Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Scotch Egg on a Nest of Shoestring Potatoes with Fire Roasted Tomato Mint Compote

     Scotch Egg!
     Scotch Eggs originated in England back in the 1700's.  A Scotch Egg is a hard boiled egg that is coated with sausage and bread crumbs, then it is deep fried or baked.  Scotch eggs were originally intended to be a snack or a light meal for people on the go.  Scotch Eggs are usually marketed as street food fair in small shops where pedestrian traffic is heavy during the daily commute.    
     Scotch Eggs do have interesting nicknames.  Children and gimmicky restaurants sometimes call this snack a "Dinosaur Egg."  Scotch Eggs can be kind of large, so I guess the nicknames fit the bill!
     A Scotch Egg recipe requires lean un-cased sausage.  Lean sausage is best, because sausage that has too high of a fat percentage will yield a greasy Scotch Egg.  The sausage should be mixed with filler, so the sausage coating does not shrink and split open.  Adding some breadcrumbs or bread pith to the sausage filling helps to reduce shrinkage.

     Compote usually has a sweet tart flavor.  The sugar should be cooked to a soft candy stage before the fruit is added.  The molten sugar will instantly pull the flavor out of the fruit.  As everybody knows, tomatoes are actually a fruit.  Tomato is one of the most popular compote flavors.  Mint makes Tomato Compote even more appealing, because mint adds a refreshing light flavor that is welcome when eating a heavy Scotch Egg.

     Prepare one peeled hard boiled large egg ahead of time.
     *Cooking the egg till the center of the yolk is semi soft is a modern standard!  About 9 to 10 minutes of boiling will produce this effect.
     Chill the hard boiled egg till it is needed.

     Fire Roasted Tomato Mint Compote:
     This recipe yields about 1/2 cup.  (2 accompanying portions)  
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Add 1/4 cup of water.
     Add 2 tablespoon of raw sugar.
     Boil till the water evaporates, and the sugar enters the soft ball stage.  (The sugar will be molten and bubbles will appear.  235ºF to 245ºF)
     Step 2:  Immediately add 1/3 cup of canned coarsely crushed seeded fire roasted tomatoes and a proportion of juice from the can.
     Allow the sugar to seize the tomatoes and do not stir.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1 spice clove.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Step 5:  Gently simmer and reduce till the liquid is a thin syrup consistency that generously coats the fire roasted tomato.
     Step 6:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed dried mint leaves while stirring.
     Keep the compote warm on a stove top.  
     Scotch Egg:
     This recipe yields 1 Scotch Egg.
     It is best to have too much sausage coating than not enough.  Any excess sausage can be saved for another recipe.
     Uncased lean breakfast sausage is a good choice.
     Step 1:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Step 2:  Place 1 cup of plain fine French bread crumbs in a mixing bowl and set them aside.
     Step 3:  Place 6 ounces of lean uncased pork sausage in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Step 4:  Press the sausage into a flat wide patty shape that is almost 1/2" thick.
     Set the hard boiled egg on the middle of the patty.
     Step 5:  Pick the egg and sausage patty up together and wrap the patty around the egg.
     Gently press the sausage against the egg.
     *The sausage coating should be about 3/8" thick.  If necessary, remove any excess sausage.
     Even the sausage coating till it looks like a large egg shape.
     Step 6:  Roll the Scotch Egg in the fine bread crumbs.
     Step 7:  Place the Scotch Egg on a fryer net.  
     Use the fryer net to lower the Scotch Egg into the hot oil.
     Fry the Scotch Egg till the sausage coating becomes firm and the breadcrumbs are a light golden color.
     Step 8:  Use a fryer net to place the Scotch Egg on a wire screen roasting rack on a roasting pan.
     Bake in a 325ºF oven till the sausage coating is fully cooked and golden brown.
     Keep the Scotch Egg warm on a stove top.
     *Keep the frying oil hot!  The Shoestring Potatoes only take a couple minutes to cook, so they can be fried when the Scotch Egg is ready. 

     Shoe String Chips:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     A French Mandolin kitchen tool is best for cutting shoestring potatoes, but care must be taken when using this dangerous kitchen tool.  
     Step 1:  Cut a 6 ounce peeled russet potato lengthwise into very thin slices.  (about 1/8" to 3/16" thick)
     Stack the slices up on a cutting board and cut them into long very thin strips.
     Step 2:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Step 3:  Add a few bunches of the thin potato strips to the frying oil at a time, so they do not stick together.
     Use a fryer net to gently stir the shoestring potatoes in the oil, so the potato strips do not stick together.
     Fry the shoestring potatoes till they are crispy golden brown.
     Step 4:  Use a fryer net to scoop the finished shoestring potatoes out of the hot oil.
     Place the fries on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.
     Season with sea salt.
     Keep the shoestring chips warm on a stove top.

     Scotch Egg on a Nest of Shoestring Potatoes with Fire Roasted Tomato Mint Compote:
     Place a few kale leaves on a plate as a bed for the chips.
     Mound a nest of Shoestring Potatoes on the kale leaves.
     Place the Scotch Egg on the nest of potatoes.
     Place a ramekin of Fire Roasted Tomato Mint Compote on the plate.
     Garnish the plate with a few raw carrot sticks.

     This is a nice way to present a Scotch Egg!

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