Right. So I'm going to preface this recipe by saying this is pub food so it's pretty horrid in some ways, but that's OK - it's a very good approximation of a tasty dish that is inherently somewhat horrid.
When I heard the theme Elise has chosen for this event was eggs, I thought to myself, "What dish will no one else try to recreate. What dish would be unique? So strange and perhaps - nasty? - that no one else would want to make it?"
And then I remembered my trip to England a few years ago. I was staying in a hotel near the slaughterhouses where later in the week they'd discover mad cow. I'd already started down the vegetarian path, but I wasn't completely there yet.
I was there to help convert an office of a sister company into an office of ours, which meant replacing all the servers and changing over the workstations. As is usual, almost all the real work has to be done over a long weekend.
After staggering home late one night/early one morning I found a convenience store that was still open. As it didn't look like I was going to come across any other nourishment, I picked up a couple candy bars, a wedge of cheese and a strange ovoid object called a Scotch egg.
I got back to my room, opened the plastic capsule in which my Scotch egg was encased and took a bite. Oh my. This was something different. It wasn't exactly good, but it was tasty in that greasy way that a White Castle hamburger or a mess of potatoes and onions is after a long bender out with the boys.
Unfortunately, I didn't realize that Scotch eggs - a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage, coated with breadcrumb, then deep fried and allowed to cool completely - are apparently posessed of natural opioids that keep you coming back. I consumed many Scotch eggs between that night and the day we returned home, often in conjunction with warm bitter beer.
Then - disaster. It is almost impossible to find a Scotch egg in Chicago. I experienced withdrawal symptoms akin to those suffered by Ewan McGregor's character in Trainspotting, though not as bad as the pain Ewan McGregor's character endured when hearing Hayden Christenson speak in Star Wars III.
When the IMBB? theme was announced, I knew what egg dish needed to be reintroduced to my life.
But how? I've now become a full-fledged meat eschewer (fish and veggies only, please). The answer lay in a packet of soy crumbles:
Yes, soy would emulate the sausage coffin to bury my egg in.
I opened the pack of Smart Ground and crumbled it up. Very dry. No sticking together power at all, and not that flavorful. Should really only be used when desperate or out of kitty litter.
I was desperate. In went some olive oil, in went some spices, and eventually, in went a beaten egg to hold the mess together.
I coated and dipped and rolled my Scotch egg and instead of deep frying, decided to bake the egg in the oven.
The result is not bad at all.
Veggie Scotch Egg
12 oz. fake ground beef (Smart Ground or other) (or just use pork sausage)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 raw eggs divided, both beaten
4 eggs, hard boiled, peeled
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 big pinch salt or to taste
1 big pinch pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried sage or 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh sage
1 cup fine bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Peel your hardboiled eggs under running cold water and make sure all the shell is removed. Pat eggs dry.
Mix the oil and one beaten egg into the fake ground beef along with all the seasonings. Mix very well.
With your hands, pat a fairly thick full coating of "meat" around a hardboiled egg. Dip meated egg into a wash of the other beaten egg and coat. Transfer egg int bowl of breadcrumbs and coat with crumbs. Shake excess bread crumbs off lightly and place egg on a nonstick or well oiled cookie sheet.
Repeat with other hardboiled eggs.
Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 20 minutes until eggs are golden brown and "meat" is cooked through. Let cool completley before eating, preferably after imbibing too much bitter ale.
Is this authentic? Hell no. It's not quite the Scotch egg that is now forbidden to me (the egg dish that Dare Not Speak Its Name?), but it'll do, soy pig; it'll do.
Bonus dish - Egg and Scotch! Boil an egg and have a sip of the true single malt.