April 25, 2006

Behemoth Scotch Eggs

I had a funny idea the other day to use this post to reminisce about some of the complete wrecks I've made in the kitchen. The disgusting ones I've attempted or the ones that just didn't work out. At all.

I'll preface this by admitting that I wasn't always a natural in the kitchen. My lofty goals weren't really met until I got some basic cookery under my belt. I blame Emeril, for one. Yes, about 6 years ago I had some friends who were very enthusiastic about Emeril. Who wasn't entertained by him at first? You know who you are...Bam! Cooking is fun! I dig it... So, my naive 20 year old self was ready to cook, or rather, conquer food. Bring it on, you 4 page recipe! Bam! I'll show you some essence...

What our friends still give us shit about is our famous joint effort of a "red wine reduction sauce." Yeah. It was more like red wine syrup with mushrooms in it. Thick and gooey, but my husband, then boyfriend, would not be scared off. I think he was a little proud of it. It might have been edible without the mushrooms, but as it was, the mushrooms gave it this disgusting, slimy texture. I shudder at the thought of it.

Anyway, the one that makes me laugh to this day takes us back to Emeril's loopy bamworld. This was the same time period as our "reduction sauce," but I guess that didn't turn us off enough because we went back to Emeril for inspiration. I knew by then that Emeril was all about bigger and better. I was 21 and it was the food network chefs that got me interested in food. Rachael Ray actually taught me a lot: how to make a quick marinara sauce, salad dressings, meatloaf patties, and mashed potatoes...the basics. Emeril inspired me to get a little fancier. I was totally in over my head most of the time, but it was fun. Paul's roommates and I especially got excited about grilling. Mostly huge cuts of meat. They were guys, so grilling whole chickens and 2-inch thick pork chops was some feat.

So, the most unbelievable recipe I've made does comes from Emeril. His recipe for Scotch Eggs would sound more than a few alarms if I was looking at the recipe now, but 5 years ago, I just made the recipe as written. I don't know if you've had Scotch Eggs before, but they're tasty hard-boiled eggs wrapped in a thin layer of sausage, rolled in bread crumbs and fried. Dip them in a little mayo and mustard...Yum! Add a pint of ale and you could be sitting in pub in Britain.

Click here to view a larger image.
photo and recipe from Food Network

Emeril's Kicked-Up Scotch Eggs

1 1/2 pounds country-style sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 hard-boiled eggs, shells removed
1 cup bread crumbs
Creole seasoning, "Emeril's Essence"
1/2 cup flour
1 beaten egg
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying the eggs

In a large bowl combine the sausage, cayenne and salt. Divide into 4 portions and on a sheet of waxed paper, shape each portion into a thin round. Place 1 hard-boiled egg on the sausage round and wrap to enclose the egg, patting gently to smooth the surface. (This step is much easier with wet hands.)

Season the bread crumbs with Creole seasoning. Dredge the sausage-wrapped egg in the flour, then dip in the egg and roll in the bread crumbs until well coated. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

In a deep fryer or large heavy skilled, heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the eggs, 2 at a time until golden brown and crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels before serving.

So, I think this is a good recipe except for the part about 4 eggs and ONE AND A HALF pounds of sausage! Are you kidding me? That's .375 pounds per egg! Is he using ostrich eggs? I kind of remember making them and thinking, "Is this right? This is really too much meat to fit on one egg?!" It's the feeling you have when making mashed potatoes with 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of cream, or thinking about ordering that steak where if you eat it all, you get it for free (never mind that it's 72 oz...) There's a line when it stops being food and starts being a spectacle and I think Emeril crossed it a while back, especially with these eggs.

I don't even know how that picture looks so normal. I mean, it's huge and takes up the whole frigging plate, but I'm telling you that the ones I made (following his recipe) were about 4 times the size of an egg. Plus, I'm a big ratio person, and the ratio of meat to egg in this thing was way out of whack. So, please, take the quantity of meat down a notch and I'm sure this will be a good recipe! Oh, Emeril!

Luckily, we've come a long way since then. Does anyone out there have a memorable mess up or unbelievable recipe they'd like to share?

No comments: