Giant Picnic Eggs

Following the boys’ interest in the cinnamon brownie scotch egg recipe I decided to see if they would enjoy making picnic eggs. I find making savoury recipes with the children remarkably rewarding as not only can they be just as fun as their sweet counterparts, but by exposing children to more than just making cakes and biscuits they are learning the foundations of how to feed themselves once they have flown the nest. I am aware this is a long-term vision and I am not trying to wish my life away, but I truly believe that childhood dietary preferences prevail in adulthood. This is the reason behind my enthusiasm and dogged determination (some would say stubbornness!) to cook a variety of recipes with my children.

When I planned this recipe, I envisaged cute little picnic eggs like you can buy ready-made in supermarkets and I was enthusiastic to get started. What I failed to factor in was that little equates to fiddly and this is not a characteristic for a recipe which is generally successful with small children. So, I took a step back and re-evaluated my expectations of the recipe and I decided to go forward with it, but that we would make giant picnic eggs rather than little ones.

I must also add here that as both the boys handle raw meat frequently they understand there are some things they can lick their fingers after (such as melted chocolate), but never even try to when we cook with raw meat. This may be something that you need to remind children who have not tried this sort of recipe before. You may find that having a washing up bowl filled with warm soapy water to hand during the recipe is helpful.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium hard-boiled eggs (shells removed!)
  • 1/2tbsp-1tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1tbsp grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan would work well)
  • 500g sausage meat
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 egg (you may need another)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2tsp grated ginger
  • 1 cup of fine cornmeal/polenta
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • Seasoning

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c fan and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or a silicone baking sheet.
  2. Slice the hard-boiled eggs (we used table knives to do this) and place them into a bowl.
    1. Mash the eggs with the back of a fork and mix with the mayonnaise and cheese and season. You should be able to get a tbsp of the mixture and be able to roll it into a sticky ball.  It does need to be quite sticky so it doesn’t dry out too much during cooking.
  3. Crack the egg in a bowl and add the ginger, garlic and seasoning and beat it well.
  4. Place about half a cup of the flour on a plate or bowl and put about half a cup of polenta mixed with seasoning and some of the smoked paprika on another plate/bowl.
  5. Take a tbsp of the hard-boiled egg mixture and cover it in sausage meat and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in flour, dunk it in egg and then roll in the cornmeal. Place on the baking sheet. 
  6. Repeat step five, remembering to replenish the flour and cornmeal plates if they are running low. It is easier to put small amounts on at a time rather than all of it or you may well end up with flour and cornmeal all over your table! You may also need to beat another egg.
  7. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until they are golden and the sausage meat is cooked.
  8. Enjoy either warm or cold.

The children enjoyed making and eating these for dinner one night and then in a packed lunch the following day. Grandma, Auntie Nicola and Daddy also enjoyed eating them. Special thanks go to Grandma for allowing us to use her kitchen to make these and being an extra pair of hands to fill up the flour and cornmeal plates.

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