Scotch Eggs and…Razzle Dazzle

The process for getting a job should be easier than the process of applying for welfare. But not so. I recently applied for a job and first I had to send in my resume. I waited several weeks to hear something, anything, and then just as I had almost forgotten about the position, they made contact.

Scotch Eggs

Next they wanted me to fill out an application form. I had to download it from the internet, print it off, fill it in, scan it, then email it back to them. The application asked for more information than any of the forms at Centrelink. But I did as I was told and wasted a day letting them know who was my next of kin, my employment history and if anyone had ever taken out an AVO against me.

I must have passed the 12-page quiz because then there was an interview in front of a panel where I was advised by the member of staff showing me into the boardroom to be ‘enthusiastic and just dazzle them’. It’s hard to be dazzling when you’re being asked inane questions like, ‘Have you ever done anything in a workplace you regret doing?’ The appropriate answer is, ‘Would you like the truth or shall I just make it up as I go along?’ But instead I just smiled and said, ‘Is having sex on the desk something I should regret?’ Actually, I didn’t say that either but it was so tempting. I think I looked at them earnestly with a stricken hate-myself expression on my face that was meant to cause them to be sympathetic to my confession, and advised there had been times when I regretted not cleaning up after myself in the communal kitchen. There was a pause from the panel that I think meant I had been granted absolution.

Beetroot and Baby Spinach Salad

Clearly I achieved the required level of enthusiasm and razzle-dazzle because I was then taken into a room to sit ‘a psych test’. It was enough to send me psychotic. One of the questions was, ‘Do you have any thoughts about sex that disturb you?’ I wasn’t going for a job in the sex industry. This was a job in the food industry. I had to answer the question by ticking a box on a scale from one to five, five being constant disturbing thoughts and one being no disturbing thoughts. I was wondering if I answered all questions one, one, one, one, one, whether they would think me fraudulent, or charge me with falsifying documents. So I answered ‘two’, that being I now and then have disturbing thoughts and that of course, is a fraudulent answer.

Moving on from disturbing thoughts about sex, the questions only deteriorated. I’m not joking but the last question on the form was, ‘If you were a food, what one would you be and why?’ I wrote down, ‘Smorgasbord – because I’m full of variety’.

I didn’t get the job.

But I did waste a lot of time.

And I’m blaming the school system – it never taught me how to pass a psych test.

Today I’m making Scotch Eggs. I know they are a little ‘yesterday’s news’ but they are delicious and my whole family enjoyed them and asked for them to be put on the menu again next week.

This recipe is from the November issue of Gourmet Traveller.

Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs

Makes 6
Degree of Difficulty: 3/5
Cost: Inexpensive. I actually had most of these ingredients on hand.

600 gm minced pork
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp thyme
1 tsp Tabasco, or to taste
6 eggs, at room temperature, plus 2 extra eggs, lightly beaten, for eggwach.
Seasoned flour, for dusting
150 gm (3 cups) fine white dry breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Lemon Mayonnaise

Lemon Mayonnaise

2 egg yolks
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
350 ml extra virgin olive oil
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Combine pork, onion, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, thyme and Tabasco in a bowl. Season to taste and refrigerate until required.

For lemon mayonnaise, process yolks, vinegar and mustard in a food processor to combine. With motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream until thick and emulsified. Add rind and juice, season to taste and refrigerate until required.

Bring a saucepan of water to the simmer over medium heat, carefully add eggs and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cooked to your liking (8 minutes for soft-boiled, or 10 minutes for hard-boiled). Drain, refresh under cold water, drain and peel. Dust in flour, shaking off any excess.

Shape one-sixth of pork mixture into a cup in your hand, place a boiled egg in the indent and carefully mould mince around to enclose. Repeat with remaining pork mixture and eggs.

Dust each egg ball in seasoned flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs, and refrigerate until required.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided frying pan to 180C. Deep-fry eggs, turning occasionally, until breadcrumbs are golden and pork is cooked through (6-7 minutes, be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper, season to taste and serve warm or cold with lemon mayonnaise.

I served the Scotch Eggs with a baby beet, baby spinach and fetta salad.

Comments

  1. I had never seen a scotch egg before. What a nice idea! Kind of like a rissole (which I like) with an egg (which I love!) in the middle! Can’t go wrong there!

    Oh I hate those silly tests! I did one for a bank I wanted to work for and must have failed it. I’m wondering if ‘normal’ people can pas those things. The one I did had patterns and you had to match the next one…I don’t know. I never learnt that at school/uni!

    I wish you luck with your job search:)

  2. You write so well that I can’t believe you would have trouble finding a job. Silly tests not withstanding! I learned to appreciate Scotch Eggs when I lived for a while in London many years ago. Haven’t made them in yonks, but your rendition inspires me. Thanks!

  3. Waw!! Your Scotsh eggs look incrdibly tasty & apart!! A job well done!
    I am sorry to hear of that job offer! Indeed, what a waste timer!!

  4. Oh you poor thing! I always want to put two answers to every question- the one I feel and the one I think they might want to hear. What does that say about me then? I really don’t have a split personality :-)
    Mmmmm Scotch Eggs, an oldie but a goodie, yumm..

  5. Love the look of your beet salad…. did you roast those beets? What is the dressing, and is that goat’s cheese?

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi, I cooked the beets in a saucepan then peeled them, chopped them, tossed them in a bowl with some balsamic vinegar and a heaped tbspn of grainy mustard and seasoned. I used the baby beet leaves in the greens and added baby spinach leaves. Added some sheeps fetta, then sprinkled over some extra virgin olive oil. It’s a great salad I make quite often. Goes well with lamb.

  6. What an ordeal! I haven’t had to do a psych test for ages. I must have passed mine because I got the job. Having said that I lied on every question and just said exactly what the answer should be for a normal balanced person :)

    I have never made scotch egg so I will have to give it a go, love the beet salad :)

  7. Never had scotch eggs, they look delicious:) I think they were looking for someone who answered all the crazy sex questions differently… maybe it’s a blessing you didn’t get the job:) I’m going to school tonight because I want to volunteer… many forms and phone calls and a weekend of training, then I can donate my time. If it wasn’t for a good cause….

  8. smorgasbord made me lol so hard!

  9. Bugger about the job, and time spent on it. All those forms to fill out and questions to answer are such a pest.
    I think I would have been a smorgasbord as well.
    I’ve never made scotch eggs or tasted them, I think they would go down well in this household though.

  10. What crazy intrusive questions and some of them would apply to everyone so I wonder what sort of logic applies-do they hire the people that fib or the ones that tell the truth. I did one of those bizarre role play tests and I wasn’t hired. It was about crashing in the desert. I told them I would call a taxi and they didn’t find it funny.

  11. Hmmm, I think I’ll stick to law – I have never been asked such questions and can’t see how they are relevant to a job in the food industry. The scotch eggs look devine – gotta love this ultimate comfort food.

  12. Ugh, I’m so sorry. There is so much wrong with job hunting and applications processes in so many different areas of employment. Friends of mine have been doing all-day “assessment centres” just for grad positions in the APS – they even get watched at lunchtime. What the?!

    Good luck with job hunting in future! This place clearly wasn’t awesomeness enough for you :D

  13. scotch eggs look fantastic
    loving the blog!

  14. Your Scotch Eggs look perfect! I love the texture of soft-boiled eggs inside!

  15. Sorry to hear you didn’t get the job, or maybe it was good news. If the process was like this, imagine the job?

  16. Oh man, soft-boiled scotch eggs! That has to be the closest thing to black magic I have seen.

  17. That interview process sounds horrible!! I have yet to actually pass an interview because the job I have right now didn’t require one (strange huh?) :) But psych test?? Now I’m kinda glad I take psych as a subject in uni! haha….. Good luck with your job hunting! These scotch eggs look delicious- especially with their delicious looking soft yolks!

  18. What sort of bull is that? My god, it’s appalling the things they want to know about you! Yuck.
    Anyway, these scotch eggs look great, and I’ll bet that lemon mayo just completes it :)

  19. Hi,
    Found your blog via your comment on mine. LOVE your blog. Your writing is entertaining and fun, your photos are fabulous, and your recipes are . . . a little intimidating, but certainly look worth a try.
    Glad to have found you!
    Lynette – Sweet Posy Dreams

  20. Hate those inane interview questions!
    My father loves the scotch egg. When i was a kid i thought it was such a wierd food, i may have to try these for him.

  21. Haha, smorgasboard! How frustrating that some places require you to fork up so much personal information about yourself in order just to score a chance at an interview.

    And scotch eggs? Well, anything retro seems to be new again and I’m definitely spotting these popping up on menus in more than a handful of places.

  22. sorry about the job loved your answer and great scotch eggs, reminds me of home the UK

  23. OMG I once had to fill out a job app that asked for my previous residential addresses for the past TEN YEARS! wtf?? who remembers that??? Your scotch eggs look yummo!

  24. I just came out from a series of interviews recently for a new job. hated them. i ended up choosing the job where the interviewers were nice and friendly. :-)
    Love the scotch eggs. I’ve planned to make one for ages.

  25. the job market is an abysmal place right now, in every way. hang in there! eat more scotch eggs! those things are, without a doubt, one of the neatest creations ever. :)

  26. Wow, what an ordeal, sorry about that.

    Love your Scotch eggs – I have seen a lot of recipes that use hard boiled eggs, but soft boiled sounds even better.

  27. The whole job application scene these days seems to be an exercise in anxiety, irritation and intrusiveness – I’m pretty sure I’d lose my self-control and give them some answers on their psych tests that would make them raise their eyebrows!
    And while scotch eggs may have a slightly dated reputation they are such comfort food that they are timeless – it’s a bit like suggesting that chocolate cake is “yesterday”, actually – and who could possibly think that?

  28. I’ve never had Scotch Eggs, but especially with the lemon mayo, it looks fabulous. I wanted to say moreish, but not sure I can pull it off without the accent. I’ve also never had a job interview like that, it sounds a bit warped.

  29. I’ve heard of Scotch Eggs before but I had never eaten before. Yum! I always love meals with eggs. Lemony mayonnaise sounds excellent for this. I should bookmark this recipe before I forget. Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish!

  30. What an odd experience. I wonder what kind of people they’d had in the job prior to your applying? Perhaps someone who was found doing indecent things with a spatula? I have an awful, unreasonable fear of deep frying and a boundless amount of love for mayonnaise (which I may just make and slather on un-scotched boiled eggs).

  31. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to figure why interview questions are being asked. But, coming home to scotch eggs is a good way to forget about it! The lemon mayonnaise with them looks lovely.

  32. Beautiful Scotch Eggs! The yolk is cooked to perfection. The salad also looks really tasty and beautiful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  33. The whole job application scene these days seems to be an exercise in anxiety, irritation and intrusiveness – I’m pretty sure I’d lose my self-control and give them some answers on their psych tests that would make them raise their eyebrows!
    And while scotch eggs may have a slightly dated reputation they are such comfort food that they are timeless – it’s a bit like suggesting that chocolate cake is “yesterday”, actually – and who could possibly think that?

    +1

  34. That’s some crazy psych test you had to do. The job application these days are really weird. I feel for you!
    anyway , back to the food, I’ve never had a scotch egg before, but knowing my skills, I’d fail at making one.

    Looks good though!

  35. Pffft, they didn’t deserve to have you on their staff, bunch of repressed ninnies that they are. I have never had a Scotch egg … or sex on a desk, come to think of it …

  36. OMG THAT LOOKS AWESOME!

    i wouldnt mind a bite!

  37. A job on the food industry, with those sorts of questions? Really? I am gobsmacked and would have told them something that would have made me look psychotic just on principle (or maybe it would have dazzled them, who knows?!). The hghest level security clearances don’t require you to answer questions that ridiculous. I would want to know the qualifications of the person assessing the responses for a start. What a joke. Were they wondering what you might get up to with the zucchinis when nobody was around or something?!! Your baby beetroot salad looks divine and I saw smoked salmon Scotch quails eggs on Hairy Bikers last night. I’ve never had a Scotch egg. Is it yummy?

  38. Hmm, that job would have had to be in a metropolitan area, or some other employment rustbelt.
    Here, if the first question is answered in the affirmative “Do you have a pulse?” the second question is “When can you start?”
    You wouldn’t dare ask questions like “have you done this sort of thing before?” or (heaven forbid) do a reference check, as you may uncover a reason to not proceed with the hire.

    Doing a psych test eh? I’d love someone to try such a test on me…..
    For mine, if they’re going to pull that sort of rot (look at this ink blot & tell me what you see?) then they can hire someone else. There are plenty of jobs in this country, and it is a seller’s market.

    This story smacks of an HR dept that has got the ratio of uni education to experience out of kilter.

    Catty: It’d be a good idea to start remembering residential addresses going back 10 years. The government compliance (licences & suchforth) for many plain old pub jobs now requires one to submit exactly that information, 10 yrs of residential addresses, with no allowance for gaps longer than 7 days. Furthermore all time out of the country has also to be submitted, even journeys of one day. (You learn to insist upon a *stamp* in your passport at both entry & exit).

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