Adding variety to a chicken meal in this version of “Scotch” eggs and “Scotch” broccoli and cauliflower too!
This is my spin on an English snack or is it a Yorkshire snack? While the origins of this snack of boiled eggs, wrapped in sausage meat and deep fried, are debatable, I made my own version using minced chicken, seasoned and spiced similar to my Lamb Kebabs (Meatballs) , and baked, to deliver a flavoursome and interesting snack or main protein meal option.
In the past, when my boys were little and hated their veggies (they still do, currently too!), I used to “hide” the carrots and peas in meatballs and this was the only way they ate their veggies, without realising that they were wrapped in minced and seasoned lamb, and while these may have been a tad greasy due to shallow, or sometimes, deep frying, the kids enjoyed it tremendously. Evolving in my methods of cooking, I find that baking some foods are often tastier, and debatably, more nutritious, than the stove top frying process.
Minced chicken, made from chicken breasts is easy to make without a mincer – a blend of the breasts in a food processor reduces the chicken to mince beautifully. Minced chicken is also available through butchers, freshly prepared. Some supermarkets may offer this too. I found working with a leaner protein and egg combination, refreshing, and chicken breast offers a lower fat option in its’ white meat. If you are adventurous, you could try a canned tuna and mayonnaise combination too :)!
While this recipe is minced chicken based, you may use minced beef or lamb, or a combination of minced beef and pork too. Seasoning and spices to suit your tastes will work best, if you’re looking for a less spicy combination. What I have learnt about meat ball making, through trial and error, is that patience is required in getting the consistency correct. Worth mentioning, is, allowing for the chilling of the meatballs for at least an hour, to allow the minced meat to firm up, before baking or frying the meatballs.
I completed the meatballs by rolling one lot in toasted poppy seeds and the other in desiccated coconut. A variety of other combinations for coating the meatballs will work, like sesame seeds, crushed pumpkin seeds, ground and roasted almonds, or any other nuts too. You may also omit the coating entirely.
FOR THE “SCOTCH” BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER
500g minced chicken OR minced beef OR minced lamb
Approximately 150g uncooked broccoli and cauliflower florets
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh coriander leaves or fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 tsp ground garlic and ginger
1 tblsp mixed masala
Himalayan or Sea Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
Poppy Seeds or Sesame Seeds or Desiccated coconut for coating
Optional 1 tbslp coconut oil or extra virgin oil to grease the oven pan / casserole dish
- Mix all the ingredients, except the veggies and the seeds together well, ensuring that all the ingredients are well combined.
- Divide the seasoned and spiced minced chicken into about 5 portions. Scooping one portion into the cupped palm of your hand, mould the mince in the shape of your palm and insert the broccoli and cauliflower into it, ensuring that the veggies are all enclosed and patting the minced chicken to cover, forming a veggie enclosed meatball.
- Once all the veggies have been covered, roll each ball in the seeds of your choice and refrigerate for an hour, to allow the meatballs to firm up.
- Heat the oven to 180° Celsius and line an oven tray or casserole dish with baking paper. You may lightly grease the dish and / or the baking paper, if preferred.
- Place the meatballs on the oven tray and bake for about 15 minutes maximum – Chicken cooks quickly and it has a tendency to dry out if overcooked.
- Once slightly cooled, slice in half, and serve as desired – as a snack, or a main meal accompanied by a salad and / or a tomato based gravy
FOR THE SCOTCH EGGS
2-4 boiled and peeled eggs (cooked to egg yolk preference of soft, medium-boiled or hard boiled)
Other ingredients as for the Scotch Broccoli and cauliflower
- Following the similar method as for covering the veggies, ensure that the eggs are well covered with the minced chicken.
- Coat the eggs in desiccated coconut.
- Chill and bake as for the broccoli and cauliflower. Once cooled enough to handle, cut in half, and serve as preferred.