Felicity Cloake, guardian.co.uk, Modified: April 25, 2013 10:58 IST
Spicy chickpeas replace the sausage meat in this easy vegetarian version of a classic scotch egg, from Felicity Cloake's perfect picnic.
A British picnic classic with the flavours of Moorish Spain, these are as delicious as the meat version.
8 eggs, at room temperature
3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
A splash of milk
100g flour, plus extra for dusting
100g dried panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1.2l vegetable oil, for frying
Put six eggs into a large pan of cold water, bring to the boil, then simmer for five minutes. When done, drop them into a bowl of iced water.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and soften the onion, garlic, carrots and red pepper. Roughly crush the chickpeas with the remaining olive oil.
Stir the smoked paprika and chilli flakes into the vegetables and after a minute, combine them with the chickpeas. Season and cool. Arrange three bowls: one with two eggs beaten with a splash of milk, the second, the flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, the third with a mix of breadcrumbs and cayenne pepper. Peel the eggs and roll each one in flour.
Divide the chickpea mixture into three balls, then halve each ball. Cut two 20cm squares of clingfilm, put a ball of mixture on top of one square and flour lightly. Put the second square of clingfilm on top, then roll out the mixture until you have a circular piece large enough to encase an egg.
Lift off the top piece of clingfilm and put an egg in the centre of the mixture, then bring up the edges of the bottom piece to encase the egg. Coax the mixture together with your hands, until you have a smooth ball. Roll the ball first in flour, then in egg, then breadcrumbs. Repeat the egg and breadcrumb stages, then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Heat a large pan of oil (no more than a third full) to 160C - a breadcrumb should sizzle as it hits. Lower in the eggs and cook in three batches for seven minutes, making sure you get the oil back up to temperature between batches. Drain on kitchen paper and season.