Serves: Makes 12
Before contemplating making these little scotch eggs it would be worth your while to buy your quail eggs a couple of weeks in advance. The reason being that fresh quail eggs are frustratingly difficult to peel. Luckily you’ve only got twelve of the little blighters to deal with for this recipe. I didn’t actually heed this advice here which meant, if I had any chance of removing the shells neatly, I had to boil the eggs for slightly longer than I would have liked. I find chorizo cooking sausages (as opposed to the dried version) vary widely in flavour so you may want to fry a little nugget of your sausage mixture before covering the quail eggs, to get the correct level of seasoning. If you want a more mellow garlic flavour for the aioli you can roast a head of garlic and squeeze out the softened flesh from the cloves. Wrap the head in foil and roast in a moderate oven for about 25-30 minutes.
- 12 quail eggs
- 250g plain pork sausagemeat
- 200g chorizo cooking sausages
- 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 heaped teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- 30g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 60g panko breadcrumbs
- Oil for deep frying
- For the saffron aioli
- Large pinch saffron strands
- 175g good mayonnaise-preferably homemade
- 4 roasted garlic cloves or one raw garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Carefully lower in the quail eggs and time 2 minutes 10 seconds. Drain and run the eggs under cold water for a minute. Leave them in cold water until they are completely cold. Carefully peel off the shells.
- Put the sausagemeat in a bowl. Remove the skins from the chorizo sausages and mix with the pork sausagemeat along with the cumin seeds, paprika and some salt and ground black pepper.
- Divide the sausagemeat into 12 equal portions (about 38g if you want to be exact). Take a ball of the sausagemeat and flatten out in the palm of your hand. Place the quail egg in the centre and bring up the edges, making sure the egg is completely encased in the meat. Repeat for the remaining 11 quail eggs.
- Put the flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl beat the egg with the milk. Pour the panko crumbs into a third bowl. Dip the scotch eggs into the flour, coating it evenly, followed by the beaten egg and finally roll the scotch egg in the panko crumbs. Place on a tray and repeat with the remaining scotch eggs. Ideally chill them for a couple of hours.
- For the saffron aioli, put the saffron strands in a small bowl and pour over a tablespoon of boiling water. Leave to steep for 10 minutes. Put the mayonnaise in a mixing bowl and pour in the saffron and liquid. Add the garlic (whichever you are using-confit or fresh) and process with a stick blender until smooth. If you haven’t got a stick blender whizz everything in the small bowl of a food processor. Spoon into a small serving bowl.
- Pour about a litre of vegetable oil into a deep fryer or deep saucepan. Heat to 160˚c. Carefully lower in about four scotch eggs at a time (depending on the size of your vessel) and fry for about 6 minutes until golden brown. Lift out and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Serve warm with the saffron aioli.