Monday, 22 June 2015

Vegetarian Scotch Eggs with Spinach

Vegetarian Scotch Egg with Spinach
Don't you just love picnics?  Sat upon a rug alongside a babbling brook,  with the sun shining (in theory!), the birds singing, the bees pollinating the flowers, with the people you love, and everybody smiling. And of course with great food & drink....I just love picnics.

Today, I bring you a really easy recipe just for that occasion.  A Vegetarian Scotch Egg with Spinach.  Don't you just think scotch eggs scream of picnics?  They do in my head!

Vegetarian Scotch Egg with Spinach

Last week I made a second version of our vegetarian pork pies; a quail egg and spinach version which was incredibly tasty. But as two of my six pastry moulds bit the dust, I had some quail eggs and spinach mixture remaining.  This gave rise to these incredibly easy and gorgeous Vegetarian Scotch Eggs with Spinach.  It was also a great way to use the remaining quail's eggs; it'd be daft to use them to make a cake - I'd need more than one or two!

Now although this recipe lists quail eggs in the ingredients list, hen's eggs would be just as good but they would obviously require more mixture to encase them. 

Quail Eggs
Given that we are now in the summer months, though we may need to remind mother nature,  these would be great to enjoy with family and friends on a lovely picnic.  Or even just something a little different for a packed school / work lunch.  They're seriously gorgeous with tomato chutney, and no doubt other pickles also. And if you're not planning a picnic, they'd be great as a light meal sat alongside some new potatoes, salad and relish.

Vegetarian Scotch Egg with Spinach

And should you give these gorgeous bites a try, why not use the remnants from your canned spinach in a lasagne like the one I made a few weeks ago, Individual Goats' Cheese & Spinach Lasagne.  Really easy and tasty!

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So, let's get to it and bake.

Scotch Eggs with Spinach
Yield: 6
Difficulty: easy
Freezable: Yes
Time:  about 30 minutes

You will need
Vegetable oil / sunflower oil
2 knobs of butter
6 quail eggs
200g can chopped spinach, drained
100g mixture of white & chestnut mushrooms, chopped
1/2 orange pepper
4 cherry tomatoes, de-seeded & chopped
1 sun blushed tomato, chopped
generous grating of nutmeg
1 tsp dried basil (or fresh chopped)
4-5 tbsp. plain flour
2 eggs, beaten

How to make them

1.  Make the mixture.  Char the pepper with either a cook's blowtorch or gas flame on the cooker.  Do be careful doing this.  Once charred, wrap the pepper in cling-film.  When cooled unwrap the pepper and peel off the chargrilled skin, rinse under a running tap.  De-seed the pepper and chop the flesh.

2.  Place a little oil and knob of butter into a frying pan, and sauté your chopped mushrooms until starting to lightly brown.  Decant into a good sized bowl, omitting any remaining juices which may be left. Add the chopped pepper.

3.  Clean out the frying pan.

4.  Drain the canned spinach and add to the mixture.  Add the chopped & de-seeded tomatoes, seasoning, nutmeg and basil.  Mix together.

5. Test the quails eggs for freshness.  Fill a jug with water and carefully place one in the bottom of the jug.  Discard the egg if it floats.  Repeat with the remaining eggs.

6.  Cook the quail eggs.  Gently place in a pan of warm water.  Place over a low-medium heat and bring to a gentle boil.  Cook gently for 90 seconds.  Place into a bowl of cold water.  With one egg, gently roll it on the work surface beneath the palm of your hand the crack the shell.  Peel the shell, it should come away fairly easily.  Rinse the egg to remove any remaining shell.  Repeat with the remaining 5 eggs. 

7. Place the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs into 3 separate bowls.  Have a plate nearby, ready to place your assembled scotch egg upon.  Also have a bowl of warm soapy water sat in the sink should you need to wash your hands between coating each egg.

8.  Assemble the Scotch Egg. Cradle a quail egg in the palm of your hand and carefully mould the filling around it.  Roll in flour, knocking off any excess.  Roll in the beaten egg.  Roll in the breadcrumbs.  To make a stronger crust to the scotch egg, dip the coated scotch egg back into the beaten egg and then roll again in the breadcrumbs.  Place on the plate.  Wash your hands.  Repeat with the remaining eggs.

9.  Heat some vegetable / sunflower oil and a knob of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Once the oil has warmed and the butter melted, gently place 3 of your Scotch Eggs in the frying pan to shallow fry.  Gently turn regularly.  Once the coating has coloured a little and is crispy remove from the frying pan and place on a sheet of kitchen roll to absorb any excess grease.  Repeat with the 3 remaining Scotch Eggs.


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