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BE 'BRAVE' AND HOST A SCOTTISH PARTY

The animated movie inspires a meal of fishy pleasures, plus one traditional sweet.

by Heather McPherson

Orlando Sentinel

The royal family is central to the film: triplets Harris, Hubert and Hamish, Princess Merida, King Fergus and Queen Elinor.

To celebrate Disney Pixar's movie Brave, in theaters now, Ricky Eisen, founder of New York's Events and Celebrations by Between the Bread, is sharing tips on how to throw a Scottish-themed party, with decor, menu ideas and recipes.

Menu: Scottish smoked salmon is world-renowned and a versatile appetizer. Use it when making mini quiche, canapes and tartlets.

Dessert is the most fun. Can you have a Scottish party without shortbread? Dip a corner in chocolate and cover with chopped nuts or sprinkles for a fun twist. And, of course, make delicious Empire Biscuits to add a traditional touch.

A neat trick is to add Scotch to any baked dessert. Keep in mind that when adding liquor you'll need to add it before the cooking or baking process is completed so that the alcohol evaporates.

Another dessert idea is to add Scotch to store-made caramel syrup or butterscotch. Blend well in sauce pan over medium flame and pour warm over vanilla ice cream.

Decor:Many people may associate Scotland with the tartans that the country is so recognized for. The plaids represent clans or families. Choose a tartan you like for a table runner. You can then pull colors from this pattern and use it in your decor, candles, and centerpiece. Much of Scotland is beautiful countryside, so use earthy, lush greens in your decor and centerpiece to create a rustic feel. Heather is a Scottish shrub and complements some of the tartan patterns. Add river stones and moss to the table decor to enhance the outdoorsy feeling.

EASY

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Quiche

4 medium shallots, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

4 ounces smoked salmon, chopped

4 ounces goat cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1 store-bought unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute shallots in olive oil until translucent.

In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream and whisk. Add sauteed shallots, smoked salmon and goat cheese and stir until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into unbaked pie crust and bake 30 to 40 minutes.

Serves 6.

Source: Ricky Eisen

.MODERATE

Baked Haddock Souffles

4 (6-ounce) ramekins

1 pound potatoes, peeled and boiled

1/2 pound finely flaked smoked haddock

4 eggs, separated

1 ounce butter

2 tablespoons cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup Parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease ramekins. In a bowl, mash the potatoes and add fish, egg yolks, butter, and cream.

Mix in Dijon mustard and Parmesan. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Combine egg whites with fish mixture and pour into ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes.

Note: Haddock is a firm, white fish widely eaten in Scotland and Great Britain. Throughout the movie Brave, we see Princess Merida and her royal family feasting on this traditional meal. Between the Bread put a twist on the traditional haddock and made it into a personal size souffle.

Serves 6.

Source: Ricky Eisen

.MODERATE

Empire Biscuits

Despite the name, these are traditional Scottish sandwich cookies filled with raspberry preserves, glazed and decorated with maraschino cherries.

1 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup raspberry preserves

Maraschino cherries

1/4 cup milk

4 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the flour to make dough. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch thickness. Use 3- to 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut out 24 circles.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to fully cool, then top 12 cookies each with 2 teaspoons of raspberry preserves. Top each with a cooled cookie.

Stir milk and confectioners' sugar to make a thick glaze. Spread on top of sandwiched cookies and top with cherry.

Note: Empire biscuits are a traditional Scottish pastry made with shortbread cookies. They are just like the pastries that Merida and her brothers are seen sneaking throughout the film.

Makes a dozen cookies.

Source: Ricky Eisen

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