By James Mackenzie, Chef and Owner, The Pipe and Glass, South Dalton.

"This might look like a ‘cheffy’ dish, but you could keep it simple and just serve the cold smoked salmon with a pickled fennel salad. The hot smoked salmon scotch quail eggs are a great garnish, and also make a lovely canapé or snack for a celebration."


8 slices of Severn & Wye Smoked Salmon
150g crème fraiche
Dill oil (optional – see recipe below)
Fresh dill for garnish

For the scotch eggs:
4 quails’ eggs
150g hot smoked salmon
60g cream cheese
zest of ¼ lemon
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 whole egg, beaten
100g panko white breadcrumbs
100g Wessex Mill plain flour
Rapeseed oil for deep frying

For the pickled fennel:
1 small bulb fennel
200ml white wine vinegar
1 pinch pink peppercorns
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp caster sugar
2 pinches salt


        1. To make the scotch eggs, boil the quails’ eggs for 2 minutes 30 seconds then refresh in iced water. Leave for 2 minutes to cool. Peel very carefully and place on paper towel in the fridge.
        2. Mash the hot smoked salmon with a fork and then add the cream cheese, lemon zest and chopped dill. Mix to a rough pâté texture and place in the fridge to cool.
        3. To make up the eggs, place some cling film flat on a surface, make four little balls of the salmon mixture and then flatten out on the cling film. Coat the cooked peeled quail eggs in plain flour and place in the middle of each flattened ball; wrap the salmon mixture around the eggs. Place back in fridge to cool for about an hour, then pass through flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Reserve in the fridge until needed.
        4. To cook, deep-fry in rapeseed oil at 170°C for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Rest in a warm place to make sure the egg is heated through.
        5. Place the crème fraîche in a bowl and whip until stiff. If you are making the dill oil, take 1 bunch of dill and 250ml of rapeseed oil. Blend in a liquidiser until smooth, pass through a J-cloth, season and place in a bottle.
        6. To pickle the fennel, cut the fennel bulb in half, cut out the core and discard, finely slice and place in a bowl - I use a mandoline for this. Heat the vinegar, peppercorns, fennel seeds, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Leave to cool then pour over the sliced fennel and leave to pickle for at least half an hour. This will keep for a few days when pickled.
        7. To serve, lay a couple of slices of salmon on a plate with a spoonful of the crème fraîche, a little pickled fennel and a cooked salmon scotch egg. Dress the plate with the dill oil if using.

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