A few weeks back, I met a lovely person in a bar, and we got to talking about chickens.
Sarah Ehmig lives around the corner from the brewery where we met in Dunedin, Florida, on enough property for a stylish chicken coop of innovative design. (Her partner designed and built it for her.)
She told me all about her four hens and even showed me pictures of her flock.
Eventually we got around to a question that all owners of layers must face, what do you do with all those eggs?
For Sarah, Scotch eggs is the answer.
A Scotch egg is a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in seasoned pork sausage, rolled in a beaten egg and breadcrumbs and fried or baked. Served at room temperature, often dipped in spicy mustard, it’s the ideal bar food, and great for parties or picnics.
Talking to Sarah that night, I confessed I’d never heard of Scotch eggs, and couldn’t wait to try making and eating them. It sounded like a snack size turducken (the festive, roasted dish in which you stuff a duck inside a chicken, inside a turkey.)
Using Sarah’s instructions, I started experimenting, and the recipe here is the delicious result. In my opinion, if you made it with hardboiled duck eggs you could call it Porducken.
Recipes for Scotch eggs first appeared in the early 19th century, but culinary historians speculate that it originated much earlier as a kind of stuffed meatball called kofta in India, or kofte in Turkish cooking.
Sarah’s Scotch Eggs
Makes 12 snack-size servings
6 large eggs
1 pound loose sausage meat
Salt, freshly ground pepper
¼ cup minced parsley
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 beaten egg
1 cup of fine bread crumbs made from day-old bread
3 cups canola oil for frying
Spicy mustard such as Coleman’s for dipping. (optional)
1. Cover cold eggs in cold water in a heavy 1 quart pot and bring the water to a full boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 20 minutes. Put the eggs in ice water to stop them cooking, peel under running water, and dry them with a paper towel.
2. Make 1 cup of fine breadcrumbs from 2 or 3 slices of day-old baguette or toasted crusty bread in a blender or food-processer.
3. Mix the sausage meat with minced parsley, salt and pepper. Divide it into 6 balls. Flatten a ball of sausage in the palm of your hand and put an egg in the middle, wrapping the sausage around the egg to cover it completely.
4. Dust the sausage-coated egg lightly with flour. Roll it in the beaten egg, and then in the bread crumbs. Repeat for the remaining eggs. At this point, you can refrigerate the eggs overnight until you are ready to fry them.
5. Fry the eggs in a saucepan with 2 inches of canola oil heated to 375 degrees, turning frequently until browned all over. Drain on paper towels until they are cool. Slice them in half and serve with a spicy mustard for dipping.
Published in the Shelter Island Reporter on March 30, 2017