Anyone taking the Guardian newspaper on a Saturday will benefit from the inclusion of their supplement entitled ‘Cook, which from time to time contains some useful and creative recipes and some inspiring articles. This Saturday featured 10 Egg Recipes, of which the ‘Arancini Egg’ was a highlight for me. For some it would be a twist on a Scotch egg, but for me it was a twist on Aranciini, which we have quite often in our household when there is rice left over. If you are the former, then the twist is replacing the sausage meat with rice and for me it is replacing the cheese centre with an egg.  What it does for most is give you a ‘vegetarian friendly’ Scotch egg.

The recipe below from Do-Ahead Dinners by James Ramsden (Pavilion) makes 12 eggs.
12 quail eggs (Waitrose currently have quail eggs at £2.35 per dozen – 19p per egg)
A knob of butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
200g Arborio risotto rice  (Asda and Tesco currently have a 500g pkt at £1.10)
150ml dry white wine  (Aldi have a dry Italian white wine at £2.99 per 750ml bottle) 
750ml vegetable or chicken stock  (Try Knorr stock cubes - £1.00 for 8 x 10g at Asda)
50g parmesan, grated  (Tesco have 50g at £1.30)
Salt and black pepper
2 tbsp. flour, seasoned
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50g fine dried breadcrumbs
1 litre vegetable oil

1 Fill a bowl with cold water and ice. Bring a pan of water to a boil and carefully drop in 6 of the quail eggs. Boil for 2 minutes, and then transfer to the iced water. Repeat with the remaining eggs and set aside.

2 Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat and cook the shallot and garlic for about 10 minutes, until softened. Increase the heat and add the rice. Stir for a minute or two, then add the wine and simmer until almost entirely reduced. Add a ladle of hot stock and continue to simmer, stirring regularly and adding a ladle of stock whenever the rice looks dry. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the rice is soft. Stir in the parmesan, season with salt and pepper to taste and leave to cool.

3 Carefully peel the quail eggs and roll in a little flour to help the rice cling to the eggs. Take a handful of rice and pat it flat in your palm. Lay an egg in the middle and shape the rice around the outside, gently rolling it between your palms to firm. Repeat with the remaining eggs and chill for 30 minutes.

4 Line up three bowls, the first containing the flour, the second the beaten eggs, and the third the breadcrumbs. One at a time, coat the risotto balls in flour – shaking off any excess – then in egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Cover and chill until ready to cook.

5 Ten minutes before serving, in a large pan, heat the oil to about 170C/340F/gas mark 3-4, or until a cube of bread sizzles and turns golden in 30 seconds. Carefully drop in the risotto balls, 6 at a time, and fry for 4–5 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen roll and keep them warm while you cook the rest, then serve.
And Finally, the ‘Meet the Producer’ article in ‘Cook’, featured Claire Williams, a Welsh shepherdess and prompted us to opt for a Sunday lunch of roast leg of lamb with leaks and mint sauce. Maybe more of that tomorrow – well, what was left over! 


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