16 asparagus spears, trimmed
FOR THE SCOTCH EGGS
400g/14oz potatoes, cut into chunks
400g/14oz skinned smoked haddock, cut into large chunks
16 quail’s eggs
2 tbsp milk
50g/2oz plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
sunflower oil, for frying
FOR THE WATERCRESS MAYONNAISE
100g bag watercress
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the Scotch eggs, tip the potatoes into a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then tip in the haddock and then the quail’s eggs. Cook the eggs for exactly 2 mins, then remove them and cool under cold running water. Continue cooking the haddock until it flakes, and the potatoes until soft. Drain the fish and potatoes well, then mash with the butter and milk until you have a thick mash. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, peel the eggs. When everything is cool, pat out spoonfuls of mash mix and mould them around the eggs so that they are completely encased. Roll the covered eggs in the flour, then the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Chill for 1 hr to firm up, or overnight if you’re assembling ahead.
For the watercress mayonnaise, blitz the watercress with the lemon juice until finely chopped, then stir through the mayonnaise. Blanch the asparagus for 4 mins, then drain under cold water. This can all be done a day in advance.
To serve, heat a good layer of sunflower oil in a frying pan. Fry the eggs until crisp on all sides, then drain on kitchen paper. Serve with the asparagus and watercress mayonnaise for dipping everything into.