Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Scotch Eggs a.k.a. Pub Grub

Scotch Egg
I was stuck at an airport one day with a three hour layover until my next flight. Trying to find a place to relax I discovered an English style pub. I really didn't want a meal so I sat at the bar and looked over the menu. When I came to an item called "Scotch Eggs." I asked the bartender if these were good and he said that I should try it. I was served one scotch egg that was cut in half and served with English mustard. This is a classic take-away food from across the pond. When I went home I had to try making them.

8 small eggs,* hard boiled, peeled
1 1 lb. pkg. pork sausage, bulk (Bob Evan’s preferred)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Flour, or more
3/4 cup Bread crumbs, or more
as needed Mustard, English, French, or American
as needed Frying oil, peanut canola, or vegetable

NOTE: *Small eggs are hard to find these days. You can use medium or large but then you will need more sausage.

Cook the eggs until they are hard boiled. Cool the eggs in cold water and then peel. Set the peeled eggs to the side and divide the pork sausage into 8 equal portions. Flatten each portion as if you are making a hamburger. Place an cold hard-boiled egg in the center of each sausage patty. Using your hands gently surround the egg with the sausage taking care not to break the egg in the center. 
You should not be able to see any egg white through the sausage. Set these prepared eggs to the side. Prepare a breading station, using three separate shallow pans, or bowls, one with flour, one with beaten eggs, and the last with bread crumbs. Take one sausage wrapped hard boiled egg and roll it in the flour. Shake off any excess and then roll the egg wash, and finally into the bread crumbs. Place the egg back into the egg wash for a second time and then the bread crumbs again. Place a piece of waxed paper on a baking sheet and place the coated eggs on the waxed paper. 
Repeat with the remaining eggs. Place the sheet of prepared Scotch eggs into the refrigerator for one hour. In a deep fryer or cast iron skillet, heat the oil to 350ºF. I prefer the taste of peanut oil but Crisco is my secondary choice. Using a fry basket or slotted spoon, gently lower each prepared egg into the hot oil. Fry for about 4-5 minutes and check the egg to see if it’s golden brown everywhere. Remove and drain on a cooling rack or paper towel.
Allow the oil to return to the proper temperature before frying the next batch. Place finished eggs into the oven to keep warm. Traditionally Scotch eggs are served with English-style mustard, although any mustard will do. The surprise is on the inside. ENJOY!

© TMelle 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Deviled Ham Salad

In our house we almost always had left-overs whenever the winter holidays were over.  When Mom made baked ham, more often than not we had left-over ham. If it wasn't a honey ham Mom would clean the meat from the bone and then make split pea soup using the ham bone and any little pieces of ham. If it was a honey ham, making soup was out of the question.  
We could always count on ham omelets or ham and eggs for breakfast after a holiday. The remaining ham would be minced by hand and made into Deviled Ham Salad. It was just an amazing use for cooked ham. 
Ham in food processor
In the beginning Mom minced the ham by hand. Later, when she got a food processor her use of left-overs expanded to things like corned beef or roast beef hash. 
Add Mayonnaise

When making Deviled Ham Salad you are going to need at least a pound of cooked ham. If you don't have left-over ham you can buy and use a ham steak slice or ask for ham ends at your deli.
Add Pickle Relish... or do you call it picklelily
1              lb.           Ham, minced 
3-4          tbsp.        Mayonnaise
1              tbsp.        Dijon mustard
1              tbsp.        Prepared horseradish, optional
2-3          tbsp.        Pickle relish, sweet or dill, or both
1              tbsp.        Pimento
1              tbsp.        Onion, minced (optional)

NOTE: These measurements are general guidelines and ready for you to put in your personal touches. Mom never used dill relish. It was always sweet. Adding a little dill relish to the mix adds a sweet and sour element to the dish. Sometimes I use dry mustard powder instead of Dijon to add a little heat. Every now and then she would add some green olives stuffed with pimentos in place of the pickle relish. I like to add some Muffaletta relish, or Jardinera.

Place the ham into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the cutting blade. Replace the cover and then give it 5 or 6 quick pulses  until the ham is crumbled. Place the ham into a mixing bowl and fold in the remaining ingredients until you've reached a spreadable consistency.

At our house we prefer ham salad on Ritz crackers, saltines, or cocktail rye bread. If you made a lot of ham salad spread it on a slice of bread and add a piece of lettuce.

For an elegant and affordable appetizer cut 2-1/4" bread circles out of fresh bread and toast them lightly on one side. Spread the ham salad on the un-toasted side and place them on a baking sheet. Place a little shredded cheese on top and broil the ham teasers until slightly golden and bubbly. Enjoy!  

© TMelle 2013