For those who like a bit of tradition and flag flying this coming weekend is going to be super HUGE in the UK as it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which marks her 60th anniversary on the throne, impressive by anyone’s standards.
The celebrations will stretch far and wide and, for the most part, everyone seems to be really embracing the whole event. I, for one, am looking forward to watching the ‘Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant’, which is going to be one of the largest flotilla of boats to ever sail down the Thames. I was fortunate to be in Amsterdam a number of years ago, during their famous ‘SAIL Amsterdam’, which only occurs every 5 years and consists of thousands of boats, including the impressive tall ships, gathering together on the waterways that make up Amsterdam. If the Thames Pageant is going to be anything like Sail then we are going to be in for a real spectacular treat.
High streets and retailers have gone into cool Britannia overdrive with a plethora of merchandise celebrating the Diamond Jubilee. British designers such as Vivienne Westwood have even created a whole collection – the ‘Capsule Collection’ – to honour, in her own rock hard/edgy way that we so love, the Diamond Jubilee. There are scents, patterened tights and even make-up lines who are all adding their own twist and mark on the occasion. The National Portrait gallery in London has even dedicated a whole exhibition to Her Majesty the Queen.
Union Jack bunting is literally up everywhere and similarly to when Will and Kate tied the knot, street parties will be happening up and down the land. It’s neighbourly, jolly and brings everyone together over a glass of Pimms and a scone with jam and clotted cream or whatever English fancy floats your boat.
There are certain foods which scream ‘I’m British’ such as the trifle, scones (as above), sticky toffee pudding – well perhaps not in this heat, cocktail sausages, egg, salmon or cucumber sandwiches, Eton mess….but for me I thought the scotch egg was synonymous with Britishness. I have made up my own recipe for making them and instead of using hens’ eggs, I thought that using quail eggs would be a dainty alternative and more attractive finger food. I have made two varieties, which give them an individual twist – either black pudding scotch eggs or fresh red chilli scotch eggs. I initally prepared 12 however in a very short space of time they were consumed, so another batch of 12 was made the following day.
What little dainties will you be cooking for your Diamond Jubilee party?
Queen’s Jubilee Quail Scotch Eggs
Makes 12 scotch eggs
12 quail eggs
50g black pudding
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
50g panko breadcrumbs
2 hen eggs, beaten
1. Separate the sausagemeat out evenly into two separate bowls. I used sausages and then split them open and discarded the outer skin, but you can also simply buy a packet of sausagemeat.
2. Place the black pudding into one of the bowls of separated sausagemeat and the finely chopped red chilli into the other. Use your hands to mix together the ingredients.
3. Place the panko breadcrumbs (I also used these Japanese breadcrumbs here) in a separate bowl and whisk the hen eggs into another bowl.
4. Gently place the quail eggs in boiling water for just under 3 minutes, then drain under cold water and peel the shells and set aside.
5. Using damp hands create a layer of the sausagemeat/black pudding around 6 of the quail eggs so that they look like little meatballs. Damp hands will allow you to work more easily with the sausagemeat. With the remaining 6 eggs cover with the sausagemeat and red chilli. Then dip each scotch egg into the whisked hen eggs to coat completely and then into the breadcumbs.
6. Fill a third of a small deep pan with sunflower oil and gently heat up. When it is hot – drop a couple of panko breadcrumbs into the oil and if it sizzles the oil is ready.
7. One at a time, place the scotch eggs gently into the hot oil. I suggest cooking in batches of three at at time as you want to make sure that they are evenly cooked. Using a slotted spoon turn the scotch eggs over so that they are evenly cooked through and are golden brown. After 3 minutes transfer them to a preheated oven (160 degrees if using a fan oven), for a further 2-3 minutes.
8. Serve warm or at room temperature.