushy Peas
Scallop Black Pudding and Mushy Peas
Tian of Haggis, Carrot and Tatties (no neeps here)
Smoked Salmon
Mini Trifles, Mini Berry Pavlova, Millionaires Shortbread and Tablet

I invited some of our Scottish friends and got busy in the kitchen preparing the food. It may only have been small bites but with so many of them it took some time to prepare. The good thing was most could be prepared the day before leaving them to be reheated on the night. Only the scallops and fish needed to be cooked at the last minute.

With the table set and candles lit we sat down and waited for our guests to arrive. I always love this part of the evening where my husband and I sit down and enjoy a pre dinner drink before we go "on duty" for the evening.

Not that we mind we love to entertain and enjoy to have people at our table hopefully enjoying an evening of good food, good wine and lively conversation. What could be better. We knew from past evenings we would put the world to rights tonight.

The food was given a thumbs up, and the chat was indeed lively. The food brought back thoughts of Scotland and for one night at least, with Scottish accents and Scottish food, you could almost believe we were all back home and not some 6,000 miles away in China.  

A successful evening enjoyed by all and especially by us. It's a great relief to know everyone has left happy with nice memories of a Scottish Tapas Night in Shanghai.