Mini Quail Scotch Eggs
(By Sam, Coturnix)
1. Place the sausage meat in a bowl with the sage and mix together with a fork. Divide the meat into 12 equal portions.2. Take a piece of the sausage meat and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Place one of the quail eggs in the center and stretch the sausage meat around to cover the egg completely, then roll between your hands to make an even-shaped ball. Repeat with the remaining eggs and sausage meat to make 12 balls.3. Place the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dip each Scotch egg first in the flour to lightly coat, then in the beaten egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining eggs and place on a plate until ready to cook.4. Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based pan (fill to a third deep with oil) or deep-fat fryer to about 160°C (or test with a cube of bread – it should go golden in about 45 seconds).
5. Cook the eggs in several batches, about 4 at a time, for 7-9 minutes until evenly golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper, then chill in the fridge until needed.6. For a picnic, leave the eggs until completely cold and wrap in greaseproof paper, to keep the breadcrumb coating crunchy. Serve with Little Gem leaves, celery sticks, baby tomatoes and tzatziki.
As an alternative to deep-frying, bake the Scotch eggs in an oven preheated to 200°C, gas mark 6, for 20 minutes until golden, making sure the sausage meat is cooked all the way through. Try making these with hard boiled hen's eggs – use a little more sausage meat to cover each egg and increase the frying time by an extra 2-3 minutes.
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