(Pickled) Scotch Eggs

from: Jamey Bennett
to: Daniel Larkin

Hey Dude,

We’ve talked a bit about your pickled eggs and your enjoyment of sausage. Well, I’m going to tell you how to make awesome Scotch eggs, and it’s super easy. In fact, if I were a betting man, I’d bet that you already make some kick ass Scotch eggs for your hikes. (Actually, I pickled Scotch egg is, I guess, called a Manchester egg. Or at least that’s what Google seems to tell me.)

Here’s all you need:

  • Pickled eggs – For the batch in the picture, I had three pickled chicken eggs, and 10 pickled quail eggs. I had regular pickled eggs, fermented beet juice pickled eggs, sweet Sriracha pickled eggs, and buffalo pickled eggs. More on that another time…
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage – Tube sausage, or get fresh stuff from Whole Foods or somewhere and squeeze them out of the casings. I like sage in my breakfast sausage.
  • 2 fresh eggs
  • 1 tbs Worchestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Deep fryer, or a pretty deep layer of oil in a skillet to fry at least 1/2 an egg at a time

1. Simple. Here’s all you do. Carefully and evenly cover each of the eggs with sausage. Put them on a plate or a tray as you cover them, and stick them in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the Worchestershire sauce and whip up until it’s all mixed in. Have the bread crumbs in a separate bowl.

3. Take out the eggs, and one at a time, dip them in the egg/sauce mixture and then the bread crumbs. Throw them in the deep fryer at 365 for about 5-7 minutes, until the Scotch eggs are browned all over.

Let cool about 10 minutes before serving. Serve whole or sliced in half (the long way) with spicy brown mustard, hot sauce, or just by itself. Great the next day hot or cold, and perfect to take on a hike for an afternoon snack on the first day.

from Daniel Larkin
to jamey w. bennett

Some friends of our have done “Bar Food Night” a few times, and this seems like a natural fit.  Fried meat-wrapped meat.  Perfect!  And I finally get to knock Scotch Eggs off my bucket list!

from: Jamey Bennett
to: Daniel Larkin

Of course, you don’t have to pickle the eggs first. Any hardboiled egg will do. I just like the flavor the pickled eggs add to the mix.

I thought of you when I was googling the history of Scotch eggs. Like many things related to food, nobody knows for sure. But the story I liked best said that Scottish shepherds invented them so that they could go out into the field for an entire day, and all they’d have to take is a sack with a little loaf of bread and a couple of Scotch eggs. The eggs were a big boost of protein, but not messy and something that wouldn’t spoil in a few hours. And of course, they’d be lighter on the way out…

Fried Foods! Yay!

Daniel Larkin to jamey
10:57 AM 

So I sent you pictures of our Bar Food Friday last weekend, but I wanted to share the goods.  The chicken nachos were decent; we made them using my veggie taco recipe with real chicken.  We started drinking before cooking, so we were a little rosy by the time we got to the cheese, and it ended up more like a Mexican mozzarella than queso fresco. But I’m not really writing you about the nachos.  You know how to do nachos.  What I’m talking about are the fried pickles.

October is over, so I’m assuming you can splurge on some good old fashion horrible-for-you food.  I use this batter for just about everything fried – chicken, onions, pickles, etc. – and it’s never let me down.  I actually learned the recipe from a popular bar I worked at in Charlotte named The Penguin.

The batter is simple, though my recipe may not be 100% accurate, since I’ve never measured my spices.  Ever.  I actually taste as I go, mostly checking salt and heat levels.  (I know some people have an aversion to tasting raw flour, but it’s the only way I’ve been able to get it spot on every time.)  Consequently, all of my measurements here are guesses, and you can add/subtract to it as you see fit.

  • Two cups of flour
  • 2 tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 tbs. chili powder – maybe more
  • 1 tbs. red pepper – maybe less
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tbs. cayenne pepper
  • A few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • Enough Lawry’s Seasoning Salt to cast a thin red layer on the top of the mixture.

Mix ingredients, insert a wet fork, and taste.  Again, I taste for salt and heat.  You want to taste the salt, but the heat needs to be background noise.  You don’t want it too spicy.

