SALT COD SCOTCH EGGS WITH RED PEPPER SAUCE

SALT COD SCOTCH EGGS WITH RED PEPPER SAUCE

I like to play around with making different varieties of Scotch eggs and this version is one of my favourites – dried salt cod wrapped around a runny quail’s egg. Serve hot with the red pepper sauce and a slice of grilled chorizo.

INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 12

150g sea salt flakes

500ml olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons

2 tablespoons Pernod

2 tablespoons dry white wine

1 teaspoon saffron threads

750g cod fillets, skinned

2 or 3 baking potatoes – you are going to need 300g baked flesh

2 garlic cloves, crushed

12 quail’s eggs

150g plain white flour, for dusting

2 eggs, beaten

150g fine dry breadcrumbs (use panko breadcrumbs whenever possible), for coating

vegetable oil for deep-frying

salt, to taste

 

For the red pepper sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 red peppers, deseeded and sliced

2 banana shallots, sliced

1 fresh red chilli, sliced – with seeds and all

½ teaspoon saffron threads

100ml dry white wine

50g sugar

50ml white wine vinegar

100g butter, cubed

METHOD

1: At least 24 hours ahead, mix the sea salt flakes, 4 tablespoons olive oil, the Pernod, white wine and saffron threads together in a large non-metallic bowl until it forms a paste. Add the cod and rub it all over with the paste, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and put in the fridge for 24 hours.

2: When ready to cook the cod, preheat the oven to 140°C/Gas Mark 1. Remove the cod from the salt paste and rinse thoroughly in cold running water for 5 minutes. Place it in a roasting tray, pour over 500ml olive oil and cover the tray with kitchen foil. Place the tray in the oven and roast the cod for 25 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and leave the cod to cool completely in the olive oil. When the fish is cool enough to handle, remove any pin bones and flake the flesh.

3: As soon as the cod comes out of the oven, increase the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. When it reaches the correct temperature, place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 11/2 hours, or until cooked through and tender. When cool enough to handle, peel them and put them through a potato ricer into a large bowl or use a masher. Add the garlic cloves and flaked cod to 300g mashed potatoes and beat together, then leave to one side.

4: Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil over a high heat and place a bowl of iced water next to the hob. Add the quail’s eggs to the boiling water and set a timer for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, use a slotted spoon to immediately transfer them to the iced water and leave them to cool. When the eggs are cool, peel them, but be careful not to break the eggs!

5: Shape the cod and potato mix around the eggs to form 12 mini Scotch eggs. Place the flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs in separate bowls in a row on the work surface. One by one, dip the Scotch eggs into the flour, tapping off any excess, then into the eggs, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, and then into the breadcrumbs. Place each Scotch egg on kitchen roll as it is coated and keep in the fridge until you are ready to fry them. They can be kept for up to 2 days in the fridge at this stage.

6: To make the red pepper sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the peppers, shallots and chilli and fry, stirring, for 3–5 minutes until softened. Add the saffron, reduce the heat to low and leave to slowly cook for 20–25 minutes until the peppers and shallots are very tender.

7: Stir in the wine, sugar and white wine vinegar, increase the heat to medium and leave to simmer, uncovered, until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

8: Transfer the sauce to a blender and purée. Add the butter, which will give the sauce a shine, and blend again. Season, then pass the sauce through a sieve. Leave to one side to cool until needed.

9: When ready to deep-fry the Scotch eggs, heat enough oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer or heavy-based saucepan to 180°C. Working in batches, if necessary, add the eggs to the oil and deep-fry for 3–4 minutes until they are nice and golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Reheat the oil between batches, if necessary.

10: Serve the eggs immediately while they are still hot with the red pepper sauce.

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INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 12

150g sea salt flakes

500ml olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons

2 tablespoons Pernod

2 tablespoons dry white wine

1 teaspoon saffron threads

750g cod fillets, skinned

2 or 3 baking potatoes – you are going to need 300g baked flesh

2 garlic cloves, crushed

12 quail’s eggs

150g plain white flour, for dusting

2 eggs, beaten

150g fine dry breadcrumbs (use panko breadcrumbs whenever possible), for coating

vegetable oil for deep-frying

salt, to taste

 

For the red pepper sauce

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 red peppers, deseeded and sliced

2 banana shallots, sliced

1 fresh red chilli, sliced – with seeds and all

½ teaspoon saffron threads

100ml dry white wine

50g sugar

50ml white wine vinegar

100g butter, cubed

METHOD

1: At least 24 hours ahead, mix the sea salt flakes, 4 tablespoons olive oil, the Pernod, white wine and saffron threads together in a large non-metallic bowl until it forms a paste. Add the cod and rub it all over with the paste, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and put in the fridge for 24 hours.

2: When ready to cook the cod, preheat the oven to 140°C/Gas Mark 1. Remove the cod from the salt paste and rinse thoroughly in cold running water for 5 minutes. Place it in a roasting tray, pour over 500ml olive oil and cover the tray with kitchen foil. Place the tray in the oven and roast the cod for 25 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and leave the cod to cool completely in the olive oil. When the fish is cool enough to handle, remove any pin bones and flake the flesh.

3: As soon as the cod comes out of the oven, increase the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. When it reaches the correct temperature, place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 11/2 hours, or until cooked through and tender. When cool enough to handle, peel them and put them through a potato ricer into a large bowl or use a masher. Add the garlic cloves and flaked cod to 300g mashed potatoes and beat together, then leave to one side.

4: Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil over a high heat and place a bowl of iced water next to the hob. Add the quail’s eggs to the boiling water and set a timer for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, use a slotted spoon to immediately transfer them to the iced water and leave them to cool. When the eggs are cool, peel them, but be careful not to break the eggs!

5: Shape the cod and potato mix around the eggs to form 12 mini Scotch eggs. Place the flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs in separate bowls in a row on the work surface. One by one, dip the Scotch eggs into the flour, tapping off any excess, then into the eggs, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, and then into the breadcrumbs. Place each Scotch egg on kitchen roll as it is coated and keep in the fridge until you are ready to fry them. They can be kept for up to 2 days in the fridge at this stage.

6: To make the red pepper sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the peppers, shallots and chilli and fry, stirring, for 3–5 minutes until softened. Add the saffron, reduce the heat to low and leave to slowly cook for 20–25 minutes until the peppers and shallots are very tender.

7: Stir in the wine, sugar and white wine vinegar, increase the heat to medium and leave to simmer, uncovered, until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

8: Transfer the sauce to a blender and purée. Add the butter, which will give the sauce a shine, and blend again. Season, then pass the sauce through a sieve. Leave to one side to cool until needed.

9: When ready to deep-fry the Scotch eggs, heat enough oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer or heavy-based saucepan to 180°C. Working in batches, if necessary, add the eggs to the oil and deep-fry for 3–4 minutes until they are nice and golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Reheat the oil between batches, if necessary.

10: Serve the eggs immediately while they are still hot with the red pepper sauce.

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TOM KERRIDGE'S PROPER PUB FOOD (2013)

Inspired by British pub classics, recipes you can cook in your own kitchen, with my simple twists to make them sensational.

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