I don’t know whether the original version of this really came from Scotland, but this is my vegan/vegetarian version of the British classic, Scotch Eggs.
I confess that I have more than one way I make these, and I have made more than one version at the same time to satisfy different dietary preferences. One version involves the more traditional boiled egg wrapped in a less traditional nut mixture. Another way uses chunks of boiled and cooled tofu (only for seasoned tofu eaters) wrapped in the same nut mixture. A third, more involved, way uses boiled and cooled, roughly mashed tofu. This last way is my favorite, though it makes an egg that is better eaten with knife and fork rather than fingers.
Regardless of the filling you chose, note that you need to keep the nut mixture in a relatively thin layer (because a thick layer makes these too big for one serving), and the nuts fairly well ground (lumpy doesn’t work well; it lacks integrity), and the eggs/tofu cubes need to be dredged in GF flour before being wrapped in the nut mixture, otherwise the mixture won’t stick to the filling.
Traditionally, Scotch eggs are deep fried, but I bake these in the oven, which helps keeps the fat content down, as I can’t stomach lots of fat. However, if you try deep frying these, I’d be interested to know how you get on.
8 eggs OR
14-16 oz firm tofu (plus 1 tsp each of salt and onion powder) OR
7 – 8 oz firm tofu
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1/8 – 1/4 tsp salt (kala namak if liked)
1/16 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup dry quinoa
½ tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp margarine or canola oil
1/2 medium (1/4 large) onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic
10 oz cashews or almonds (almond flour works, too)
2 tbsp Braggs (I use 2 tbsp if I’ve used raw nuts; you might want none if you use salted)
2 tbsp apple puree/sauce (to help keep the mixture moist)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup almond flour, for dredging (I’ve also used quinoa, and corn flours with success.)
Make one of the fillings:
Filling option 1) Use the tine of a fork to pierce a small hole in both ends of the eggs (to let out any air), and place in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring the water up to a simmer, and cook the eggs for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and immediately use cold water to bring their temperature down to a level where you can shell them. (This stops them from forming a green line around the outside of the yolk.) Once cold, dredge the eggs in a couple of tablespoons of extra GF flour so that the coating will stick.
Filling option 2) Cut the tofu into 1″ cubes, and simmer in water seasoned with the salt and onion powder for 10 minutes. Drain, and place in the fridge to cool on a surface that will allow expressed water to drain. I use a steamer basket on a plate. Once cooled and firmed up, roll the tofu in a mixture of the salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, and a couple of tablespoons of GF flour so the coating will stick. Only seasoned tofu lovers should try this one.
Filling option 3) Follow instructions for Filling option 2), then mash the cooled tofu with a fork, and combine with the mayonnaise, onion and garlic powders, salt and pepper.
Note that if you use this filling, you’ll only be able to make 4 eggs, as the mixture is less easily formed into Scotch eggs, and you’ll need to use twice the amount of nut mixture to encase each ‘egg’. This is also my favorite!
Make the coating:
Put the quinoa, salt, and rosemary in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Cover, and simmer for ~20 minutes or until the quinoa is completely soft and the little ‘tails’ are visible on the grains.
Heat the margarine or oil in a frying pan, and gently saute the onion over a medium heat until softened. Add the garlic, and allow to warm through for a minute or two.
Grind the nuts in a food processor until fairly fine, if using whole nuts. Stir the ground nuts / flour into the onion, along with the Braggs (if you used unsalted nuts), apple puree/sauce, pepper, and lemon juice.
Check seasoning before continuing.
Compose the ‘eggs’:
Take 1/8 of the nut mixture in your hand and form into a flattened patty in one hand. Place an egg sized ball of your filling into the center of the nut mixture, and work the nut mixture up and over the filling so you end up with a small ball of filling surrounded by nut mixture. Note that if you’re using the mashed tofu option, you’ll need to top with another patty of the nut mixture as it’s too difficult to work the nut mixture around this soft center.
Heavily dredge the ball with the remaining nut flour, (this helps to keep the quinoa in the nut mixture from going hard while in the oven), and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
Repeat the process another 7 (3) times with the remaining mixtures.
Lightly cover the ‘eggs’ with parchment paper or foil to prevent drying.
Bake in the middle of the oven at 350F for 30 minutes, uncovering after 15 minutes.
Eat warm, or cold.