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Tasty trio of recipes

Enjoy a taste of the north-east and Highlands with award-winning chef, Kenny McMillan
Enjoy a taste of the north-east and Highlands with award-winning chef, Kenny McMillan

Last year was a special one for Kenny McMillan of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts as he was named executive chef of the year at the 2015 Scottish Hotel Awards. Today he’s giving local produce top billing, with a trio of recipes using some of his favourite ingredients to create warming dishes for chilly nights




Located in close proximity to the Macdonald New Drumossie Hotel in Inverness, Connage Highland Dairy is a supplier of top quality cheeses. This recipe for their award-winning Connage Clava brie-style cheese is ideal to enjoy as a starter, or with a glass of wine on a cold evening.

120g Connage Clava

4tbsp Panko breadcrumbs

3tbsp fresh herbs (e.g. rosemary, thyme, parsley) washed and dried

1tbsp peeled pistachios

1tbsp flaked almonds

1 clove garlic, crushed

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 sourdough loaf

120g hazelnuts

50ml water

50g sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the almonds on a baking tray and bake until golden brown. Set aside. Put the breadcrumbs, garlic, pistachios and herbs in a food processor and blitz until a green crumb is formed. Drizzle in enough olive oil to bind the mixture together.

Season the cheese with freshly ground black pepper before topping with the crumb. Place in an ovenproof dish and bake until the crumb is crunchy and cheese is soft and gooey in the middle.

To make the sourdough toast, slice the loaf to create shard-like fingers. Brush with olive oil, and toast in the oven until dried out but not golden. To make the candied hazelnuts, place the water and sugar in a saucepan and boil until a syrup consistency is achieved. Cool slightly then add the hazelnuts and toss to coat.

Transfer to a baking tray and roast in the oven for six minutes then deep fry in hot oil and serve scattered on and around the baked cheese. For an extra nutty taste, scatter on some pickled walnuts too.




Located in the heart of Aberdeenshire, Macdonald Pittodrie House Hotel near Inverurie lies within a stone’s throw of leading meat supplier Scotbeef Inverurie. This gourmet burger is a great twist on a family favourite.


720g lean Scotch Beef mince

40g Stornoway black pudding, diced

10g sun blushed tomatoes, chopped

10g fresh chopped basil

4tsp of chopped chives

1tsp Worcestershire sauce

1tsp tomato ketchup

1 clove garlic, crushed

4 brioche buns


2 medium red onions, sliced

2 small limes, sliced

100ml white wine vinegar

2tbsp sugar

1tsp salt

1tsp black peppercorns

1tbsp fresh coriander, chopped


8tbsp tomato ketchup

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

1tsp dark brown sugar

1tbsp soy sauce

1tsp Jack Daniel’s

Salt to taste


Vegetable stock cube

6 large baking potatoes

1tbsp of Cajun spice

In a large bowl mix the mince with the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, chives and garlic. Add the Stornoway black pudding, tomatoes and freshly chopped basil then shape into burgers. In a hot pan seal the burger both sides for 60 seconds then cook in a 180°C oven 12 minutes. Serve in warm brioche buns.

This is ideally accompanied with pickled red onions which make an excellent addition to this and a variety of other dishes – it’s a great one to keep handy in the fridge.

Plunge the onions in to boiling water for 20 seconds then remove from the water and set aside. Place the vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan and bring to the boil, then slightly cool. Now add the sliced limes, peppercorns, chopped coriander and blanched onions and keep in sterilised airtight container in the fridge for up to seven days.

For the BBQ sauce, heat the Jack Daniel’s then add sugar, cooking until dissolved. Cool the mixture then stir in the other sauce ingredients.

For the triple cooked chips, peel and rinse the potatoes then cut into even pieces (roughly nine chips per potato). Add a vegetable stock cube to the cooking water and cook until al dente. Cool then blanch in oil. Remove, drain and freeze until required. Refry in hot oil at 200°C until the outside is crisp and brown, and the middle soft and fluffy. Coat in Cajun spice. Assemble the dish, serve and enjoy.



At Macdonald Norwood Hall Hotel in Aberdeen and other venues in the region, they are fortunate to work with Blueflag Seafoods in supplying customers with a bounty of fresh fish. Fish is healthy and quick to cook making it an ever-popular addition to the menu at home too.


4 x 160g portions of cod fillet

160g tenderstem broccoli, trimmed

120g samphire

1 small cauliflower

40g sliced white onion

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1tbsp olive oil

1 knob of butter

250ml vegetable stock

200ml double cream

200ml white wine vinegar

Knob of butter

200ml water

150g sugar

Pinch of salt

1 star anise

1 bay leaf

2 x sprigs of thyme

150g smoked pancetta diced

200g cherry tomatoes, halved

250ml good quality olive oil

1tbsp sea salt

6 cloves of garlic, bruised

Fresh black pepper

Preheat the oven to 140°C. Drizzle the cherry tomatoes with olive oil, sea salt, the bruised garlic cloves, one sprig of thyme, black pepper then cook slowly in the oven until the tomatoes are starting to burst and collapse. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then put in an airtight container. Cover with the rest of the olive oil and store in the fridge until required (these tomatoes are also great for salads, pasta, cheese dishes).

For the purée, prepare the cauliflower into florets retaining 12 small florets for the pickle. In a small pan add the oil and butter and start to sweat the onion slowly. After a few minutes add the garlic and the cauliflower, slowly cook until the cauliflower starts to break down then add the vegetable stock and cook for a few more minutes. Add the cream then bring to the boil. Once the cream is thick remove from the heat, and blend in a liquidiser with a little salt and pepper until smooth.

For the pickle, cook the reserved cauliflower in salted water for one minute or until almost cooked. In a saucepan add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, star anise, thyme and bay leaf, bring to the boil then pour over the cauliflower and leave to the side. Blanch the samphire in boiling water for 30 seconds, and the broccoli in the boiling water for 60 seconds then dip in cold water to refresh and stop the cooking process.

Fry off the pancetta. Once cooked add the pickled cauliflower and warm through, set aside in a warm place. Season the cod. In a hot non-stick pan add a little oil then fry the cod fillets skin side down. Once coloured put on tray and place in the oven at 180°C for eight minutes, then leave to rest in a warm place.

To assemble the dish, place a generous amount of cauliflower puree on the centre of the plate, then place the cooked pancetta around, with some gently warmed cherry tomatoes. Toss the cooked broccoli and samphire in a knob of butter and scatter around plate, now place the piece of rested cod on the purée. Serve with boiled baby potatoes tossed in butter and chives.