A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the stately manors of England and picnics we used to have on the grounds at Chatsworth.
All of these memories were roused because I was asked to teach a cooking class at Sweet Gourmet in Tyler that was all about an English Countryside Picnic.
The class was on Thursday and, while preparing, it took me back to the days of filling picnic baskets for family outings, summer fun on the English countryside and the flavors associated with those memories.
I found an interesting correlation between American and English food. At American picnics and cookouts you almost always see deviled eggs, but at an English picnic the quintessential item is the Scotch Egg.
What is a Scotch Egg? If you ask an Englishman it’s the perfect combination of meat, egg and breading – it could be a meal, in itself. Deviled eggs are ladylike and lovely, but a Scotch Egg is perfect for a picnic or with a pint of beer at the pub.
The eggs are almost hard-boiled. It is important to take them off the stove before they’re completely hard-boiled because they will cook again in the fryer. Otherwise, an overcooked Scotch Egg is a bit reminiscent of a tennis ball. Who wants to eat a tennis ball?
The egg is then cooled, peeled and wrapped in a thin layer of ground sausage. It’s then breaded and fried.
Served with English pickles, pickled vegetables or Colman’s mustard and this is what the English call “proper”, which in British terms is the ultimate compliment to whatever you’re serving.
Give this recipe a try. I know you’ll love it and feel transported to an English countryside across the pond.
6 large eggs
1/2 pound of ground Italian Sausage
1 tablespoon coarse mustard
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups flour
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying