Recipe: Scotch Eggs

Hey guys.  Welcome back.

Last week I mentioned that this week I would be making Scotch eggs.  I am still going to make them today BUT…I made a discovery about them this past week.  Bummer, they’re not actually Scottish!  Well crap, who knew?

In fact, according to Encyclopedia Britannica,“Scotch egg[s], [are] a traditional British dish consisting of a shelled hard-boiled egg that is wrapped in sausage, covered in breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried or baked until crispy. It is a popular pub and picnic dish and is commonly served cold in Britain. The Scotch egg has competing origin stories. Fortnum & Mason, a London department store known for its food products, maintains that it created Scotch eggs in 1738 for wealthy travelers on carriage rides. Another theory asserts that the dish evolved from northern India’s nargisi kofta (an egg covered in minced meat and served with curry), which returning soldiers and others introduced to England. A third story claims that it was invented by Scottish farmers as an inexpensive dish.”

If that’s not confusing enough, I then read somewhere else that they may have been a North African invention, brought to England by way of France. And still another site stated that their origin is rooted in the coastal Yorkshire town of Whitby.  So your guess is as good as mine, dear reader!

For this endeavor, I chose to use Jamie Oliver’s recipe as my guide.  His recipe is for eight servings, however, I chose to half this since that is a little much for just me and Mr. C.  I made a few modifications to the wording of the recipe, but otherwise it is essentially the same as Mr. Oliver’s. Oh, and here’s a shoutout to my sweet Mr. C who helped a great deal with these last night. And who persevered even whent the first balls nearly burned and I got mad at him.  He’s a keeper.

Ready? Alright, then let’s start cooking our British-but-not-Scottish dish!


Proper Scotch Eggs    

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

5 large eggs

4 sausages (I chose to use a house-made Italian pork sausage that contained a blend of fennel and anise but I’m sure any kind of pork sausage would be good.)

1/4 bunch fresh chives (no exact measurement, just eyeball it)

1/4 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley (same as above)

1/2 whole nutmeg for grating (I used the smallest holes on my cheese grater)

1/2 Tbsp. English mustard (I used Coleman’s powdered mustard)

salt/pepper

plain flour for dusting

a plate of white breadcrumbs

vegetable oil (enough to fully immerse the Scotch eggs for frying)

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Steps:

  1. Put 4 eggs in a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil.  Boil for 3-4 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl of very cold water.  Once the eggs have cooled, carefully peel them.
  2. Squeeze the sausages out of their skins into a bowl.
  3. Pick and finely chop the herb leaves.  Add to the sausage meat along with a good grating of nutmeg, the mustard, and a pinch of salt and black pepper.  Mix well and divide into four balls.

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4.  Have three plates ready:  one with flour, one with the remaining egg (beaten), and one with the breadcrumbs.

5.  Flour your hands.  In the palm of one hand, flatten one of the sausage balls into an oval-shaped patty.

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6.  Roll a peeled egg in flour and set it in the middle of the flattened patty.  Gently shape the meat evenly around the egg, molding it with your hands until sealed.

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7.  Roll the meat-wrapped egg in the flour.  Shake off any excess.  Dip into the beaten egg, followed by the breadcrumbs.  Roll in the egg and breadcrumbs again for a really good coating.  Repeat the process for the remaining eggs.

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8.  Heat the oil in a deep pot or deep fat fryer to about 150°C/300°F.  Use a cooking thermometer if you have one.  Otherwise, you can test to see if the oil is hot enough by adding a piece of raw potato.  If after a minute it sizzles and browns, then the oil is ready.   **Do not overheat the oil.  Believe me, we learned that the hard way.

9.  Carefully lower the eggs into the oil and cook for 4 minutes or until golden, turning them occasionally.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.  Transfer them to a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes.

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10.  Cool the Scotch eggs slightly, serve and enjoy.

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Thoughts:

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how good these were!  I like hard-boiled eggs and I like sausage but I just wasn’t sure how I would feel about them together in one neat little package. They were actually quite tasty.  Mr. C and I enjoyed them as a side to our dinner last night, but I think they would also be great for breakfast or as a picnic food.

I’d be delighted to know if you give these a try.  Let me know your thoughts!

Friends, as always, thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful rest of the week.

Cheers,

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Croft Moraig Stone Circle

Greetings to you on this fine Tuesday.  I hope your week got off to a great start.  I am currently outside on my deck, bundled up in the November chill – a fleece to warm my body and a cup of tea to warm my soul.  The autumn trees are lovely and I am happy.

Today I would like to take you up into the beautiful Scottish Highlands to a site located about four miles southwest of Aberfeldy, right off of A827.  Our destination occupies a portion of a farmer’s field, actually, so you may want to grab your wellies in case it’s muddy.  Ready?  Great, then let’s be off!

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Don’t fret that the site sits on private property.  Scotland’s laws allow individuals “freedom to roam”.  Just be respectful and be sure to close the gate so the farmer’s wee sheep don’t escape!

If I were to ask you about stone circles (those mysterious, prehistoric, man-made rock formations commonly found across Northern Europe and Great Britain), I’d wager that the image that would come to your mind would be Stonehenge.  It is one of Britain’s most iconic sites – and of course, the location of one of the Griswold Family’s hilarious misadventures.

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Who can forget the moment the affable Clark W. Griswold toppled one of the world’s most famous sites in the 1985 classic movie “National Lampoon’s European Vacation”.

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Halloween Turnip Carving Fun

Boo!  

Hey Friends!  Happy Halloween!

In the spirit of the old Irish/Scottish tradition of carving turnip lanterns to ward off evil spirits, today I thought it would be fun to tackle this twist on the pumpkin Jack O’ Lanterns that I grew up with as a child.  And since my sweet sister is here on holiday, what better way for two sisters to have a little Halloween giggle!

Here’s what you do.

Step 1:  Decide how you want your turnip to be oriented.  Which end would make the best top and bottom? Which sides do you want to make the front and back?  Are there any scars, warty, or hairy spots that could give character to your Jack O’ Lantern’s face?

Step 2:  With a sharp knife, cut a small amount off of the bottom of the turnip so that it creates a flat base.

Step 3:  Slice off the top of the turnip, leaving plenty of room to carve the face.  Save the lid.

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Don’t forget the festive snacks!

Step 4:  Use your knife to score around the inside edge to loosen up the meat of the turnip.

Step 5:  Use a spoon, melon baller, ice cream scooper, or any other implement to scoop out the inside of the turnip. You will find that this step requires a bit of effort, but the end result will be so worth it.

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Step 6:  Draw a face on your turnip with a pencil.

Step 7:  Use a small kitchen or crafter’s knife to carve out the face.

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Step 8:  Light a tea light and enjoy your special Halloween creation!

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Cheers!

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Autumn Fires, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Autumn Fires

by Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson

 

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

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Ardross Farm Shop – Elie, Scotland

Hi, Readers.  Thanks for popping in!

To piggy-back on my recent post about Elie, Scotland, today I want to make mention of a splendid farm shop located about a mile outside of the village, right off of A917.  It was so splendid, in fact, that we made the hour and ten minute journey from Edinburgh two additional times!

Ardross Farm Shop.

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When Mr. C and I travel, our basic routine is to eat the majority of lunches out, as we often spend our days driving and exploring.  We prefer to cook breakfasts and dinners in (one of many reasons we always rent a home rather than stay in a hotel).  Truthfully, it’s Mr. C who does most (okay, all) of the cooking, although I’m pretty good at drinking wine and cheering him along.  We enjoy dining at home when we travel for a few reasons.

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