“We’re having a little soirée after the theatre tomorrow darling, nothing fancy, maybe some scotch woodcock and a nightcap or two. Do come”
No one’s ever said that to me. Because I don’t live at Brideshead. Or Downton Abbey.
The recipe for Scotch Woodcock appears in the After-Theatre Party Section of The Party Cookbook by Anne Marshall and Elizabeth Sewell (1971). I can’t help it, that combination of the After-Theatre Party and the Scotch Woodcock immediately had me imagining something English and posh and from a bygone, more glamorous era. In my mind, Scotch Woodcock consisted of a game bird shot on the estate by the endearingly eccentric squire and then marinated in gallons of whiskey.
Wrong and wrong. This is Scotch Woodcock.
If you happen to be thinking “But that looks nothing like pheasant drowned in single malt…In fact it looks remarkably like scrambled eggs on toast topped with anchovies”, congratulations! You get this weeks Elephant Stamp!
I’m not sure why this is called Scotch Woodcock when it contains neither whiskey nor woodcock. Then again, those cheeky Brits do like to bamboozle the foreigners with their nomenclature. (We’ll be getting on to Welsh Rarebit in a future post. Toad in the Hole will never be mentioned again. Except to say, that the best thing about it is that it doesn’t actually contain toads).
I wish I lived in world where I gave after theatre parties (or was invited to them). Unfortunately I don’t and I suspect not many of us do. I do however, have a penchant for a meal I can whip up as a quick and easy light supper during my Sunday night television marathon.
Scotch Woodcock fits the bill exactly. Here’s how it’s done.
The evening starts at 6:30 with The Super-Sizers Go… If you have never seen this show and have any interest in food history done in the most hilarious way, stop right now. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Watch The Super-Sizers Go… then come back. That last bit’s important. Make sure you come back.
Anyway, during the breaks in The Super-Sizers you can do the following:
Gather your ingredients. If you are thinking that the milk in the photo below looks a little thick, you’re absolutely right. We had run out of milk. (So much for recipe preparation!) I used cream for the photo and mixed it with a splash of water for the cooking. And, no I couldn’t have gone and bought milk. I had FOUR hours of television to watch.
Make and Butter Your toast. Make an extra piece of toast. Hot buttered toast is one of the best things in the world. Munch on this whilst you watch the end of Super Sizers.
7:30. Masterchef: The Professionals. I can’t help it. I am an unashamed Masterchef addict. And I am loving the professionals. It’s as contrived and the situations are as silly as the normal Masterchef but Marco Pierre White is amazing. He’s like a wise owl, dispensing advice to the hapless. I want him to be my Dad.
During breaks in ‘Masterchef, Scramble your eggs. I chose not to add salt as I thought the anchovy and olive topping would be salty enough. They were.
You might also want to open a bottle at this stage. Sparkling wine is lovely with this…and hey, don’t we all need a little sparkle to help us face Monday?
Next break, heat your grill, load the scrambled eggs, anchovies (I added some olives) onto the toast and warm through.
Serve with another glass of bubbles.
(Just a quick note about the serving sizes. This may feed 4 people as stipulated in the recipe if it is part of a larger “after-theatre party” spread. We had it as a light meal and the quantities listed in the recipe were perfect. We had eaten a large, late lunch though. Adjust your quantities as required).
Creamy scrambled eggs, crispy toast, and the salty hit of the anchovies. Delicious!
8:30 Elementary. I know it’s not as good as the Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman Sherlock which is brilliant, but it’s absolutely watchable.
During the breaks, do your dishes and tidy the kitchen. Better still get your significant other to do the dishes and tidy the kitchen. And send him out for some milk.
9:30 You can both settle back down on the couch and finish that bottle whilst watching The Graham Norton Show.
I admit, it’s hardly high glamour but I can think of many worse ways of spending a Sunday night!
Enjoy your week!