Prawn and crab buffet bar

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Recently I chowed at Ethos in London which is a buffet-style eatery full of lovely fresh, flavourful food. The standout was the aloo scotch egg – chunky veggie curry encasing a soft boiled egg. Yum. I pretty much spent the entire rest of the day thinking about scotch eggs and related products. Yes, I am a bit sad.

These can be filed under ‘humble snacks which for years we had come to associate with poor quality processed grub-on-the-go, but have recently enjoyed a foodie revival and no self-respecting market or store or food pub would dare be seen without offering gourmet versions.’

Everywhere you look (ok maybe not literally everywhere) there are golden balls of black pudding or chorizo or apple and rare breed pork sausage meat and free range eggs with soft yolks dribbling everywhere. But there’s part of me that’s still drawn to a dirty old scotch egg. One that costs less than a quid with soggy orange crumbs and pappy filling, and a large white rubber bullet nestled in the middle hiding grey-tinged yolk. Now that’s a proper crap scotch egg. I wanted some of that naffness. No picnic, finger buffet, journey or random hungry moment is complete without a naff snack. So I ended up doing a seafood version of the legendary Ginster’s Buffet Bar.

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I soft boiled some eggs and using cling film rolled out a brown crab and yolk centre, a layer of white crab and egg white and another of prawn, sausage meat and dill. I seasoned and chilled each layer before rolling together and covering with panko, crushed scampi fries and lemon zest. I chilled the whole thing again before frying in hot oil.

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I devoured it outside in true picnic spirit with a simple seafood dip made from creme fraiche, ketchup and tabasco. It wasn’t long before the squirrels started peering, the seagulls started circling, the clouds gathered and then the wasps came, so I went inside.

Ingredients: king prawns, white crab, brown crab, sausage meat, eggs, dill, salt, panko, scampi fries, lemon.

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