Welcome To Rob Roy Country - A Place For All Seasons

Recipe Calendar - February 2015

Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 January


February and food have long been associated with romance. The feast of St Valentine is celebrated all over the world. This months LETI bistro recipe is a romantic favourite created by Alistair and Alida Buchan, owners of The Golden Larches restaurant, Balquhidder Station. For a truly romantic evening, ask to be seated in the candle lit conservatory. Visit during the day and treat your partner to the authentic taste of home baked cakes and biscuits with a hot beverage, followed by a romantic walk on the old railway walkway behind the restaurant. Even better, book in for lunch or dinner and stay the night in their B&B accommodation and look forward to a romatic breakfast.
Enjoy Alistair and Alida's Prawn Tempura and Shrimp Risotto recipe. Prawns and shrimps are regularly referred to as "The Food Of Love". Tempura is a Japanese cooking technique where pieces of food are fried in a delicate batter (Did you know that it is tradition for Japanese women to give chocolate to men for Valentine's Day?). The Buchans recommend an India Pale Ale flavoured tempura using, for example, Arran Brewery Dug IPA, for an enhanced light beer flavouring. Try it! Pop into The Golden Larches and let the Buchans know how yours turned out or contact them to find out when it will be on the menu! Enjoy!

Alida and Alistair


Tempura King Prawn on Shrimp and IPA Risotto - with a medley of Tempura Vegetables and Sweet Chilli Dipping sauce

by Alistair and Alida Buchan, The Golden Larches restaurant with rooms, Balquhidder Station


Shrimp and IPA Risotto

1 x finely chopped onion

2 x cloves of garlic

360g / 12 oz Arborio

1pint of hot / simmering chicken stock

330ml Deuchars IPA or Black Wolf ROK IPA or Arran Brewery Dug IPA (room temp)  Note: can be substituted with white wine

120g / 4oz cooked shrimp

Freshly grated Parmesan

Freshly chopped parsley

90g / 3oz Butter

  1. In a heavy based saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in half of the butter until translucent. Cook over a low heat to prevent colouring the onions.
  2. Add the rice and stir until the rice is shiny and well coated. Add 2 tbsp IPA and let it reduce.
  3. Add the remaining IPA to the simmering stock and then add a ladleful into the pot and stir. Do not continue to heat the IPA stock.
  4. Continue the addition of the IPA stock until it forms a creamy moist texture
  5. Stir in the cooked shrimp and warm through.
  6. When ready, remove from the heat and add the remaining butter, parsley and Parmesan. 

Tempura Ingredients

3 x fresh King Prawn per person (12 used in this meal)

1 small Sweet potato

4 Button or 4 Small Closed Cap Mushrooms

½ x Courgette

For the Tempura Batter

2 x egg yolks

350ml / 12floz iced Deuchars IPA or Black Wolf ROK IPA or Arran Brewery Dug IPA (You can use iced water here instead of IPA)

1 level teaspoon Cornflour

175g / 6oz self raising flour

For the dipping sauce

8 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar

4 tablespoons of caster sugar

2 tablespoons of light soy sauce

2 teaspoons of grated ginger

½ teaspoon of finely diced deseeded red chilli pepper

King Prawn and Vegetable preparation.

  1. Peel and de-vein the King prawns. Remove the head and pull out the black vein onside the prawn. Leave the tail on so that the prawn can be picked up.
  2. Wash, peel and angle slice the Sweet potato into 3~5mm slices
  3. Wash, peel and angle slice the courgette into 5~8mm slices
  4. Wash the mushrooms.

To make tempura batter

  1. Whisk the egg yolks and iced Deuchars IPA or Black Wolf ROK IPA or Arran Brewery Dug IPA together
  2. Add the self raising flour and cornflour

The batter does not need to be perfectly smooth and should be used within 30 mins of making

To cook the tempura

  1. Heat up a deep fat fryer to 170C / 325F. Alternatively use wok with hot oil. Be very careful !!
  2. Place the vegetables in the tempura batter. Lift them out and shake off any excess batter. Carefully place them into hot oil. Do not try to cook more than 4 or 5 pieces in one batch.
  3. Cook until light golden and crisp on both sides. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the fryer and place the cooked tempura on some kitchen paper. Then put them on a plate. Until all batches are complete.
  4. Cook the battered King prawns once all the vegetables are complete. Place on top of the risotto and arrange vegetables around the base of the risotto.

Romantic Reminders & Food For Thought

Valentine Tour Book a romantic tour for your loved one. Choose a set private tour by Highland Glen Travel or contact owners Helen and George Cunningham to discuss a bespoke tour, encorporating, e.g. lochs, glens, mountains, forests, waterfalls, wildlife, distilleries and castles.

Valentine Gifts: Pop into SULA furnishing for an authentic Scottish wool or Harris Tweed gift and experience the work of local cottage industry; craft workers, artists, jewellers, wood turners, photographers, quilters, candle makers and authors.

Valentine Cards? In the area and forgot to buy a Valentine card? Panic not...  The Strathyre village shop and post office, Main Street, A84, Strathyre.has a selection of cards for all occasions. 

Tea and Cake to Champagne AfternoonTeas: Pop into The Golden Larches or MHOR84 Balquhidder, for delicious home baked cakes with tea or coffee.  Contact MHOR Bread to have a cake baked to your specification. Or, what about a special afternoon cream tea at The Four Seasons Hotel St Fillans with views over Loch Earn. Add a couple of glasses or a bottle of champagne to your Monachyle Mhor afternoon tea and enjoy the views to the hills and Loch Doine in Balquhidder.  

Valentines Day Mr & Mrs Game. Based on the popular TV show - which local couples will be brave enough to test their marriage live on stage? Sandison Hall event in St Fillans -14th February -7.30pm

Hand Made Chocolate, Fudge + Sweeties? We are surrounded by confectionary specialists in all directions within easy day trips from LETI accommodation and robroycounry. You will find hand made chocolate specialists e.g.Stirlings  I Q Chocolate,   Cocoa Mountain - Achterarder, Ian Burnett The Highland Chocolatier - Grandtully, Charlotte Flower Chocolate - Aberfeldy,  Oban Chocolate Company - Oban. Also, hand made confectionary specialists Gordon and Durward of Crieff. Or what about a chocolate making day course ? Only 1 hour and 10 minutes drive away at Abernethy, near Perth. You can also order your Made In Scotland chocolates and sweeties on-line and have them delivered to your accommodation. 

Learn The Art of Indian Head Massage with Alison Inglis or discover The Enchanted Cottage -  Alison and Hannah Inglis pop up gift shop in Balquhidder

Outside catering? Have a romantic dinner brought to you or cooked for you. Outside catering by Mathew Duncan or  MHOR to Your Door

Rob Roy Country

Hotels and Inns, Guest Houses, Bed & Breakfast, Self-Catering, Camping and Campsites in Perthshire
& The Trossachs 

(Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, St Fillans & Strathyre)