Author Notes: When I first went to the UK as a teenager, open jars of pungent pickled onions and scotch eggs of dubious vintage were still a fixture on many a pub bar. In the intervening years, Health and Safety and common sense have pretty much put an end to that practice, relegating scotch eggs to plastic trays on the bottom shelf of the supermarket fridge. Making them bite-sized and adding a hint of exotic flavor brings this pub favo(u)rite into the 21st century.
If the frying puts you off, you can also bake them, but it is difficult to get them to brown evenly.
Incidentally, if you're not "down the pub", these are great for parties and picnics, too. The pickles are optional. —vincentinparis
Makes 36 pieces
for the eggs
- 18 quail eggs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 scallions, including greens, finely minced
- 1 handful cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons water
- oil for frying
for the pickles
- 1 sweet red onion
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Thinly slice onion rings, toss with salt and sugar then cover with vinegar in a shallow dish and set aside.
- Hard boil the quail eggs. Start the eggs in a pan of room temperature water, bring them to a boil then count five minutes. Drain, soak in cold water and as soon as you can handle them, peel them underwater. Wash off any specks of shell, drain and reserve.
- Mix chicken, herbs, salt and pepper. If you want to check seasoning, fry a little piece and taste. Divide meat into 18 lumps. With wet hands, flatten a lump in your palm, place a whole egg on top, wrap meat around egg, then roll into a meatball, ensuring that no egg is peeking through. Rewet your hands to keep chicken from sticking.
- Roll each ball in egg, then crumbs. Fry on all sides until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper and cool. Just before serving slice eggs in half, and offer onions on the side.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pub Food