CLAS­SIC HOME-MADE SCOTCH EGGS (MAKES FOUR)

EADT Suffolk - - AL FRESCO FOOD - Ruth French is a chef and mem­ber of the Guild of Food Writ­ers

In­gre­di­ents

300g good qual­ity, course sausage meat

4 large free-range eggs + 2 eggs for coat­ing

100g home-made dried bread­crumbs

Small onion Tea­spoon Di­jon mus­tard Herbs de Provence

Salt and pep­per

Oil for deep-fry­ing

Method

Start the day (or early morn­ing) be­fore by dry­ing out bread­crumbs in a cool oven of 120°C. Don’t make the crumbs too small and you’ll have a lovely rough tex­ture for the eggs. They take a cou­ple of hours by which time they’ll be very dry and golden. Place the sausage meat in a bowl and al­low to come to room tem­per­a­ture.

Now cover the four eggs with cold wa­ter and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and con­tinue to gen­tly boil for no longer than five min­utes. Plunge into ice cold wa­ter for ten min­utes or un­til you’ve as­sem­bled the other in­gre­di­ents.

Finely grate the onion and drain off the ex­cess liq­uid, re­tain­ing the pulp only. Add to the sausage meat and mix in the salt and black pep­per, to­gether with the Di­jon mus­tard or even horse­rad­ish sauce. Com­bine with the herbs and mix thor­oughly, prefer­ably by hand. Now care­fully peel the eggs un­der a run­ning cold tap, pat dry and set aside.

Heat the veg­etable oil in a large, deep pan but do not over­fill as the eggs will dis­place the oil and bring it dan­ger­ously close to the top.

In an­other bowl beat the two re­main­ing eggs. Wrap the sausage meat around the cooled boiled eggs (hav­ing wet hands makes this process eas­ier). Dip the cov­ered eggs into the beaten egg mix­ture and roll them in the bread­crumbs, coat­ing them gen­er­ously coat, and press­ing to help the crumbs ad­here.

Test the oil tem­per­a­ture by drop­ping a piece of bread into it which should start to brown

These Mex­i­can-style wraps add an ex­cit­ing twist to any pic­nic and ring the changes from the ubiq­ui­tous sand­wich. No but­ter­spread­ing, no crumb mess, just an easy open­ing of store cup­board in­gre­di­ents with a dash of this and that.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

•Can of cooked mixed beans, drained and coarsely mashed

•Can of cooked black beans, drained and coarsely mashed

•2 small ripe av­o­ca­dos, coarsely mashed

•2 medium/ large toma­toes, chopped finely

•Fat clove gar­lic, minced to a paste with some sea salt

•Juice of 1 large lime

•Hand­ful co­rian­der leaves and stems, chopped

•Few dashes tabasco ha­banero or other chilli sauce

•Half tea­spoon cumin

•Half tea­spoon smoked pa­prika

•Tor­tillas or wraps

METHOD

Sim­ply mix all the in­gre­di­ents to­gether in a bowl and let them in­fuse for at least an hour. Drain off the ex­cess liq­uid and pile into the tor­tillas. Wrap tightly and se­cure each one with foil for an in­di­vid­ual serv­ing. chunks of cu­cum­ber, grated raw beet­root and car­rot, chopped ap­ple and cooked diced chicken. For a re­ally quick dress­ing, whisk some cider vine­gar into some ready made pesto. De­cant into a screw-top jar. Give it a shake be­fore adding to the salad just prior to serv­ing.

Toasted pine nuts add an­other lux­ury di­men­sion – keep them in a sep­a­rate con­tainer to add just be­fore you serve. The chicken can be sub­sti­tuted by some chunks of ready-cooked Quorn and/or Feta cheese (or its ve­gan equiv­a­lent).

SPICY LEMON­ADE

No pic­nic is com­plete with­out lemon­ade but this one has a spicy twist! Sim­ply squeeze the juice and re­move the flesh from six lemons into a blender with a quar­ter-inch piece of freshly grated gin­ger. De-seed a quar­ter inch piece of red chilli and add to the blender with lemon and gin­ger. Throw in a few stalks of co­rian­der and 30g of sugar. Add a small cup of wa­ter and blend un­til very smooth. Bot­tle and chill. Add to sparkling wa­ter with a sprig of mint.

SIM­PLE FRUIT PUNCHES

There’s no need to get too car­ried away on the punch - but then again, af­ter lock­down, you can af­ford to let go just a lit­tle. Some ‘flavour ideas’ that you can mix in a hurry with pieces of fresh fruit. Why not add a dash of some­thing stronger to grown-up glasses? Cran­berry and or­ange juice works well with a dash of vodka, or how about pineap­ple juice and co­conut wa­ter which is great with a dash of Bac­ardi. You can make a sim­ple mint julep by boil­ing a sugar and wa­ter syrup, adding fresh mint and then top­ping up with a white wine Spritzer for an easy, low-al­co­hol drink. Serve with slices of cu­cum­ber. N #There­With­You

ABOVE: Home made Scotch eggs are per­fect for a pic­nic, says Suf­folk chef Ruth French. Photo: Getty Im­ages BE­LOW: Fresh fruit makes a pic­nic!

ABOVE: Easy bean bur­ri­tos are sim­ple to make, says Suf­folk chef Ruth French. RIGHT: A hearty salad is just the ticket for the per­fect pic­nic

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