|Monte’s Scotch Eggs courtesy Melissa Clark’s recipe|
Yes, I was at The Breslin yet again. This time I went for dinner with friends. Because Ms. Bloomfield has just knocked everyone’s socks off at the new John Dory Oyster Bar, on the other side of the Ace Hotel Lobby from “The Breslin”, we were able to snag a table. (Neither The Breslin 16 West 29th Street (646-214-5788) nor the John Dory 1196 Braodway (212-792-9000) take reservations.) We did however put our names in at 6:00 and we were all assembled, (no seating until all are there), by 6:30.
|The Breslin’s Scotch Eggs|
The “London Calling” Martini, a house specialty, started things off for two of us. But that was just the beginning of a truly impressive meal, although god knows it’s damn the calories and the fat count, full speed ahead. Between the lamb ribs and the garlic sausage, the lamb burger looks positively dietetic. And I think you could almost say the same thing about the Scotch Eggs…except of course, that they were fried. And they were just flawless. A gorgeous almost runny yolk is encased in egg white and then completely covered with a layer of sausage that’s breaded and, yes, fried. I got quite a kick out a recent survey on language trends that said that ‘sauteed’ has basically replaced ‘fried’ on restaurant menus, at least north of the Mason Dixon line. But let’s face it, almost everything tastes better fried.
|A pub lunch of Scotch Eggs and warm beer|
Eons ago, I spent a summer working in London for a book publisher. I believe I was paid about 8 pounds a week, from which Her Majesty’s Inland Revenue service extracted about half. So we were hardly dining at the Savoy. We did however receive lunch vouchers and I think we could get a curry lunch with one of them. Far more fun was to belly up to the bar at a pub and have a warm beer along with a Scotch egg. You could use the lunch voucher for the egg if not the beer. The eggs were generally edible but not much more but they were cheap and filling and you could scarf one down while standing at the bar. I don’t ever remember having a warm one like the one at the Breslin. What a spectacular that made! So after last evening, I raced home to dig up a recipe I’d just seen for Scotch eggs. It didn’t take long.
Melissa Clark published her recipe for the dish in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago. Melissa is an all-time favorite of mine whose new cookbook, “In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite” was a Christmas gift. She is inventive. Her dishes have great flavor and they’re approachable—as is Melissa. She’s Andrew’s Facebook friend.
Recipe for Crunchy Scotch Eggs With Horseradish and Pickles
6 large eggs
2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
1 pound sausage, casings removed–I used a roll of sausage, you can use Italian sweet sausage if you like.
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Olive oil, for frying
Cornichons or other pickles, for serving.
1. Place 4 eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat; remove from heat and cover for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Peel eggs under running cold water and pat dry.
2. Using a mortar and pestle or the back of a knife, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt until a paste forms. Or try Dorot frozen mashed garlic I got at Trader Joes. In a medium bowl, knead together the sausage, garlic paste and horseradish until just combined. Divide into 4 equal portions.
3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining 2 eggs. Place the flour and panko in separate bowls. Coat each hard-boiled egg in flour and then enclose each one completely in a sausage patty, molding the sausage into place. Dredge the sausage-coated eggs in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip them in the beaten eggs, letting the excess drip off, and roll them in the panko, coating well
4. Fill a medium pot with 1/2-inch oil. Heat to 350 degrees, or until the oil is shimmering and bubbling slightly around the edges. Fry the eggs turning them occasionally until golden and cooked through, about 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt and serve while still warm, with pickles.
Yield: 2 servings.