Eunice Henderson - Shetland Food Fair 2015

by Elizabeth Atia -

Eunice Henderson has been a traditional fiddle instructor with the SIC for 21 years and she also co-presents BBC Radio Shetland's Shetland's Larder with Jane Moncrieff. Eunice will be demonstrating at the Shetland Food Fair, a celebration of all things Shetland food, this coming weekend at the Clickimin Leisure Centre in Lerwick. Times still to be confirmed, but visit the Shetland Food Fair facebook page to find out more.

I caught up with Eunice and asked her a few questions about her passion for Shetland food and cooking.

Q. How long have you been cooking?

A. I've been interested in cooking for as long as I can remember. My parents entertained a lot, and we always had a magnificent Sunday dinner! As a teenager, I used the Good Housekeeping step-by-step Cookery Course book for many a birthday party dinner. My granny won it in a competition when she entered her lamb recipe to a Good Housekeeping competition, and received a runner-up award!

Q. What's your favourite Shetland-produced ingredient and why?‚Äč

A. I would say vegetables and herbs. Something that anyone can try on a scale that suits them. They are the basis of most dishes...soups, stews, sauces, plus stand alone classics.

Q. What are your inspirations when it comes to cooking?

A. I'm inspired by the people I'm going to cook for. Their food likes and lifestyle. I love to please! I do love the internet. If you can be bothered to trawl, there are some lovely little sites out there. You can add in your favoured ingredients and go search!

I'm inspired by the people I'm going to cook for. Their food likes and lifestyle. I love to please!

Q. Tell me a bit more about your passion for cooking.

A. I think there is very little I can't eat...I mean dislike! I have a good grasp of the basics and can work out what would/wouldn't work. I'm no food snob and certainly happy to cheat a bit. I am also a lover of unusual dish towels and napkins! I'm loathe to use my Form & Farve towels and Crate & Barrel napkins for fear of not having them anymore! I also have a great collection of kitsch 50's/60's pottery, my favourite being a set of pottery sandwich markers.

Q. What recipe will you be demonstrating at the Shetland Food Fair?

A. I'll be making a dish using minced lamb, recipe courtesy of Valerie Berry, through The Guardian online. Turkish Filo Tart with Lamb, Mint and Garlicky Yoghurt featured in our Shetland's Larder Children in Need Special. It definitely needs another airing, as it was so utterly delicious!

Turkish Filo Tart with Shetland Lamb

Course: Main

Servings: 4 pide

  • olive oil - 4 tbsp
  • onion - 1 (finely chopped)
  • Shetland lamb - 400 grams (minced)
  • allspice berries - 1/2 tsp (ground)
  • coriander seeds - 1/2 tsp (ground)
  • cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp (ground)
  • cinnamon - 1/2 tsp (ground)
  • nutmeg - 1/4 tsp (freshly grated)
  • pine nuts - 2 tbsp
  • tomatoes - 300 grams (finely chopped)
  • tomato paste - 2 tsp
  • filo pastry sheets - 6 (24 x 45 cm)
  • sesame seeds - 6 tsp
  • fresh mint - (to serve)
  1. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a large pan and gently fry the onion until it begins to soften, about five minutes.
  3. Add the lamb mince in two batches and brown well.
  4. Add the ground spices, seasoning and pine nuts and cook for a further minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the liquid has mostly evaporated but the mixture is still moist.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  7. Brush a sheet of the filo pastry with some of the remaining olive oil, season and sprinkle with 1 tsp of the sesame seeds.
  8. Arrange the pastry on the baking tray into an oval shape approximately 25 cm long, folding the edges in to make a raised border.
  9. Brush some more oil on half a sheet of filo pastry, season and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp sesame seeds and ruffle it to fit inside the previous sheet of filo.
  10. Repeat with the remaining sheets of filo pastry. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden.
  11. Remove the filo pastry from the oven, spoon in the lamb mixture making sure to keep it inside the folded edges, and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle with mint and serve with garlicky yogurt.

Original recipe by Valerie Berry ( published in the Guardian online.

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