January 13, 2021. The Scotch Egg, a hard boiled egg encased in sausage meat, breaded and deep fried, screams Dad Recipe. It has also been the subject of much debate in England, as to whether or not it is a “substantial” meal, which is required to be served in British pubs in order to allow a patron to enjoy a beloved pint or two or three and so on, during COVID. Happily, the Scotch Egg has been officially declared a substantial meal. It’s such a substantial meal, in my opinion, I lighten it up with a vegetarian, potato version- the “Irish Egg”- for this recipe. I also help matters along by adding in an English Breakfast Salad, which has the veg components from the otherwise meat fest of an English Breakfast, reimagined as a salad- with the caramelized tomatoes doing double duty in the salad and as part of the vinaigrette base.
I will admit, the bulk of this recipe is more for me than you girls since, like most dads, I’m happy to fry whenever I can, while you two prefer your eggs/food on the lighter and simpler side. Not to worry- this recipe includes a option for a very Easy Irish Egg- a Granny Potato Pancake with an egg on top, cooked “as you wish!”. Also, you’ll be glad to know we’ll be getting to some healthier cooking for the new year now that we’ve made it through my trio of latke recipes.
Prep Time: Easy Irish Egg: 2 minutes. Irish Eggs: 20 minutes and a few hours to chill. English Breakfast Salad: 20 minutes.
Cook Time: Easy Irish Egg: 5-15 minutes. Irish Eggs: 15 minutes. English Breakfast Salad: 20 minutes
GET YOUR STUFF OUT
- 4 large eggs
- 2-3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes (InstaRecipe below if you’re all out)
- 2-3 cups of raw latke potatoes or grated and seasoned, russet potatoes- not needed for Easy Irish Eggs!
- canola oil for frying
- English Breakfast Salad (InstaRecipe Below)
- English Tomato Vinaigrette (InstaRecipe Below)
COOK AND PLAY
Play the soundtrack from the Commitments and commit to making those Irish Eggs!
- Easy Irish Eggs. For each serving, form about 1/2 cup mashed potatoes into a “cake’ and fry up in some canola oil in a large nonstick frying pan until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes/side. Top with an egg, cooked “as you wish!”. Proceed to Step 6.
- Dad’s Irish Eggs. Get a pot large enough to hold your eggs and fill it with water. Bring water to a boil and get the eggs right from the fridge and into that pot. Boil for exactly 6 minutes for a runny yolk or closer to 7 minutes for a jammy yolk- longer than that and you’re getting into hard boiled territory. As soon as the time is up, get the eggs right into cold water, peel and chill in the refrigerator until cold- an hour or two. Consuming raw or undercooked eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.
- Mashed Layer. Roll out a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and flatten about 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes in the center. Place an egg in the center of the mashed potato and use plastic wrap to encase egg in mashed potatoes. Repeat with 3 other eggs. Hold on to that plastic warp, you’re not done yet!
- Latke Layer. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the latke mix/grated potato in the center of plastic wrap. Place mashed potato covered egg in the center of the grated potato and use plastic wrap to encase in grated potatoes. If you twist the ends of the plastic wrap, while rolling egg on the counter, this will help form the potatoes nicely around the egg. Repeat with 3 other eggs. Cover eggs and get them back in fridge for another hour to chill.
- Fry Time. Set a large and deep saute/fry pan over medium high heat and add oil to come halfway up the eggs. Carefully, lay in eggs, starting at 12 o’clock and moving clockwise, adding the other eggs at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Adjust heat to make sure there is a steady simmer of oil at 350 degrees and cook on each side until golden brown and crispy- about 4-5 minutes each side. When eggs are done, carefully remove from oil and roll on towels to wick off oil.
- Make the Plates. Dress the English Breakfast Salad with a few tablespoons of vinaigrette- don’t over dress and serve more dressing on the side. Place Easy Irish Egg or Dad’s Irish Egg in the middle of serving bowl/plate and surround with an English Breakfast Salad “nest”.
English Breakfast Salad InstaRecipe. To get 4 servings, in a large bowl, toss 4-6 ounces of spicy, salad greens (like baby arugula), 2 cups sautéed halved cherry tomatoes (reserve 1/3 cup of cooked tomatoes for vinaigrette recipe below), 6 ounces of sliced sautéed, cremini mushrooms and 1 cup of drained and rinsed canned white beans.
English Tomato Vinaigrette InstaRecipe. In a medium bowl, puree 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/3 cup of sautéed cherry tomatoes, 1 teaspoon maple syrup or to taste and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Whisk in 3/4 cup canola oil.
Mashed Potato InstaRecipe. To make about 4 cups- peel, evenly cut and cook 2.5 pounds of russet potatoes in a big pot of boiling water. Drain potatoes, return to pot over low heat, and mash in 2-3 tablespoons butter, kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Mash in enough whole or other milk to make everything nice and smooth- about 1 cup.
Helpful Mashed Potato Ratio: If you need to make more or less mashed, here’s a helpful ratio for that- for every 1 pound of potatoes, mash in 1-2 tablespoon fat, 1/3 cup flavorful liquid and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper or to taste.
Can You Really Make This Vegan? Why not? Just make Granny Potato Pancakes topped with an avocado or roasted yellow cherry tomato “yolk”. If you’re into frying, shape mashed potatoes around an avocado or yellow, cherry tomato “yolk”, coat with vegan, raw latke mix or seasoned, grated potatoes and fry until golden, brown and delicious. I could give you a recipe to make a runny, vegan egg “yolk” with molecular gastronomy, but that would be way too much work for all of us.
Keyword: breakfast, eggs, British, fun food, potato, salad, vegetarian, vegan option
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