Why not whet your guests’ appetites for this Thanksgiving Dinner with this impressive sweet and savory starter!
6 ounces whole pecans, shelled
1 Gala apple (See Cook’s Notes)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ginger
Dash of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
One 9- ounce package Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli (See Cook’s Notes)
Prepare ravioli according to package directions. While ravioli boils, add the cinnamon, sugar, a chop the pecans, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Slice the apple in 4 quarters, and then slice the quarters into 1 inch slices. Toss the apples in the spiced sugar mix.
In a large skillet, melt the butter, add chopped pecans and apple, and sauté for 1 minute. When ravioli is ready, drain and arrange on the plate. Top the ravioli with pecan-apple mix, and serve.
Any variety of apple can be substituted for the Gala apple.
Most grocery stores and large supermarkets carry various brands of fresh and frozen ravioli. If Pumpkin and Sage ravioli is not available in your area, a plain ricotta cheese ravioli can be used in this recipe as an alternative.
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I am totally obsessed with the “Outlander” series of novels by Diana Gabaldon as much as I am about food and cooking. As with all of the books, the types of foods eaten by the fictional characters are often mentioned and in the 7th novel in the series, “An Echo In the Bone” mentions Scotch eggs in Chapter 74.
I have seen them before and they reminded me of a meatloaf with a boiled egg encased in ground meat. I never tried one, but after seeing them occasionally on cooking shows and eventually reading the Outlander books, my culinary curiosity went into overdrive…….
The London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738, but they may have been inspired by the Mughlai dish nargisi kofta or “Narcissus meatballs” once served from the Imperial Kitchens of Maharajas of India and were are composed of minced or ground meat—usually beef, pork or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onion. For the most part, koftas are still a popular dish in Afghan, Arab, Indian,Palestinian, Iranian, Jordanian, Kurdish, Moroccan, Pakistani, Romanian, Lebanese, and Turkish cuisines.
Given the origins of the Scotch egg, it would have most likely been influenced by Indian cuisine, since The British first arrived in India in the early 1600s and soon established trading posts in a number of cities under the control of The East India Company. By 1765 the Company’s influence had grown to such an extent that the British were effectively controlling most parts of the country.
The earliest printed recipe for Scotch eggs first appeared in the 1809 edition of Mrs. Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery. Mrs. Rundell—and later 19th-century authors—served them hot, with gravy.
In these modern times, Scotch eggs are a common picnic food. In the United Kingdom packaged Scotch eggs are commonly available in supermarkets, corner shops and motorway service stations. Miniature versions are also widely available, sold as “savoury eggs”, “picnic eggs”, “party eggs”, “snack eggs”, “egg bites” or similar. These contain chopped egg or a quail’s egg, rather than a whole chicken egg, and sometimes contain mayonnaise or chopped bacon.
In the United States, many “British-style” pubs and eateries serve Scotch eggs, usually served hot with dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, hot sauce, or hot mustard sauce. At the Minnesota State Fair Scotch eggs are served on a stick. Scotch eggs are available at most Renaissance Festivals from Maryland to Texas.
Not fully committed to using full sized chicken eggs, I opted to use quail eggs for this recipe. And I must say, the results were spectacular!
Makes About A Dozen Eggs
12 quail eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 pound good quality bulk pork sausage
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 sprig fresh rosemary , leaves picked and very finely chopped
1 sprig fresh sage , leaves picked and very finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh chives , finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh parsley , leaves picked and finely chopped
1 whole nutmeg , for grating
Vegetable oil, for frying
Fill a pot two-thirds full of water and bring to a gentle boil. Gently add the quail eggs. Do not over crowd the pot and continue to boil for 4 to 5 minutes for hard boiled eggs. Remove the eggs from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into ice cold water. Peel when cold.
Put the sausage meat into another bowl with the herbs, paprika,a good grating of nutmeg, and a good pinch of salt and pepper.Gently mix until combined.Divide sausage into 12 equal portions.
Place flour in a wide shallow bowl and panko in another wide shallow bowl. Pat 1 portion of sausage into a thin patty over the length of your palm. Lay an egg on top of sausage and wrap sausage around egg, sealing to completely enclose. Repeat with remaining sausage and eggs.
Whisk your large egg in a medium bowl to blend. Working gently with 1 sausage-wrapped egg at a time, dip eggs into flour, shaking off excess, then coat in egg wash. Roll in panko to coat.
Place the coated eggs on a plate and store in the refrigerator, uncovered for 1 to 2 hours.
Attach a deep-fry thermometer to side of a heavy pot. Pour in oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium heat to 375°F. Fry eggs, turning occasionally and maintaining oil temperature of 350°F, until sausage is cooked through and breading is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes.
Photo Credit: I AM A FOOD BLOG.COM, 2015
Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggs to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve warm with mustard.
Inspired by a chicken dish served with lemons and capers at the Ristorante Masolino in Panicale, Italy, this version is marinated over night and served with a charred herbed lemon sauce that can also be an excellent accompaniment to roasted fish or grilled root vegetables.
Serves 8 to 10
Ingredients: For the chicken:
12 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
24 sage leaves
16 garlic cloves—6 cut into 4 slices each, the rest gently smashed and peeled
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 slices
Strips of zest from 2 lemons
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon chopped thyme
1 Tablespoon chopped oregano
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
12 fresh bay leaves
For the Salsa Verde:
1 lemon, cut into 1/2-inch slices and seeded
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, crushed
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup baby arugula
To prepare the chicken, run your fingers under the skin of each chicken thigh to create a pocket. Stuff each pocket with 2 sage leaves, 2 slices of garlic and 1 slice of butter. Transfer the stuffed thighs to a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir the lemon zest strips with the smashed garlic, olive oil, chopped herbs and crushed red pepper. Pour the mixture over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile make the salsa verde by preheating the oven to 450°F. On a baking sheet, toss the lemon slices with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread the lemon slices in an even layer and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until charred on the bottom. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes. Chop the slices into 1/4 -inch pieces. Leave the oven on.
In a mortar, mash the basil, oregano, mint, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts with the chopped garlic, and the 1 teaspoon of salt until a smooth paste forms. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, stirring to create a sauce. Stir in the chopped lemon.
Heat a very large ovenproof skillet. Season the chicken thighs evenly with 4 teaspoons of salt; reserve the lemon zest and smashed garlic from the marinade. Arrange the chicken thighs skin side down in the skillet and cover with another large skillet or pot weighted down with a few heavy cans. Cook the chicken over moderate heat until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.
Remove the weight and turn the chicken. Scatter the reserved lemon zest and garlic and the bay leaves, if using, among the thighs. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Discard the bay leaves. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve with the salsa verde and scatter with arugula.