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We’ve been without an oven for well over a month now. Luckily the change in the seasons has meant that we don’t need quite as many pies and roasts as before. But my god I miss my bread. Shop-bough bread sucks. It’s light and airy and burns in the toaster. It’s over-priced. Posh bread is expensive and disappointing. Anyway, this isn’t about bread, but I obviously needed to get that off my chest. This is about some lovely little (enormous really) smoked salmon scotch eggs that were great as a dinner, perfect for picnics and just pleasing to have around. They’re lighter than the traditional sausagemeat ones, but equally delicious, and require no oven. Hurrah.

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I first came across the idea at The Boot Inn, which is a fantastic pub that serves slightly unusual yet reasonably priced food. This was the first time I’d tried making them and I pretty much made it up, although I did steal the idea of adding mashed potato from James Martin as they goop didn’t stick enough around the hard-boiled eggs. So I guess it’s a bit like a fish cake, smothering a hard-boiled egg, coated in breadrumbs and deep-fried. Yum. I served it with new potatoes, spinach and a chive and red onion creamy sauce. I had thought we’d manage two each, but my god these turn into beasts, so just one sufficed. So the dinner that night was delicious, but I think they’re actually better the next day, cold.

Smoked Salmon Scotch Eggs – Makes 4

240g smoked salmon, finely chopped

1 tblsp dill, finely chopped

½ red onion, finely diced

Zest of 1 lemon

25g grated parmesan

1 tspn horseradish cream

1 large potato, mashed

4 hard-boiled eggs

Mix together all the ingredients and mold around each egg.

The Coating

Small bowl of seasoned flour (plus 1 tspn mustard powder)

1 egg, beaten

200ml breadcrumbs (thank you oven)

1 litre of vegetable or sunflower oil

Dip each covered egg in the flour, then egg and then a healthy coating of breadcrumbs.

Heat a pan with the oil, until when you drop a breadcrumb in it boils vigorously (careful not to overdo it as I have done before) and turns golden.

Then cook the coated eggs in the oil for about three or four minutes (until each has turned a deep golden colour).

Remove and drain on kitchen paper whilst you cook the remaining eggs.

The Sauce

3 tbslp crème fraîche

½ red onion, finely diced

Bunch of chives, chopped

Juice of half a lemon

Seasoning

In a knob of butter, gently cook the onion until golden. Add the cream and chives at  the last minute, remove from heat squeeze in the lemon and season.

To Serve:

Buttered, boiled new potatoes

Wilted spinach

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