Monday, November 13, 2006

Turkey IV: Scotch Eggs

I have never been to Scotland, but I kinda like the music though I certainly intend to go some day. Still, I'm pretty sure that even those who don't know the difference between tartan and plaid (there is a difference, isn't there?) will know that my version of Scotch eggs is entirely inauthentic. I'm not sure that's such a bad thing: my research suggests that over in the British isles, the Scotch egg is seen as a bit déclassé. Still, this recipe, while very tasty, is nothing like what I think of as the ideal of the Scotch Egg. If I were under no dietary or logistical constraints, I believe that I would start out by either deep frying a whole egg for thirty seconds or by taking a blowtorch to it for a similar period of time so that the outside of the egg would be cooked while the inside was still liquid. Then I'd carefully remove the shell, coat the egg with pork sausage, roll it in beaten eggs, roll it again in bread crumbs, then deep fry it just long enough for the sausage and egg white to be cooked through while the egg yolk would get hot but would remain runny.

But I think that this may be one of those times when it's better to imagine eating such a decadent thing than to actually eat it. Even when I'm not dieting, there are times when I can only handle so much fat at one time. Unless it's butter, of course, and then all bets are off. Mmmmm, butter.

In any case, I'm very fond of sausage, and when I first decided to try making some with about eight ounces of ground lean (93/7) turkey that I had leftover from making some quenelles, I didn't think that the result would be anything more than edible. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. I surmise that the freshness of the meat makes up for the reduction in fat, though it's also possible that my palate is simply adjusting to how much less fat it's being exposed to. Nonetheless, I think that most people would find the self-made turkey sausage to be predominantly yummy rather than austere.

In addition to being lower in fat and calories, self-made turkey sausage is significantly cheaper than the pork sausage that comes in plastic tubes at the supermarket. Making it yourself also allows you to adjust the seasonings to your own taste and to try many different variations, particularly if, like me, you buy your ground turkey at Costco, where it comes in four-packs of about 1.5 lbs. each. Instead of the following recipe, you might try just adding salt, pepper, and sage to your ground turkey.

Turkey Sausage

1.5 lbs. ground lean turkey
1.5 t. salt
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 t. ground smoked sweet paprika
ground black pepper to taste

But all ingredients in a bowl. Mix.

I mix the ingredients with my hands, but if you prefer, you can use your stand mixer or a sturdy spoon. Fry up a teaspoon or so of the sausage, taste it, and add more of anything that you think would be a good idea.

Online recipes tell me that it's traditional to make a Scotch egg with as little as two ounces of sausage per egg. I'm not sure that I would have been able to fully coat my eggs with two ounces. I probably could have done it with four ounces, but I ended up using closer to six ounces per egg. I think that four ounces of lean sausage and a boiled egg together make a generous breakfast, and that's probably what I'll shoot for next time. The Scotch eggs are very good by themselves, but they would probably be better with a nice Dijon mustard. Or some Hollandaise, I suppose, but I really should not let my mind go right there right now.

Scotch Eggs

6 boiled eggs*
1.5 pounds turkey sausage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Peel the eggs. Cover each egg with four ounces of sausage, doing your best to make the finished product ovoid. Place the coated eggs in a lightly oiled pan, and bake for about twenty-five minutes. Finish the eggs under the broiler to get them nice and brown.

*FYI, I slightly modified the rather complicated process that I have heretofore used for boiling eggs. This time, I put my eggs in a pan, filled it with cold water, brought the water to a boil, turned the fire off, put the lid on, and let them sit for fifteen minutes. Then I drained out the hot water, replaced it with cold water, added about ten ice cubes, and let the whole thing sit until fully cool. Then I removed the eggs, brought the water back to a boil, put them back in for one minute, and took them out. At that point, the peels came off very easily.

As always, when you're going to make hard-boiled eggs, try not to use the freshest of eggs. If they've been sitting in the refrigerator for a few days, your task will be much easier.


Anonymous lindy said...

I love me some scotch eggs. Happy thanksgiving to you and yourn.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Love love LOVE these!

Thanks for putting up a recipe :d

6:01 AM  

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