Hamish's American-Style Cullen Skink

Our special friend, Seumas, sent the original Scottish recipe for cullen skink to his close associate in the USA, Hamish, so it could be modified for ingredients available in the USA. The main difference is that the best cullen skink in Scotland is made with Abroath Smokies, or finnan haddie if Smokies are not readily available. Although haddock is available in the USA, fresh Atlantic cod is more common and easily found in many markets. Hamish smokes fresh North Atlantic cod with his Weber grill, generally a day before preparing the cullen skink. To add a little of his partial Welsh roots to the recipe, Hamish uses a leek in place of onions, an ingredient in the authentic Scottish version of cullen skink.

  1. Trim and wash a leek.
  2. Finely slice the leek and sweat it in a little olive oil and freshly ground black pepper until the leek has cleared.
  3. Add several cut up potatoes, cover with water, and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  4. If you want a smooth cullen skink, blend the cooked potatoes and leek with a hand blender. Or, use a potato masher if you prefer a slightly lumpy soup. You make the call.
  5. Flake the Atlantic cod by hand, add to the leeks and potatoes, and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add about a cup of cream a few minutes before serving, stir well, bring up to serving temperature, and enjoy.
  7. Hamish prefers to serve his Americanized (Americanised) cullen skink with fresh corn (i.e., Zea mays) bread made with Dixie Lily medium enriched white stone ground corn meal, following the recipe on the package. For many north Americans, e.g., those who live upNorth where Hamish now lives in The Land of 10,000 Lakes, Dixie Lily corn meal is not available in any of the grocery stores or super markets. You will just have to figure that one out yourself. Occassionally Hamish's wife makes business trips to Atlanta, GA, USA, where she picks up a supply of Dixie Lily medium enriched white stone ground corn meal so Hamish can live happily upNorth.
  8. You also might try some garlic bread made with fresh ciabatta if the corn bread thingy gets too complicated.

If you like this recipe, sent a note to Hamish's friend, Seumas, and he will forward it to Hamish. Likewise, if you make a worthwhile modification, Seumas would enjoy your feedback.

Seumas, The Ol' Sly Fox