1tbs olive oil
2 banana (large) shallots, or 4 standard shallots, peeled and finely chopped
6 eggs, at room temperature
200g cooked small Atlantic prawns
250g smoked cod or haddock, skinned
1tbs chopped dill
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
¼tsp grated nutmeg
100g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
150g dried breadcrumbs, ideally panko
Approx 1 litre sunflower oil
Flaked sea salt
Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently sauté the shallots until they have softened but not coloured. Tip into a food processor and leave to cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil then add the eggs, ensuring they are fully covered in the boiling water. Boil the eggs for six minutes, then remove and put them in a bowl of iced water to stop them cooking further.
Add the prawns, smoked fish, dill, lemon zest, spices and a pinch of salt to the shallots. Blend until you have a coarse paste.
Peel the eggs and roll each one in flour. Divide the seafood mixture into six and, with floured hands, roll each portion into a ball then flatten into a disc. Put a disc into the palm of your hand, then place a floured egg on top of the seafood disc. Wrap the mixture around the egg, so it is evenly covered. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
Line up the remaining flour, the beaten eggs and the breadcrumbs in separate bowls and coat each of the seafood-coated eggs in flour, then egg, and finish by coating in breadcrumbs. Chill in the fridge for about one hour.
Fill a deep, heavy-based pan or wok three-quarters full with sunflower oil, then heat to 180°C, or until a cube of bread turns golden brown in 30-40 seconds.
Deep-fry the eggs, two at a time, for five to six minutes, until deep golden. You may need to turn them to brown them evenly. Drain on kitchen paper while you cook the rest.
Serve the scotch eggs hot or leave to cool, chill and serve cold.
To make a fish-free coating, sauté one chopped onion and two cloves of garlic in two tablespoons of olive oil. Blend with 400g tinned chickpeas, drained, half a teaspoon of smoked paprika, one teaspoon of ground cumin, a small handful of chopped coriander and salt and pepper, until you have a thick paste. Use to coat the eggs before rolling in flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
• Taken from The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt. Read the review of the book here
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