Our Christmas canapes aim for something more delicate than the traditional scotch egg, more Jonathan Ames than James M Cain, but hard-boiled nonetheless. We wrap quails' eggs in black pudding, the dark colouring extended by black, waxy whole-rye breadcrumbs. They sit equally comfortably with pints of Guinness or flutes of champagne.
It's new ways in modern times for the scotch egg: a (pickled) Manchester egg receives rave reviews (and soaring sales to match); competitions search for the best "new" scotch egg; one of the stars of the 2011 Masterchef Professionals' Final is a fish-based scotch egg. Responding to a challenge to national honour in far flung fields, Tom and Jen select the scotch egg to represent the best of UK food, as blogged by slightly startled Seoul foodies.
1 Hardboil 12 quails' eggs (about 6 minutes); cool and peel.
2 Mix together 200g black pudding, 75g cooking chorizo and 75g sausage meat.
3 Break off a lump of black pudding mix slightly larger than a golf ball, and flatten it out. Place a peeled quail's egg in the middle, wrapping the mixture round to create a smooth, unbroken surface. Repeat for each egg,
4 Put plain white flour for dredging in a flat bowl.
5 Beat a whole (hen's) egg in another flat bowl.
6 Blend 75g of waxy whole-rye bread (Vollkombrot) with 25 g of white bread (ideally sourdough) to create breadcrumbs. Place in yet another flat bowl.
7 Arrange the bowls in a convenient row for dredging and rolling.
8 Dredge the first black pudding ball in flour, then coat in egg and breadcrumbs. Put to one side and then repeat.
9 Deep fry the breadcrumbed balls in batches of three or four for approximately 4 minutes a batch. Drain on kitchen towel.
The scotch eggs have a better texture if they are left to cool briefly and then baked in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
They are especially good with home-made hot chilli sauce.