The North East is famous for many things - its friendly locals, gorgeous coastlines and the iconic Angel of the North. As well as being the home of one of the UK’s favourite pastry chains, Greggs, the North East boasts a range of delicacies that rivals many other regions of the UK.
In the meantime, you cannot travel to the North East, but that doesn’t mean you can’t taste the local dishes it has to offer. We’ve pulled together three delicious recipes that locals love to brag about, and now you can too. From sweet to savoury, get those taste buds ready for comfort-food overload to satisfy those lockdown cravings.
The Singing Hinny is an odd name for a large tea-time scone, you might think. The name supposedly originated from an old tale of when the butter and cream would “sing” when being melted on a hot gridle. A North East Country housewife was baking this scone for tea, and after repeatedly being asked by her children if it was ready to eat, her final reply was "No, it's just singing, hinnies". (Hinny is a Geordie term of endearment for children and loved ones).
Despite the name suggesting otherwise, baking a Singing Hinny is relatively easy. If you’ve made scones before, it’s very similar, but just requires a bit more singing; you can join in too, if you’d like. This recipe serves four, but you can double up for larger households (or well-deserved seconds).
- 225g of plain flour
- Small drop of bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp of cream of tartar
- 55g of cold butter
- 55g of lard
- 85g of currants
- ¼ tsp of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- A small amount of milk for mixing the dough
- Oil or butter for frying
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Rub the butter and lard into the mixture, adding the dry currants and mixing together.
- Add milk until you have a firm dough.
- Roll out and cut into round shapes. Press them down so they’re relatively flat.
- Grease a heated griddle with oil or butter and start to bake the scones on one side. Turn the scones over when the underneath starts to brown. It may help to use a wider spatula or utensil to turn these without them breaking into pieces.
- Serve warm with a small piece of butter on top.
Teesside Chicken Parmo
The humble chicken parmo has become a Teesside institution and the perfect way to end a night out. But in current times maybe it's just a good cheat day or comfort meal!
Ingredients – serves 6-8 people
For the Bechamel sauce
- 55g Butter
- 55g Plain flour
- 1-pint (568ml) milk
- Seasoning – salt, pepper, ground nutmeg
For the Chicken escalope
- 4 chicken fillets
- Plain flour, 1 egg and a splash of milk for dredging
- Breadcrumbs or panko
- 200g mature red Leicester cheese, grated. Any coloured cheese will do!
Firstly, take the chicken out of the fridge and let it warm to room temperature. This should take around 30-minutes. After, we’ll start with the bechamel sauce:
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and gradually sift in the flour over a medium heat for a couple of minutes and season, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened
- Slowly whisk in the milk a bit at a time, ensuring no lumps form
- Cook for another 10-12 minutes and stir continuously.
- Put sauce to one side and cover with cling film.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Flatten the chicken breasts between greaseproof paper.
- Dip the flattened chicken into the flour, then eggs, then finally the breadcrumbs. Make sure the coating is even.
- Shallow fry in oil for roughly 2-minutes on each side, until the breadcrumbs have turned a golden colour.
- Put chicken in the preheated oven, and roast for 8-10-minutes. It is important to check that the chicken is cooked through and no long pink in the middle.
- Cover the fried fillets in bechamel sauce and top with the cheese. Put back into the oven or finish under a medium grill until the cheese is melted.
The comfort food of the North, Stotties are big bread buns that are flat and round in shape. In the Geordie dialect, 'stott' means 'to bounce', and due to a stottie's dense texture, if you drop it on the floor, it should bounce back! However, we don't recommend trying this at home if you don't want a mess.
Stotties have an indent made in the middle so that a filling can be added. Popular choices are ham and pease pudding, but they also work well with some bacon and sausages on a Saturday morning - enjoy!
Ingredients- for 2 large Stotties
- 450g strong white bread flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 15g fresh yeast (or you can use quick action dried yeast 1 x 7g sachet)
- A pinch of white pepper
- 450ml tepid water
- Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Butter or grease some large baking sheets.
- If using fresh yeast, crumble it into a jug and then add the white pepper, sugar and a little tepid water to mix. Place somewhere warm for 10 to 15 minutes so it can start to “work”. It is ready to use when it becomes frothy.
- Put the bread, flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and the remaining water. If using dried yeast, just sprinkle the yeast into the flour at this stage with the sugar and white pepper, and add the water as before.
- Mix, and then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. This bread needs to be well kneaded for at least ten minutes.
- Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set to one side - somewhere warm - to allow the dough to rise. This will take about an hour, and the dough should have doubled in size before you can use it.
- Put the dough onto a floured board and divide it into two equal pieces. Roll the dough out to make two large flat discs that are about 1 inch thick, and then stick the end of a rolling pin into the middle of the dough to make an indentation. You can also prick the top of the bread with a fork too.
- Place the Stotties onto the prepared baking sheets and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, before turning the oven off and leaving them in there for up to half an hour to continue to bake.
- Serve warm with whatever you’d like to fill your Stottie with! We suggest butter, jam, treacle, honey, cheese or ham and pease pudding.