Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Scotch Eggs for My Favorite Clock Setter

Most people I know look forward to changing their clocks and falling back in November regaining the hour they lost months earlier. Personally, I hate it. I wish "they" would just leave things alone because I can’t stand changing my clocks. My aversion to this usually leaves all of our clocks displaying the correct time, with the exception of five or so displaying the old time which always belong to me.

Even though I planned to get around to changing them eventually, I really had some good excuses for not doing it. The two clocks in my car need a paperclip or toothpick to poke a little tiny button to change them, which I never seem to remember unless I’m already driving.  Then there's my wrist watch which requires some secret combination of winding and pulling that apparently only a sadist named Tag Heuer really knows for sure how to do.

The projection clock on my side of the bed is a real tricky one because it has to be set twice; once for the main display and once for the display on the ceiling. Experience tells me that getting both of them in sync for an entire 60 seconds at once is a physical impossibility.

Compounding this problem is the fact that the projection display loses about a minute every other day forcing me to do some serious calculations before arriving at an approximate time. First I have to subtract the hour I neglected to fall back to before adding the 23 minutes or so that the clock has lost to arrive at the approximate time. Phew! Try doing that kind of math at 13:72 in the morning when you are half asleep.

Finally there’s the clock on my oven, the most obstinate of all.  Changing it requires a confounding sequence of tones and buttons that makes Tag Heuer’s look user friendly. I have stood at my oven for no less than 10 minutes pushing buttons and resetting without resolution before just walking away in disgust. Where are the instructions you might ask? As best as I can recall I put them somewhere for safekeeping until I got around to filing them in their proper place and now they’re gone. They are around here somewhere and some day I’ll get serious and look for them.

Since we had extra family time around here over the holidays, Mr. H, armed with paperclips and internet instruction booklet printouts, took pity on me and set my clocks as a stocking stuffer of sorts. Thanks to him I can now easily tell the exact time when my college student butt dials me at 1 am.

Since Mr. H did something special for me, I decided to do something special for him.  While living in the UK, we learned to love many dishes that aren't so popular here in the US.  We really miss mushy peas (recipe coming soon), really great fish and chips to go with the mushy peas, Yorkshire puddings (pretty much impossible to make at 6,300 ft.), and Scotch eggs, just to name a few.  Scotch eggs are one of the easier recipes to replicate because the ingredients (or similar ingredients) are readily available, but the preparation isn't so easy so I don't prepare them very often.  They are time consuming and tricky, but worth it for the occasional treat.

I use my deep fryer to cook mine, but if you don't have one you can pan fry them too; just be aware that you will have to fry them until they reach a dark walnut brown and then allow them to rest until cool to ensure that they are cooked through.  I also like to serve mine with spicy mayo (not very English at all) which I believe adds another flavor layer to this already addictive dish.

Scotch Eggs

Before making these I always say a little prayer that I can find very small, easy to peel eggs so I don't get too frustrated.  Also, I know that this might sound like a lot of sausage but don't skimp because if you get the sausage too thin they have been know to split open in the fryer, and even though deep fried boil egg is interesting it is not the desired result.  I have eaten these before when the yolk is slighty soft and they are fantastic.  I'm still working on that.

1 pound of your favorite sausage meat (I like sage, but plain and Italian hot or regular are great too)

5 small to medium size eggs, hard boiled and peeled

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup breadcrumbs

2 eggs, beaten

Divide the sausage into 5 equal portions. Pat them out into thin patties that are big enough to wrap around the boiled eggs. Place each patty in the palm of one of your hands. Center the boiled into the middle of the sausage patty and mold the sausage meat around it, pressing it gently with cupped hands to seal it; set aside.

Pour the flour and breadcrumbs into separate shallow bowls or plates.  Roll the eggs into the flour then dip them into the beaten egg before rolling each in the crumbs to cover completely; set aside.

Preheat a deep fryer or place a medium size frying pan over medium high heat and pour enough oil into it so it is 1” deep. When the oil is hot place each egg into it and fry until they are a deep brown on all sides. Remove from the oil and transfer to paper towels to drain. Cool to room temperature.  These can also be baked in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until firm and golden brown.

Serve at room temperature plain, with Spicy Mayonnaise (recipe follows) or with a salad and fries. These are great for snacks, picnics or lunchboxes.

Spicy Mayonnaise

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons hot sauce (I like sriracha)

Squeeze of lime

1 small garlic clove, crushed

Mix all ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

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