Thursday, August 6, 2015

Scotch Eggs with a Connemara Coat

A quirky way of doing scotch eggs - great for a snack or a starter.
The dish is quicker and easier than the recipe suggests - just always take care when deep frying.
Enjoy, and please take the time to comment.

I am growing tired of TV foodie personalities who simply copy others without giving any credit and promote themselves as a brand.
Along with classic old recipes, I prefer to watch and read original cooks with real innovation who adapt or improve classics like Andy Bates or the Hairy Bikers - or chefs who make complex food more accessible, like Manuika Gowardhan 

Scotch eggs are actually an English invention, but seemed to have originated from India.
Nargisi Kofta, an egg dish from Hyderabad seems to be the source of this much maligned dish.

Because of poor, mass produced versions in Britain, Scotch eggs developed a poor reputation, but with a bit of care and attention they can be the star of the show.


I find chicken eggs quite big for this recipe, and using quail eggs better - although a little bit finicky to shell, it produces a cuter , smaller version - it is easier to cook (larger eggs take a bit more cooking as they have a thicker coat you run the risk of burning the coating) 
As well as that using quail eggs also stretches the coating mix further.

This is influenced by Bates, but using buttermilk and smoked black pudding to give it an Irish character and flavor. 
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FOR 12 PORTIONS

The Centre
12 Quails Eggs - boiled and peeled
250 Grams of your favorite sausage, skinned and out of their skins
100 Grams black or white pudding - I used McGeoughs smoked black.
Good pinch of mace
Good pinch of nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon of Anchovie Paste
1 teaspoon of Mustard

The Coating
4 tablespoons buttermilk
3 tablespoons flour
1 beaten hens egg
Breadcrumbs to coat - I used Panko crumbs.
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First, boil the eggs. With quail eggs to prepare, bring a pot of water to the boil.
Plunge in the eggs. 
To soft boil, 2 1/2  minutes, hard boil 4 minutes.
Remove from the water when cooked to desire and put into cold water, under a tap, and leave for 5 minutes. This stops a dark ring forming around the yoke which looks unpleasant. 

In the meantime, prepare the coating.
Mix and season the spices, seasoning, sausage meat, mustard, paste and black pudding well.
On a layer of foil prepare as a patty - keeping your hands wet helps to stop stickyness.
I found spreading a little buttermilk on the foil helped it stop sticking.
Put an egg on the patty and gently scoop up a little bit with the egg and form the mixture as a coat around the egg to make a little parcel - again, keeping your hands a little wet helps a lot, and it is easier than it sounds.

In four small bowls separately and in order put the:
buttermilk -
flour -
beaten egg -
panko crumbs

Dip each parcel into the bowls in the above order shaking off the excess after each dip.

Heat Donegal rapeseed oil to 180C in a heavy based pot. Test the oil by frying a cube of bread which should turn golden in a few seconds.

Deep fry the parcels in small batches (I suggest 4 at a time) so as not to reduce the heat of the oil.

Remove from oil when dark golden brown, and take care - overcooking will burn the coat quickly.

Drain on kitchen paper.

Serve warm or cold, keeps for 3 days in fridge.




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