Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vegetarian Scotch Eggs

I've been fascinated by the idea of Scotch eggs for a while now. Traditionally for Scotch eggs, hard-boiled or soft-boiled or even pickled eggs are encased in a sausage mixture, coated in breadcrumbs, and fried. Since I don't eat red meat, I'd never attempted to make them or even tasted one. Then, along came this lovely vegetarian version with an outer layer made with beets. They couldn't be more perfect. The beets give the outside a good contrasting color to the white and yellow of the egg inside. Just in time for Easter, I found these on Mess in the Kitchen the other day and headed straight to the kitchen. The beet mixture was actually first imagined as a veggie burger and then was used for coating Scotch eggs. I made just a couple of changes to the recipe so as to use what I had on hand, and I was beyond thrilled with the results. The mixture held together very well, and the outside fried to a crisp around the soft-boiled eggs. Not only do you get a tender soft-boiled egg surround by a crispy, tasty, fried coating, there's another bonus to making Scotch eggs. You know how fresh eggs can be difficult to peel after boiling? If there are any uneven surfaces on the eggs after they're peeled, you'll never see them once they're coated with the beet mixture. Everything about these eggs made me very happy.

I decided to go with soft-boiled rather than hard-boiled eggs thinking that the eggs would cook a little more in the hot oil causing the yolks to set, and that's exactly what happened. I used the smallest ones from the carton I had, but you can really use any size of eggs you'd like. I placed five eggs in a saucepan, covered them with water, added a pinch of salt, and brought the water to a boil. As soon as the water bubbled, I turned the heat to low, covered the pan, and let the eggs cook for eight minutes. I drained the eggs and peeled them while still warm, and they were fresh enough to still be difficult to peel but, delightfully, that didn't matter here. For the beet mixture, I peeled two medium beets and chopped them. The beets were placed in a food processor with a chopped leek, about three ounces of firm tofu that I squeezed a bit to remove some water, two chopped green onions, about three tablespoons of flaxseed meal, a quarter cup of toasted breadcrumbs, two peeled and chopped cloves of garlic, an egg, and salt and pepper. The mixture was processed until a paste developed. If the mixture is too dry, try adding a tablespoon or two of water, and if it's too wet add a little more breadcrumbs. The beet mixture was pressed around each egg, and I had extra which I formed into two veggie burgers for another day. Once the eggs were encased in the beet mixture, I rolled each one in some remaining breadcrumbs before frying. I fried them, two or three at a time, in about an inch of grape seed oil in a saucepan, turning from time to time, for about five minutes total.

Did I mention how much I enjoyed these eggs? I already want to make them again for a party and use quail eggs for a daintier portion. They'd look great cut in half and lined up on a serving tray. Or, I could imagine going the other direction and using duck eggs. One Scotch duck egg cut in half with some smoked salmon on top of each piece would make a lovely brunch meal. Obviously, I'll be making this recipe repeatedly.



24 comments:

  1. I've never tried a real scotch egg before, but this vegetarian version sounds fabulous. I don't really like to fry things, but I could make an exception for these.

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  2. How cool is that!? Love these.

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  3. Absolutely gorgeous! I just started liking beets (that sounds weird lol), so I would love to try them!

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  4. Lisa, these are brilliant! Love the use of beets here. I don't eat red meat either, so these are right up my alley. Concur that they would look pretty awesome cut and lined on a serving tray!

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  5. I have never heard of a Scotch egg but these sound great. I love beets and I love eggs. Definitly giving them a try :)

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  6. This is a very popular food here in England, though I've never actually tried one. Your version is a beauty, it puts the ones here to shame.
    *kisses* HH

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  7. Awesome! That is a wonderful idea. I've never seen this version before.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. Wow, this is amazing! Those are so gorgeous to look at and the yolk is perfect. It puts plain old deviled eggs to shame!

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  9. I always make pickled eggs, but I see I have another egg in my future!
    I love Scotch eggs, but the beet thing is brilliant!

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  10. I love the color of your scotch eggs!

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  11. What a great idea and what beautiful colours! These would look so beautiful with a green salad :)

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  12. I think these are a brilliant idea! :D And the beetroot gives them such an amazing purple, yellow and white colour palette too! :D

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  13. Absolutely love the colours in this dish Lisa, its so different & perfect for Easter too, a wonderful 'fresh' idea :)

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  14. Hmmm. Beets. But the color is amazing. We were discussing making black pudding scotch eggs with quail eggs the other day.

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  15. Wow, what an interesting way to dress up eggs! They sure look tasty.

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  16. I've never heard of Scotch eggs, but these veggie ones sound so delicious!

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  17. The color is screams party, I agree duck egg with smoked salmon would be a great idea, great adaptation!!

    sweetlife

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  18. You should submit these photos to VegNews so they dont have to use photos of food that contain meat ;)

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  19. Oh my! I'd never heard of Scotch Eggs before, but these ones seem much better than the meat version. Like you said, the color of the beets just looks stunning with the eggs. It must taste wonderful too with the nice soft egg inside and the crunchy, fried outside :)

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  20. these are such a unique food phenomenon and one that everyone should experience in some way, so kudos to you for adapting it so well! :)

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  21. Looks awsome..thnaks for sharing

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  22. So lovely and better that it's vegetarian :)

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  23. I have never had scotch eggs before, but these are a real beauty so to speak. Love the contrasting colors.

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  24. definately trying these!!

    http://fourteaspoons.blogspot.com/

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