For this week's BBC Food and Drink I was sent to Duck and Waffle in the Heron Tower, London to meet Chef Dan Doherty and talk about 'hybrid' food. Dan and his team are doing such great things over at Duck and Waffle and I was lucky enough to be able to try a few of their dishes, one of my personal favourites is their amazing spicy ox cheek doughnuts served with apricot jam. But that is only the beginning so please have a look at their menu to see what other delights you can devour and the views are some of the best in London.
Back in the kitchen, Dan and I get to do a bit of cooking where we make scotch eggs of all things ;) bhaji scotch eggs to be exact. They reminded me of a dish I used to make on my stalls, the smoked haddock bhaji scotch egg. I used to make onion bhajis & smoked haddock scotch eggs (Buttery curried mash and smoked haddock wrapped around a soft boiled egg) then one morning I decided to use the bhaji mix instead of breadcrumbs around the scotch egg and a new dish was born. I took it to the market and sold about two, a little disgruntled I returned and handed the rest out to grateful friends. But that was 2010 and food trends are constantly changing and over the past few years with new inventive dishes like the conut by Dominique Ansel appearing thus making hybrid foods more popular than ever.
Smoked haddock works so well with curried spices as we've known for a long time with dishes like kedgeree and the soft and runny yolk against the crunch of the bhaji coating is a real treat. You want a firm mash and the trick is to bake the potatoes with the skin on and then scoop out the flesh.
Enjoy and let me know what other 'hybrid' creations you have been making.
My Smoked Haddock Bhaji Scotch Eggs
FOR THE SCOTCH EGG:
- 4 large free range eggs
- 200g mash potato (from 1 large or 2 medium potatoes)
- 200g undyed smoked haddock (skinned & chopped)
- 100g butter
- white pepper
FOR THE ONION BHAJI:
- 2 shallots
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cardamon pods
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
- 100g gram flour (chickpea flour)
Boil the eggs for 6 minutes on a gentle simmer then place into a container of ice cold water (this will stop the egg cooking) carefully peel and keep in the cold water until needed.
Pre heat the oven 180C and bake the potatoes on a tray for around an hour or until cooked. Cut in half and scoop out the flesh (careful: HOT POTATO!) then mash with the butter till smooth. Add the haddock and season with white pepper (no need for salt as Smoked haddock will provide). Divide into 4 equal balls then flatten out and wrap each portion around your soft boiled eggs encasing and completely covering.
Chill until needed.
For the bhaji mix:
Slice the shallots and place into a bowl and salt lightly then leave for 5 minutes until the shallots begin to bleed. In a pestle and mortar place the cardamom pods and grind, then add the remaining spices. To the shallots add the spices, gram flour, chopped coriander and a dash of water. mix well until you have a dropping (double cream like) consistency.
Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180C.
Remove the eggs from the fridge, dip into the bhaji mix covering all over then carefully place into the fryer and fry for 6 minutes until golden brown.
Rest for 3 minutes, slice in half and serve.