That’s the best I can describe the recipe.

Frying onions and pickles are essentially the same.  Chicken isn’t even that much different either.  The key to all is small batches.  You don’t want to drop the temperature of the oil too quickly, and you don’t want the items to stick together when they’re in the oil.

For onion straws, slice a sweet onion thin (I use my julienne slicer for thin uniform cuts) and soak it in buttermilk.  When it’s time to fry, just pull a small handful of onions out of the milk, dredge them in the batter, shake off the excess batter, and drop them into a pot of your favorite frying oil.  They’re done when they’re a light golden brown.  These onion straws make any burger 100x better.  Seriously.

For pickles, buy a jar of dill pickle chips and pour out the juice and replace it with buttermilk.  (I know this sounds gross, but it’s fine.  Buttermilk is curdled to begin with.)  When it’s time to fry, pull out a small handful of chips and shake off some, but not all, of the extra milk.  Toss the pickles in the batter mix to fully coat them.  Next, pull the chips out of the batter and shake them around in a sifter over the remaining batter.  This breaks up any globs of flour, and prevents the chips from sticking to each other in the oil.  Toss them in the oil, and they’re done when they float to the top with a golden brown color.  Serve in a bowl lined with paper towels, and have some Ranch dressing on hand to dip them in.  Oh, and prepare to be in heaven.

For chicken, I cut my breast meat into thin slices and soak them in a mix of buttermilk, one egg, and a few splashes of Texas Pete hot sauce.  Aside from the extra wet ingredients, the only thing I do differently with chicken is to double batter it.  Soak, toss, soak, toss, fry.  It gives it that supreme crunch that chicken tenders need.

I hope this all makes sense.  It’s an easy recipe, and it kills me how good it is every time I try it.  The pickles are especially gratifying, since no one outside of The Penguin can seem to make a decent fried pickle.

A Call to Raise the Bar

from Daniel Larkin
to jamey show details 12:13 PM (1 hour ago)

First off, congratulations on your wedding.  The photos I’ve seen are fantastic, and Alison’s dress looked stunning.  I hope the celebrations went off without a hitch, and I hope the sauerkraut was a hit.  Your presents are still sitting on our kitchen counter waiting to be mailed.  Hopefully that will happen today.

But down to business, I think it’s time we upped the TwoDudesFood bar.  Not that our recipes have been lackluster; everything I’ve made of yours has been dead-on delicious. But here’s what I’m thinking, instead of (or more appropriately, in addition to) writing post-meal notes, we should occasionally meet a challenge head on.

The idea is more or less inspired by this post from my friend Peanut:

We should both tackle this Nacho-Burger dilemma, and compare recipes/results.  You’ve got a honeymoon to attend to and we’ve got a vacation on the books, so it may take a few weeks before we get there.  But I know we can do it.  My first thought was, “How do I keep nacho chips from becoming soggy on a burger?”

Pickled Eggs with Eggs and Pickle Juice. Easy.

from Daniel Larkin
to jamey
show details 9:53 AM (4 hours ago)

I don’t even think this qualifies for Two-Dudes material since the recipe calls only for eating pickles and boiling eggs – and the boiling part is optional now that Eggland’s Best sells pre-boiled eggs.  Are you ready for the easiest and simultaneously the greatest snack ever?

Step 1) Buy Kalusen’s Dill Pickles.
Step 2) Eat the shit out of the pickles because they’re awesome!
Step 3) Boil and peel some eggs, or buy the lazy man’s 1/2 dozen bag at the grocery store.
Step 4) Put the eggs in the pickle juice and let them sit for AT LEAST three weeks.
Step 5) Freak out about how good the eggs taste now!

I’ve been buying quail eggs at the farmer’s market and using them recently.  They are 1/3 of the size of chicken eggs, so they’re the perfect pop-able snack.  The size makes them a real bitch to peel without breaking, but they only take one week to become stupid awesome.

from Jamey Bennett
to me
show details 11:15 AM (2 hours ago)

No, that is two dudes material because it’s hilarious!