British cuisine without the deep-fryer

On my continuing quest to make traditional things healthier (see Southern-style corn with more flavor and without all the heaps o’butter, and two vegetarian versions of a pork fat-drenched Brussels sprout recipe), I found a way to make the greasiest of handheld British noshes slightly healthier. Feast your eyes upon the baked Scotch egg.

This is amazing. It’s not as dry as a deep-fried Scotch egg, and baking allows you to add more deliciousness to the sausage mix … in this case, a handful of crumbled bleu cheese. I brought these to the home of a British friend, who was having a Queen’s Jubilee Party, and he declared these to be the best he’s ever had. And he’s English. Score.

Baked Scotch Eggs

(Makes 8 eggs. Slice in halves or quarters to serve.)

  • 8 large eggs, hardboiled, cooled, and peeled
  • 2 12-oz. packages of ground pork sausage (feel free to substitute turkey sausage, beef sausage, or your favorite flavored, ground sausage)
  • handful of bleu or gorgonzola cheese
  • about 2-3 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon each of Cajun seasoning, dried basil and dried parsley
  • 1 (uncooked) egg, beaten

Step I: (I suppose this step is optional.) Decorate your kitchen appropriately and don appropriate attire.

Get into the Royal spirit.

Heelloooooooo!

Step II: Prepare ground sausage and add seasonings and cheese.

Blend thoroughly.

Step III: Use the same seasonings on the bread crumbs. Beat the uncooked egg and set aside.

Step IV: Coat each egg with the sausage mixture. Take your time with this step so the sausage is applied uniformly. You don’t want to be able to see the hardboiled egg inside, but you don’t want the sausage layer to be too thick, either. I found it was easiest to spread a handful of sausage on my open palm, place the egg in the middle, and slowly pack the sausage around the egg. Form it into a ball and smooth the sides as much as possible.

Step V: Dip each egg in the beaten egg and roll in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Place the eggs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for at least one hour.

Step VI: Bake in a preheated oven at 400 for about 30 minutes.

Serve hot and fresh.

Scotch eggs are excellent for parties … or just for breakfast. Other suggestions for awesome and not-so-incredibly unhealthy British foods:

Vary your “Bubble and Squeak” by using fresh Brussels sprouts or other vegetables instead of sometimes-greasy roasted ones. These are steamed sprouts whipped with mashed potatoes and a bit of butter. Delicious!

… Or try some baked Cornish pasties, stuffed with seasoned meat and potatoes.

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