St Kildan ‘Puffin’ Cake by The Whitehouse Restaurant, Lochaline

Puffin was a staple part of the St Kildan’s diet. This dish is called St Kilda Puffin and was created by The Whitehouse Restaurant, the Highlands & Islands Restaurant of the Year 2017, in memory of the 28 St Kildans who settled in Lochaline when the islands were abandoned in 1930.

The head chef, Michael Burgoyne, researched what puffin tasted like: a little like smoked shellfish and the sea. “We use The Tobermory Fish Company’s smoked haddock and smoked mussels.

It has been on the menu this season and is flying out of the kitchen!” Small but perfectly formed, the winning restaurant champions the produce on its doorstep including, wild venison, beef and lamb, from an estate a few miles away, fish from local suppliers and vegetables grown behind the restaurant. You can’t get much more local than that. 

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Ingredients: Serves 2
2 fillets Tobermory smoked haddock
200g smoked mussels
100g smoked scallop
100g Maris Piper potatoes, cooked 
5g dried seaweed or fresh dulse
5g dill weed, chopped 
1 litre whole milk
A little arrowroot
5 to 6 small cubes of unsalted butter
2 eggs
150g dried bread crumbs
A little plain flour
Black Pepper

 1 Pre-heat the oven to 250°C.
2 Chop the mussel and scallop meat, combine with the cooked potato, seaweed, chopped dill and eggs. Set aside.
3 In a large dish poach the haddock in the milk in the oven for 15 minutes  until cooked. 
4 Remove the haddock and save the milk and strain.
5 Make the mussel and scallop meat mix into walnut size balls and roll in a mix of flour and breadcrumbs to make the ‘puffin’ cake
6 Return the poaching milk to the heat and lightly simmer, do not boil, and  add a little arrowroot with cubes of butter. Reduce and add the chopped dill.
7 Place the poached haddock under a hot grill for 30 seconds.  
8 Cook the ‘puffin” cake in the deep fat fryer (or hot oil with care) for 2 minutes.
9 To plate, place the haddock on the plate and add the sauce and then add the puffin cake and arrange dill on top.

Chef’s tip: Add lecithin to a little sauce and blend until a  foam appears and spoon on tothe dish.

In association with Taste Communications.