Saturday, 1 September 2012

Salted cod scotch eggs with smoked paprika and fennel

Apologies for the lengthy silence, I've been on holiday for the last couple of weeks. I did think about my poor blog languishing in the shadows but frankly I was just having too much fun to bother with the boring old interweb.

This was my first attempt at staycationing - instead of venturing abroad, we decided to explore all the wonders on offer pretty much on our doorstep in London. There's an awe inspiring amount to do in our wonderful capital, and I finally got to tick off a few things from my mental list of London-to-dos.

Near the top of the list was taking advantage of the decent weather; a few hours of daily sun for a couple of weeks is a rare commodity right now. And sun means one thing to me - picnics. I love a good spread out in the open air. We ate these on a row boat, bobbing around next to the picturesque bridges on the Thames at Richmond. Fresh air really does make food taste better.

Makes 10
350g boneless, skinless salted cod
2 bay leaves
5 peppercorns
12 medium eggs
200g undyed smoked haddock
2 tbsp olive oil
300g arborio rice
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp black pepper
1½ tsp whole fennel seeds
1 litre weak vegetable stock
2½ cups panko breadcrumbs
600ml vegetable oil
1) 24 hours before, submerge the salted cod in cold water, changing the water once during the day. The next day, put two bay leaves and five black peppercorns in a pan with a litre of boiling water, and add the cod. Reduce to a simmer and very gently cook for 5 minutes, or until just starting to flake apart. Drain and remove the bay leaves and peppercorns, leave to cool, and then flake into small pieces.
2) Place 10 of the eggs in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Run under cold water to stop them cooking, then carefully peel them and set aside. Grill the haddock under a medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until tender and just cooked through. Leave to cool, and then flake into small pieces.
3) Next heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook on a low heat until translucent, about 8 minutes, then add the butter, rice, and garlic. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes, then add the paprika, pepper, cayenne and fennel and half of the stock. Allow to simmer until the stock has been absorbed, stirring occasionally, then add the other half of the stock and continue to cook until it has absorbed all the liquid. When the rice is cooked through, the mixture should be very thick. Stir through the cod and haddock, check if the mixture needs any salt, then divide into 10 blobs.
4) Make a 20x20cm piece of triple thickness clingfilm, then put a blob in the middle of the clingfilm. Flatten the blob slightly, and make a dent in the centre with a spoon, then place an egg in the dent. Use the clingfilm to shape the rice around the egg until nice and round. Repeat with the other eggs.
5) Whisk the remaining eggs in a small bowl, and roll each rice ball first in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs. Make sure each one is really well covered. Dip again into the egg, then breadcrumbs, to double coat. Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan to 190c. Cook the eggs one or two at a time for about 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towel and repeat with the other eggs.

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of such a recipe, but I can imagine you on that little row boat enjoying them, how sweet!


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