Friday, March 16, 2012

‘Irish’ Eggs – Green, White and Gold for Paddy’s Day !

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I have horrible memories of my one appearance in the Dublin Paddy’s Day parade. I washed my costume the night before and it hadn’t quite dried the following morning. It actually formed a layer of frost while we waited for the parade to begin, only thawing out as I high-kicked my way down O’Connell Street. I was aiming for ‘glamorous’ but as I was a pale shade of blue under my fake tan, I think I achieved ‘Smurf’. Brrrrrr.
Traditionally the booziest day in the year, the Dublin parade has evolved from concentrated one-day Oktoberfest, to a more civilised week-long festival with plenty of interesting things to do besides consume vast lakes of Guinness.
While I try to get to some of the events, the best place to catch the parade is at home, in front of the TV, with suitably-coloured food to snack on. There has to be green. There has to be white, there has to be gold.
In my family home, the traditional meal was always bacon and cabbage with mashed potato and turnip so there was the green, white and gold of our flag on the plate. Keeping the colours in mind, and keeping in mind that our national saint’s day has gone all sophisti-mi-cated (to be said in a Dub accent), here is a wee snack for the day, an Irish version of the ‘Scotch’ egg, wrapped in a parsley colcannon. Make sure to use a floury potato.
For 12 ‘Irish’ eggs (feeding 4 people as a canapé) you will need...
… a deep fat fryer
12 quails’ eggs
4-6 slices of proscuitto or other cured ham (optional), cut into strips
360g freshly cooked mashed potato, simply seasoned with salt and white pepper, and cooled (don’t add butter or milk when mashing – you want this mixture as dry as possible).
4 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh parsley
1 spring onion, very finely chopped

6 tablespoons plain flour
2 large eggs, beaten
100g dried breadcrumbs

Sunflower oil for deep frying

1          First, hard boil the eggs by placing them in a saucepan of cold water, bringing them to the boil and boiling for 90 seconds. Drain the saucepan carefully and fill with cold water to cool the eggs quickly (otherwise you end up with that nasty green ring around the yolk – not the look I’m going for). Peel the eggs and leave to one side while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2          Add the parsley and spring onion to the mashed potato and mix well.
3          Pat the quails’ eggs dry with kitchen paper and wrap with the strips of prosciutto.
4          Take a walnut-sized portion of the potato mixture in the palm of one hand and with the other, pat it into a round approximately ½ a centimetre thick. Place one of the quails’ eggs in the centre of the mixture and carefully enclose it in the potato, adding a little more potato if necessary to seal it in. (Be careful not to trap air, which would expand when frying and cause the package to burst.) Roll gently between the palms of your hands to form a smooth egg shape. Place on a tray and continue until you have enclosed all the eggs similarly. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
5          When you are ready to eat, set up a dipping station: Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Place the beaten egg in another shallow bowl beside it. Place the breadcrumbs in yet another bowl.
6          Carefully dip the prepared eggs in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Follow with a second bath of egg and a second coating of breadcrumbs, patting gently to ensure a good stick. When you have coated all the eggs, heat your deep fat fryer to 180°C.
7          When the oil is at the correct temperature, place the prepared eggs in the basket – don’t overcrowd them or you’ll lower the temperature and the end result will be oily and horrible - and carefully lower into the hot fat. Cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately – unlike their ‘Scotch’ cousins, they don’t hang about.

Green, white, gold (and delicious)

Are these finicky? Yes.  Are they worth it? I think so. Happy St Patrick’s Day.
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  1. I'm shuddering to think of you in your wet costume--I have been there too! These look awesome, absolutely worth the hard work.

  2. These are soo cute! I love the cross section cut I really do :D

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Strawberry Hot Fudge Choc Cobbler

  3. Gorgeous Hester and I would say totally worth it!
    I love the little potato blanket around the eggs. I have been in a few freezing parades myself and feel your pain...but got a giggle over the Smurf blue image of you! Have a lovely weekend Hester x

  4. Even though I'm not Irish, I think these look pretty tasty!

  5. Wow, these look amazing!! I love the picture of the quail eggs. So pretty! I love your traditional meal. That's one of our favorites as well. Have a good one and drink lot's of Guinness!

  6. Now these look amazing. These will be on my list for work.. I am always on the look out for Canape ideas

  7. Très posh, your Irish Eggs, Hester. Absolute perfection inside and they sound delicious. Poor you with the smurf status - can just imagine! No wonder you'd rather just watch the parade on TV!

  8. Oh my gosh do those look delicious! What a sweet story. I love reading your blog posts. They always bring a smile to my face. :)

  9. These eggs are a touch of class, most impressive

  10. That is one awesome delicious dish..:)
    Looks lovely..

    Glad to have bumped onto your blog..:))


  11. What an interesting dish. I am new to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  12. These are GORGEOUS!!!! What amazing idea...the flavors sound glorious together~

  13. I really do like the ideal of the colcannon about these. I will need to try this version,scotch eggs do make for a great brunch-yum! Your pictures do look inviting.
    Frosty clothing...that sounds bone chilling. Surprised you braved through the cold, I would not have been able to stand it!

  14. These really are unusual and they sound delicious. I enjoy my visits to your blog and I always leave with something new to add to my recipe collection. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  15. I really like the photo of the cross section so you see the layers inside. Lovely recipe for st Patty's day!

  16. Oh Hester...these scotch eggs look fabulous! I'm not sure if I could ever attempt them. But they are stunning! Your pictures are beautiful! : )

  17. Absolutely stunning, and all that effort! I particularly like the double egg/breadcrumb bit. Proper attention to detail. Great idea. A :)

  18. These eggs are so wonderful! I've got to try them myself.

  19. What picture perfect scotch eggs... that last picture is just gorgeous! Love the recipe... Thank you for sharing :)

  20. I am in love with these! I've always wanted to try a scotch egg and these are definitely kicking it up a notch. The cross section is gorgeous

  21. They look absolutely fabulous - and definitely worth the effort. Hope you had a Happy Paddy's Day, and enjoyed it in dry clothes! :)

  22. oh wow thats a nice snack idea. we will love it for sure! thanks for sharing and belated happy st.patricks day ^.^

  23. This is so pretty. I must pin. I always love making egg dish. This is going to be on my to make list!

  24. These look fab!! I hope one day my Paddy's days will be civilised enough to make these!


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