Sunday, April 12, 2015

Herby Chicken Scotch Eggs

One of the first items of food I ever had at a real British pub was a fabulous Scotch egg. The Scotch egg is fantastic for so many reasons. Crunchy on the outside, the amazing sausage and egg combo on the inside and best of all they make for a perfectly filling and compact snack. 

I decided to experiment with a healthier version using chicken instead of sausage and to my surprise they turned out spectacularly well on the first try! You can make this recipe using sausage meat if you really want but the chicken version is pretty amazing. Even my friends' kiddies were loving them!
Makes 7 Scotch eggs

Ingredients:

6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
A handful of fresh herbs (I used rosemary, parsley and sage)
1 Tbsp dijon or grainy mustard
1 tsp seasoning salt + fresh cracked pepper
7 eggs, soft boiled (6 minutes) and peeled
1 cup flour
1 beaten egg mixed with 2 Tbsp water (the egg wash)
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 1/2 cups (810ml) sunflower or vegetable oil

Equipment: 

Food processor 
Slotted or perforated metal spoon
Small pot
Food thermometer 
Large plate with paper towels to absorb grease

1.) In a food processor, blend the chicken, herbs, mustard and seasoning salt and pepper all together then transfer contents to a bowl.

2.) Roll an egg in the flour then using your hands flatten a small handful of the chicken mixture and coat the egg with it. Keep adding small bits of the chicken mixture to coat the egg till it is completely covered evenly then roll in flour. The chicken coated egg will feel much firmer and easy to handle now. Next, dip into the egg wash then directly into the Panko crumbs till well coated and set on a plate. Repeat this till all the eggs are coated and ready to be fried. (See all steps in photos below)
^ what the egg should look like as you add small bits of the chicken mixture.^

3.) Pour all the oil into the small pot and turn on high heat. Bring the oil's temperature to 325f/160c then use the slotted spoon to gently place 2 scotch eggs in the hot oil one at a time. Fry for 6 minutes occasionally rolling the eggs around with the spoon for even frying. Also, keep checking that the temperature stays in the 325f/160c region the whole time, turning the flame down or off if it gets too hot. You don't want a burnt egg!

4.) Remove each egg and let sit on the paper toweled plate. When ready to serve, cut each egg in half. *these eggs can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving. Enjoy! 


PJJ xx

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Psychedelic Tie Dye Zebra Cake!

A couple of weeks ago my sister Whitney and I watched a video on YouTube about how to make a chocolate and vanilla zebra cake that blew our minds. That's when Whitney got the idea to do the same with different colored vanilla cake mix and we went strait to the shops to get all the ingredients. Now, I must warn you that we cheated a bit because the actual technique of making this cake requires a lot of time and concentration so we didn't make any of the cake or frosting from scratch. To make things easier we went with the boxed Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix and tub of vanilla frosting. 

We happened to have leftovers of the rainbow chip frosting that I made which is basically white chocolate that I melted, dyed and made into tiny multicolored chips (photo of that process below) and stirred into Betty Crocker vanilla frosting. If you have the time and patience, I would strongly recommend this yumminess! 

Anyway, this crazy psychedelic cake was so much fun to make with my sister and even more exciting to cut into and see the SPECTACULAR results! If you decide to give it a try I would love to see your results too. This cake would be great for children's birthdays or even a groovy hippie themed adult party. Actually, I'm sure you'll love it so much for any party. It's pretty special.

Ingredients:

2 boxes of Betty Crocker classic vanilla cake mix
5 different food colorings in vibrant colors 
1 tub Betty Crocker vanilla frosting or any flavor you wish (more if you like a lot of frosting on your cake)

Equipment: 

6 medium glass cups or bowls
2 ice cream scoopers, mine were on the small side but large ones will work too
2x 9 inch round cake pans
Non-stick parchment paper
 
Preheat oven as instructed on cake mix box.
Mix both boxes of cake mix as their instructions say and divide all the batter into the 6 glass cups or bowls. Leave one glass cup of batter uncolored and stir a couple drops of food coloring into each of the other cups making 5 different colors of batter. 
Now, grease the bottom and sides of each cake pan and use a pencil to trace and then cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of each pan. 

Start with the white batter and scoop one ice cream scoop full of batter directly into the center of each pan. It helps to have one person on each cake to speed things along. Now scoop one of the colored batters directly into the middle of the pan. You'll see that the batter naturally spreads out with each scoop. See photos below. Do not shake or tap the pan, just let it naturally spread! Keep repeating with a different color each time until all the batter is gone and evenly distributed between both cake pans. You can make sure they're even by counting the rings on each cake. 

Place the cakes in the oven side by side on the middle rack and bake as instructed on box. Remove cakes once a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let cool then slice off the tops to make each cake even for stacking. Sandwich a layer of frosting between the two cakes then spread the remaining frosting evenly over the rest of the cake. Refrigerate till ready to serve and enjoy!


PJJ and Whitney J xx