The Perfect Week-end Faire
by Cynthia Bogart
Ireland does not seem to enjoy a good reputation for their culinary arts. However, on a trip there last fall, Priscilla Pilon, The Daily Basics’ Travel Editor and I found quite the opposite to be true.
We landed in Dublin and drove 3 hours south to Kinsale, a beautiful village that is often called ‘The gourmet capital of Ireland’. Kinsale is set in a seacoast hamlet with scores of brightly painted buildings surrounded by rolling green hills – so quintessentially Ireland! We discovered it did, indeed, live up to it’s reputation. We sampled several of Kinsale’s best dining options and was not served one disappointing morsel. After we toured the area thoroughly we packed our bags to head north to attend a conference in Dublin. Convinced we had left the best food behind us, we were pleasantly surprised when we were served culinary delights just as scrumptious as those in Kinsale.
It was then that I knew I had to share a recipe or two with you. Here were my two absolute favorites, one of which HAD to be a Guinness cocktail!
If you’ve never had Scotch eggs, you are in for a treat. Hard boiled eggs coated with sausage and herbs and deep fried are beyond delicious. My mother used to make this treat for us but I had long forgotten just how good Scotch Eggs were until Priscilla and I had a late evening ‘snack’ at ‘The Reading Room’ located off the lobby at our hotel, The Four Seasons in Dublin.
This might not be on your New Year’s diet plan, but they are perfect for a Sunday night supper with breads, sliced cold meats, pates, perhaps a bowl of a good hearty soup and a large glass of Guinness. Don’t put this recipe away when the weather starts to warm. Scotch eggs are the perfect picnic food as well!
4 large eggs
10 oz sausage meat
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 spring onion (scallions) very finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oz plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
4 oz breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for deep frying
1- Place the eggs, still in their shells, in a pan of cold salted water.
2- Place over a high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for exactly nine minutes.
3- Drain and cool the eggs under cold running water, then peel.
4- Mix the sausage meat with the thyme, parsley and spring onion (scallions) in a bowl and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 – Divide the sausage meat mixture into four and flatten each out on a clean surface into ovals about 5 inches long and 3 inches at its widest point.
6 -Place the seasoned flour onto a plate, then dredge each boiled egg in the flour.
7- Place each onto a sausage meat oval, then wrap the sausage meat around each egg. Make sure the coating is smooth and completely covers each egg.
8- Dip each sausage meat-coated egg in the beaten egg, rolling to coat completely, then dip and roll into the breadcrumbs to completely cover.
9- Heat the oil in a deep heavy-bottomed pan, until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it.
10- Carefully place each scotch egg into the hot oil and deep-fry for 8-10 minutes, until golden and crisp and the sausage meat is completely cooked.
11- Carefully remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
12- Serve cool.
Our trip to Ireland was kindly sponsored by Trivago, an incredibly quick and easy app that pulls all the travel discount sites together in one place. Without Trivago, we would not have found our superb and VERY affordable accommodations at both the lovely Acton’s Hotel in Kinsale where their relaxing lounge serves wicked Irish coffee and desserts, and the Four Seasons Dublin where they treated us like royalty! Besides the Reading Room, where we had our snack (see the photo), they serve High Tea in the Lobby lounge and boast several other elegant dining areas throughout the hotel.
If you are planning a trip to Ireland, you will want to read the following: