This is rather a neat trick, which removes the yolks from hard-boiled eggs and replaces them with a thick béchamel sauce flavoured, usually, with diced tuna, though you could just as well include cooked chopped ham or chicken. The eggs are reformed around the filling, coated in beaten egg and crumbs, then deep-fried.
They make excellent nibbles to go with drinks.
Hard-boil 6 of the eggs, cool them in cold water and shell. Halve, scoop out the yolks and reserve.
Make a thick béchamel by melting the butter in a heavy-based pan and stirring in the flour. Cook, stirring, over a gentle heat for about 1 minute, then stir in the dry sherry followed by the milk. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook, beating with a wooden spoon to a thick paste. Lower the heat to minimum and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
Stir in the egg yolks pushed through a sieve and the leftover meat or fish. Pour and spoon on to a Swiss roll tin and leave to set. Fill the eggs with the mixture and press the halves back together.
Beat the remaining eggs in a bowl and put some breadcrumbs in another bowl. Roll the eggs first in flour, then coat them with beaten egg, then toss in the crumbs. Repeat the coating process again.
Heat oil for deep-frying to 180°C/350°F and deep-fry the eggs for about 4 minutes, when the coating will be crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
Leave to cool to warm, before cutting in half again to serve.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.