Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rosie Treads Where She Never Thought She'd Go.

 I'm starting off the New Year with a special present for my readers.

 Rosie is sailing in uncharted waters today.
 She's confronting a fear -  a fear of something to eat!
 My fear of... the Scotch Egg.


I had never heard of Scotch Eggs until I was 18 years old and was at a college cafeteria in London.  There was the ubiquitous tray of large oval brown to black nuggets on the line.  For breakfast.  For lunch.  And, yes, for dinner.  The nuggets turned out to be a rockhard-boiled egg, encased in sausage, battered, and deep-fried.  They were truly horrid and the rest of the fare came in at a close second.  The egg itself had been cooked beyond recognition and edibility.  The sausage was likely from a goat.  The breading was always burned.  Scotch Eggs were inedible.  I ended up losing 22 pounds over the 6 weeks I spent in England. 

Fast-forward to today - a "few" decades later.  I recently received an email from Tasting Table about "Scotch Eggs with a Japanese Accent."  My stomach did a little lurch when I read the words, "Scotch Eggs," but I opened up the email in spite of it.  Sorta like slowing down for an accident scene.

The first thing I see is a video of the chef, Matt Abergel, plating the Scotch Eggs.  These eggs ain't anything like the eggs in England and that picture above ain't nothing like 'em either. I decided then and there, I'd give Scotch Eggs a second chance.

In an effort to find new ways to play around with chickens and eggs, Abergel, who is a chef in Hong Kong at a yakitori joint, turned to that bar-snack staple of the former British colony: the Scotch Egg.

I made the yakitori sauce. And I marinated the boiled eggs in it.  Since so many flavors are going on in the final dish, I don't know if I'd be able to tell marinated Scotch eggs from non-marinated Scotch eggs.  I just wanted to have the sauce on hand so I can make the grilled yakitori chicken, which I'll post about later.

Scotch Eggs

4 eggs
yakitori sauce
chicken bouillon powder (I used Vegeta seasoning.)

2 eggs, beaten
about a pound of sausage, formed into 4 balls
vegetable oil, for frying
3 cups Napa cabbage, shredded
1 TB lemon juice
Kosher salt
Yum Yum sauce or Kewpie mayonnaise (These are on the Asian/International aisle in your store, but I've given you a recipe for yum yum.)

Put eggs in a bowl and cover with hot tap water.  Set aside.
Fill a 2-quart sauce pan with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Drain the eggs and carefully transfer them to the boiling water.  Cook the eggs for exactly 5 minutes and 15 seconds.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill completely.
When completely cooled, peel the eggs and combine in a bowl with the yakitori sauce.  Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Drain the eggs and roll in the chicken bouillon powder.
Press one of the sausage balls in the palm of your hand to create an elongated patty of even thickness, then place an egg in the center, wrapping the sausage around it.  Repeat with remaining eggs.
Roll each sausage-wrapped egg in the flour, dip in the beaten eggs, and then roll in the panko.
Place the breaded eggs on a plate and chill for 30 minutes.
Heat oil to 350°.
Working in batches, fry the eggs until they are golden brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Yakitori Sauce 
6 chicken leg bones, meat and skin removed
2 cups mirin
1 cup sake
1 1/2 cups dark soy sauce
1/2 cup tamari sauce
6 TB firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped scallions
6 garlic cloves, coarsely sliced
1/2 cup peeled and sliced fresh ginger

Using a sharp filet or paring knife, trim the meat away from the bones, doing your best to keep the meat in large chunks.  Save the chicken meat to make yakitori negima, or grilled, skewered chicken kabobs.  Post for yakitori negima coming soon to a blog near you.

Position oven rack about 5 inches underneath broiler and broil until bones are browned all over, using tongs to turn every 5 minutes or so.  This will take about 25 or 30 minutes.

Prepare the scallion, garlic, and ginger as directed and place in 4 quart sauce pan.  Add mirin, sake, soy sauce, tamari sauce, brown sugar, and chicken bones. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Adjust heat to a steady simmer and continue to cook until mixture is reduced by about half.  Be sure to regulate the heat as needed, since the sauce can easily boil over.  Remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool and steep, giving the flavors time to marry.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a 1-quart bowl and strain the yakitori through it. This stores in the refrigerator indefinitely.

Yum Yum Sauce 
1 cup mayo
1 TB tomato paste or 1 TB ketchup
2 TB rice wine vinegar
2 TB sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder

cayenne, to taste
sriracha sauce, to taste

Mix all together and store in fridge.

What is yakitori, you ask?
"Yaki" is the Japanese word for "grill/grilling"
and tori is the Japanese word for "bird/chicken."

At least that's what I read on the Internet,
so it must be true.

Let's start on the sauce.
Prepare the bones.

Chicken bones ready for broiler.

Prepare the ginger and garlic.

Chicken is ready.

Mix rest of ingredients together.

Pour in the chicken bones along with any juices.

Mark the level of sauce on a skewer.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce to a slow simmer
and reduce mixture to about half.
Takes an hour to an hour and a half.

Strain sauce, let cool, cover, and refrigerate.

The yakitori sauce is a nice blend and balance of salty and sweet
and the slow simmering allows the intense, complex flavors
of the yakitori sauce to develop.

Now, I'm ready for Scotch Eggs.
I covered the eggs in hot tap water.
Bring a pot of water to a boil

Boil the eggs for 5 minutes and 15 seconds.
That's the magic number.
 Have a bowl of ice water ready.

Immediately plunge the eggs into ice water.
Chill completely.

While your ova are chilling,
go out to the garden and pick the last of your tomatoes and peppers.
Might freeze tonight...

Chilled and cooked eggs,
sausage, yakitori sauce,
and instead of chicken bouillon powder which I don't have,
I'm using Vegeta.
Vegeta is a seasoning mix my friend, Zzzadig,
sent me in a care package a few years back.
It contains salt, dehydrated vegetables
 (carrot, parsnip, onion, potato, celery, parsley)
MSG, sugar, cornstarch, black pepper, nutmeg,
 disodium inosinate, and riboflavin.

Marinate the eggs at room temperature for 15 minutes.
And cover the eggs with the marinade.

Roll the marinated egg in the Vegeta seasoning 
or powdered chicken bouillon.

Encase in sausage.

My eggs are ready to rock and roll.

Flour, beaten eggs, panko breadcrumbs,
and the sausage eggs.

Roll in flour.

Then the beaten eggs.
And then a roll in the panko.

Ready for frying after at least thirty minutes in fridge.

Fry away.
I'm doing two at a time.

Drain on paper towels.

Quarter the eggs lengthwise
and place on a bed of shredded Napa cabbage
tossed with lemon juice and Kosher salt.
Drizzle Yum Yum sauce or Kewpie mayonnaise over top.

This is a far cry from those inedible baseballs in London.

I'm finding these delightful.

I will be making these again.
Sausage and eggs.
The yolks were perfect.
5 minutes and 15 seconds.
Magic number!

Like I said, this is nothing like the London Scotch Eggs.


zzzadig said...

I have been making them with quail eggs for a while now. They end up a little bigger than a golf ball. Handier to pass out to the bar crowd.

Rocquie said...

I'm glad you overcame your fear. . .your Scotch Eggs look scrumptious. Happy New Year!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

No quail eggs here, Zzzadig, unless I forage for my own.

Happy New Year to you too, Rocquie!
And I'm glad I finally broke down and made these. Nothing like what I had in England, but the Brits aren't really known for their "cuisine."