Ingredients Serves 4 (as a starter)
- 8 slices cold smoked salmon
- Dill oil (optional – see recipe)
For the scotch eggs:
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 100g panko white breadcrumbs
- Rapeseed oil for deep frying
For the pickled fennel:
- To make the scotch eggs, boil the quails’ eggs for 2 minutes 30 seconds then refresh in iced water. Leave for 2 minutes to cool. Peel very carefully and place on paper towel in the fridge.
- Mash the hot smoked salmon with a fork and then add the cream cheese, lemon zest and chopped dill. Mix to a rough pâté texture and place in the fridge to cool.
- To make up the eggs, place some cling film flat on a surface, make four little balls of the salmon mixture and then flatten out on the cling film. Coat the cooked peeled quail eggs in plain flour and place in the middle of each flattened ball; wrap the salmon mixture around the eggs. Place back in fridge to cool for about an hour, then pass through flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Reserve in the fridge until needed.
- To cook, deep-fry in rapeseed oil at 170°C for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Rest in a warm place to make sure the egg is heated through.
- Place the crème fraîche in a bowl and whip until stiff. If you are making the dill oil, take 1 bunch of dill and 250ml of rapeseed oil. Blend in a liquidiser until smooth, pass through a J-cloth, season and place in a bottle.
- To pickle the fennel, cut the fennel bulb in half, cut out the core and discard, finely slice and place in a bowl - I use a mandoline for this. Heat the vinegar, peppercorns, fennel seeds, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Leave to cool then pour over the sliced fennel and leave to pickle for at least half an hour. This will keep for a few days when pickled.
- To serve, lay a couple of slices of salmon on a plate with a spoonful of the crème fraîche, a little pickled fennel and a cooked salmon scotch egg. Dress the plate with the dill oil if using.
Do use a good quality salmon for this: I get mine from Staal Smokehouse just down the road from the Pipe and Glass in Long Riston. Justin Staal produces all things smoked and does mail order: