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Recently we travelled to Barcelona, the home of some of Spain's finest food offerings and while sitting in an airport lounge going back over what we'd tasted over the course of the week this dish came to mind. Peppery rocket with nutty Romesco sauce and the crispy texture of the jamon and chorizo egg makes for a real taste of Spain.
4 small chorizo sausages, uncooked and skins removed
200g Panko breadcrumbs, blitzed in a food processor
4 quails eggs (plus a couple of extra to allow for breakages)
1 medium egg, beaten
6 slices Jamon Iberico
100g rocket salad leaves
1-2 tbsp cider vinegar
200ml olive oil
50g flaked almonds
1 tbsp.smoked paprika (pimenton)
2 Ramiro peppers
25ml red wine vinegar
1 slice stale bread
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1. For the scotch eggs, pulse the chorizo meat in a blender until smooth and then spread into four circles on a sheet of cling film around 10cm in diameter.
2. Bring a pan of water to the boil and using a timer, carefully drop the quails eggs into the water and boil for 2 minutes 15 seconds. Once time is up remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and plunge into ice cold water, leave for two minutes, then peel the eggs. Once peeled, place in the centre of the chorizo and carefully bring the chorizo meat around the egg forming a sphere the size of a golf ball.
3. Dip the chorizo into the beaten egg then into the panko crumbs, dip back into the egg and then back into the crumbs, repeat with the remaining chorizo, chill for 5-10 minutes.
4. For the Romesco sauce, preheat the oven to 200C and lay the hazelnuts and almonds onto a tray, heat for 8-10 minutes or until the nuts take on a golden brown colour. Blister the peppers under a hot grill until the skin blackens, cover in cling film and leave for 30 seconds, peel, de-seed and chop.
5. In a pan, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and over a medium heat add the bread and 1 clove of the chopped garlic, add the nuts, remaining garlic, vinegar and red pepper to a good processor and blitz. Once the bread has browned on both sides, tear into chunks and add to the processor, blitz until smooth adding a steady stream of 150ml of the remaining olive oil while the motor is running on a low speed until the sauce emulsifies. Check for seasoning.
6. With the oven still at 200C add the Jamon slices to a baking sheet (you can use silpat or bake-o-glide) and using a second tray weighted down placed on top of the Jamon bake for 10-12 minutes. Once baked leave the slices to cool as they will crisp up.
7. Heat oil in a deep fat fryer or pan to 175C. Add the scotch eggs and cook for 5 minutes until golden brown in appearance. To plate, add the remaining olive oil to the cider vinegar and toss the rocket to coat. Drag a spoonful of the Romesco across the plate and slice the scotch egg in half, serve with the Jamon crisps and scatter the rocket.