Josh Niland’s Scotch Eggs
As with so many things with Josh Niland, his seafood interpretation of famous dishes are better than the original, meat dish.
Nat and I had his famous Coronation Sandwich at his restaurant Saint Peter and it was remarkable. When I typed up his fish tagine, I commented that it was the finest I had ever eaten.
It’s not a coincidence at this point.
Nat cooked these scotch eggs as the starter for a long seafood lunch and they are incredible. Serve with mustard or a mayonnaise and nobody is going to believe it.
1 c plain flour
Sea salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper
2 1/2 tbsp full-cream milk
120gm white panko breadcrumbs
Canola oil, for deep frying
2 tbsp ghee
10 French shallots, finely diced
250gm ocean trout belly, cut into large chunks
Chilled water, if needed
250gm skinless, white fish fillet (ling, cod, groper or snapper) cut into a 1cm dice
1 1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp freshly ground fennel seeds
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon thyme leaves
2 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c finely chopped chives
Dijon and whole egg mayonnaise to serve
- To make the filling, heat the ghee in a small saucepan over a medium heat to a light haze. Add the shallot and sweat for 6 – 7 minutes, until softened. Remove from the heat and chill in the fridge.
- Working in small batches, blend the ocean trout belly in a food processor to a small mouse, adding a splash of chilled water to help everything emulsify if the mixture seems too oily. Add the remaining filling ingredients, including the chilled shallot, and blend until well combined. Set aside.
- Fill a bowl with iced water. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Carefully lower eight of the eggs into the boiling water and cook for exactly 8 minutes, then transfer immediately to the bowl of iced water and leave to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.
- With clean hands, divide the filling mixture into eight even portions and roll into balls.
- Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, carefully peel off the shells. Place each portion of filling between between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten into a circle large enough to enclose the egg, then remove the plastic wrap. Place an egg in the centre of each filling circle, then wrap the filling around the egg, gently pressing together to seal but being careful not to press too hard. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- Place the flour in one bowl and season with salt and pepper, then beat the remaining eggs in another and stir in the milk. Tip the breadcrumbs into a third bowl.
- Roll each egg in the seasoned flour, gently tapping off any excess, then dip it into the beaten egg mixture. Finely, roll it in the breadcrumbs, making sure it is evenly coated.
- Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fryer or large saucepan over a medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 190c.
- Working in batches of two, add the Scotch eggs to the oil and fry for 2 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack over a baking tray. When all the eggs have been fried, place the tray in the oven for 3 – 4 minutes, then serve immediately while the yolks are still runny.