Hello all! This weekend’s dinner and a movie pick was Danny Boyle’s 1996 movie, Trainspotting, paired with Scotch eggs. I’ve been wanting to do this meal for a while, thanks to Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Mind of a Chef. It’s sausage wrapped around a boiled egg, breaded and fried! I mean, if that doesn’t sound delectable, then I don’t know what does. So, because I was so dead set on this dish, I had to turn to my friends for help regarding movies with Scottish elements in them. After a few days of going back and forth with certain movies, I reluctantly went with Trainspotting because it contains all Scottish actors and is set in none other than Scotland, so it was just too perfect. I say that I reluctantly chose this movie, however, because all I had ever heard about it was just bad, bad, horrific things. We will get to all that later though. Let’s talk about food!
So, I found this recipe here, and pretty much followed it exactly. I’m still eating gluten-free, so I made bread crumbs out of Chex rice cereal, and instead of using flour I used cornmeal. Now, if you really have a gluten allergy, unlike me, then just use gluten-free flour. The cornmeal that I bought, along with all the other packages of cornmeal at the store had that big disheartening warning about it being processes in a plant that also processes wheat..etc. So just save yourself the trouble. Also the original recipe is just for four eggs, but I wanted to make eight, so I double the recipe except for the breadcrumb seasoning. Here’s what you’ll need:
1 1/2 lbs. country-style pork sausage
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 hard-boiled eggs, shells removed
2 cup bread crumbs OR 2 cups crushed Chex cereal
1/2 cup flour, GF flour or cornmeal
2 eggs beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Season your sausage with the cayenne and salt, mix well. The recipe has specific instructions for how to wrap your eggs, but I honestly just grabbed a handful of sausage and started covering my eggs with it. Be careful to not get the sausage around the egg too thick, because you want to make sure it will be able to cook through. From there, dredge the sausage-wrapped egg in cornmeal, dip in egg and then coat well with your breadcrumbs. I also did not set mine in the refrigerator, I was very hungry, so I just threw them in my pan with heated vegetable oil two at a time.
It doesn’t take long for them to get crispy in the pan, but the sausage was still not done, so I set them in a pan with parchment paper on it and gave them about 10 minutes in the oven set at 350 until they were nice and golden. Some of the bigger ones STILL weren’t done after that, so I left them on the pan to cool with some paper towels over them to trap the heat and the steam helped finish the cooking. Now, you’re ready to serve them up!
They were amazing! As good as I had imagined them to be, and The Boyfriend and this weekend’s guest, Levi, agreed. Two big things that I would change, but didn’t ruin them: first, too much salt! I think you could probably skip salting the already salty sausage and leave out the extra tablespoon of salt to the breadcrumb mixture. Like I said, it didn’t ruin it, but you definitely need a drink while you eat. Second: according to renowned English chef, Jamie Oliver, a proper Scotch Egg should be runny in the center, and mine were hard-boiled. I initially was going for a soft-boiled egg, but I guess I should have practiced this, because it did not go well. With the short amount of time that my eggs boiled, plus the not-so-cold water that I transferred them to in order to shock them and stop the cooking process (didn’t work, must actually be cold), left me with really hard to peel eggs. We lost one completely, and the others were just ugly. I definitely want to try a soft-boil next time, but the breadcrumb coating, other than the added salt, was fantastic. Emeril Laggase knows what he’s doing.
Also, I thoroughly intended to make mashed potatoes with this dish, but my hunger got the best of me, along with a messy kitchen which is often the product of deep frying. The eggs were extremely filling, almost heavy, so in the end I feel like a side wasn’t needed. Next time, instead of frying I may bake them on a rack that will allow the grease to drip, because they packed in a lot of grease, and possibly make a side for them. Traditionally, they are eaten for breakfast or brunch by themselves or as a lunch with cheeses, fruits and condiments – so a side isn’t really important. All in all, I was really pleased with them!
The Movie: (Possible spoilers from here on out)
Trainspotting is a comedy-drama about a group of friends that are addicted to heroin and deeply into the party scene in the late 80s in Edinburgh, Scotland. The movie mainly focuses around Renton (Ewan McGregor) and his efforts to clean up his life. It showcases Renton and his friends and how they function in society as they spiral down with their addiction dealing with poverty, death, arrest, the HIV epidemic and getting clean.
Like I said earlier, I was reluctant to choose this movie. All I knew to expect was heroin addiction and a scene with a dead baby. I was told that it was a lot like Requiem for a Dream, which didn’t affect me in a terrible way, but it is downright depressing.
Anyway, I was so incredibly pleased with how this movie turned out! Above all, it is funny! Really funny. I felt like the first 45 minutes of the movie delivered nothing but laughs. You get to know the characters and how ridiculous they are and the ridiculous misfortunes that happen to them. I was totally enjoying myself during the first half, specifically during Spud’s interview scene and the scene of everyone’s excursion of sexual encounters, including the morning after.
Soon after, the spiraling down starts. Tommy begins using heroin with the group after getting dumped by his girlfriend, and then we are led into the dead baby scene, followed by Spud (Ewen Bremner) getting arrested for stealing and going to prison. Finally Renton goes to his dealer’s place and overdoses which leads to him quitting once and for all, pushed mostly by his parents. The whole sequence of events is sad and slightly depressing, but the final straw which is Renton’s overdose and withdrawal period is slightly entertaining, whilst being disturbing.
courtesy of http://pwttas.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/trainspotting-1996/
Finally, Renton is clean and disassociates from his friends and gets a job. One by one his friends come back into his life and the idea for a big drug deal is revealed near the end. Begbie (Robert Carlyle), Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller) and Spud all want to use Renton for his money in savings in order to buy drugs and sell them in London for $20,000. Renton must test the heroin, a scary and disheartening thing for me to watch since I felt invested in his character getting clean and staying clean. The deal ends up getting the 4 of them only $16,000 and the movie ends with Renton leaving town with all of the money, leaving a small chunk for Spud, the only friend he really trusted, and ends with him finally having the chance to make his life worthwhile now that he has the money to do it.
Quite a happy ending if you ask me. The only thing that I didn’t like about this movie, was the fact that I needed a translator for the majority of their conversations. Especially Robert Carlyle. I couldn’t make sense of anything he said. I really felt invested in the characters and found them all to be likable in their own ways, obviously some more likable than others. Because I became invested though, I found myself stressed out about the direction of the movie at times. Other than that, it was a simple premise, done really well. I don’t know that it’s a movie I would watch over again, but it really exceeded my expectations in a good way!
courtesy of http://www.moviefanatic.com/quotes/movies/trainspotting/page-3.html
Check out the blog next week to see what’s on the menu!