Scotch Eggs on Night Watch

Not going to lie, these would be THE BOMB as far as night watch food goes, and so I had intended them.  Then night watch started early and never ended.  We were planning to make a leisurely passage from Lake Pontchartrain to Dauphin Island off Mobile Bay, anchoring briefly before sundown at an interim barrier island to let Spaniel Swab have his necessary time with a land head.  Then headwinds, commercial traffic and the sum total of damage done by a record-breaking year’s decimating storms on the possible anchorages along the way left us going straight through, reaching our ultimate 24-hour destination at first light.  So after getting the anchor set, a dinghy dash to shore with the dog, and a quick nap, these were a very justified brunch!

Scotch Eggs

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5 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
10-12 ounces sausage
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for deep frying

These little darlings are boiled eggs cloaked in a sausage wrapping, breaded and fried, and served with pickles and a good brown mustard.  Breakfast balls with a more sophisticated name.  Deliciously indulgent and efficient in terms of streamlined solid food intake.

The recipe called for four boiled eggs (and one for breading) but my eggs from the local farm were adorably small, and not destined to survive in the icebox, so I boiled them all and ended up with eight full finished eggs for the allotted sausage.  I never mind extra hard boiled eggs.  And would like to meet this hen’s stylist because what lovely colors.  To boil, you want to lower your eggs straight from the icebox into already-boiling water (I use a steamer insert to lower carefully but simultaneously, which also lets you pull them out and drop them in a bowl of cool water to stop the cooking). Immediately lower the heat to a low simmer, and cook the eggs for 7-9 minutes depending on your desire for hard or soft cooked yolk.  Peel and set aside.

Dust the boiled eggs with flour, seasoned with salt and pepper.  Divide sausage meat into [four] equal portions — here again, with small eggs I ended up with twice as many from a 16 ounce tube of Tennessee Pride and basically found that if you pull a portion of meat about the same size as the egg it will wrap it, and then you just go until you run out of eggs or sausage. 

Form each portion into a flat cake large enough to fit around an egg, then work the sausage meat around the egg as evenly as possible, sealing up any cracks. While I’ve shown it here on parchment paper, I found it easiest to just do this in the palm of your hand, flattening the ball out, stretching it a bit, plopping the egg in and then molding the sausage around the egg and smoothing/sealing it … but that wasn’t going to be something I could then pick up a camera for!

Place the Scotch eggs in the icebox for 20 minutes to firm up.

Set up your breading station, by beating the remaining egg, freshening or replacing the seasoned flour, and putting bread crumbs in a third plate.  Directly from the icebox, roll each Scotch egg first in flour, then in beaten egg, then in breadcrumbs, fully coating at each stage.  By the way, breading like this is best done keeping a “wet” and a “dry” hand lest you end up with very heavily breaded fingers!  Use the dry hand for the flour, switch to the wet hand for the egg and to get an initial roll in the crumbs, then finish the crumb roll with the dry hand

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  He the oil to 350 degrees (or until a breadcrumb dropped in sizzles) and fry the Scotch eggs, turning them frequently, for 3 minutes or until browned all over as well as possible.

Remove and place in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown all over.

Serve with pickles and mustard, to a deserving skipper!

Hey wait a minute, I’m still on watch up here!  Where’s my egg?!?

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