Saturday, June 19, 2010

Quail Eggs with Alton Brown & Benedict (perfect for the Hollandaise!)

Hmmm... I have two dozen quail eggs from my CSA... what to do? What to do! As a child I hated eggs and realized later that I had been allergic to them. I would eat them when I had to, then be nauseous for most of the morning. In recent years have I tried them again and realized that they didn't make me sick anymore, plus - I kinda liked them. I'm not a fan of yellow goo oozing from a fried egg. I don't like the texture of whites or yolks in a hard boiled egg. I do, however, LOVE a good scramble or omelet. So with all that in mind... I am going to try to make something wonderful with quail eggs.
It seems to me that the first step in doing something wonderful with quail eggs must include... Bacon! I cook bacon in the oven, it's so ultra easy and nobody has to hover over the range while a fine spray of grease coats everything nearby. Just line a pan with foil, spread out the bacon and cover it with foil (to keep that fine spay of bacon grease off of the inside of your oven) and bake at 400 until it's the crispness you prefer (between 20 - 30 mins.) I like it crispy, DH likes it chewy. (So I make it crisphewy.) While I was at it, I tried making some little cup like shapes out of bacon, just to see if it would work.  I curled up some bacon in some foil cupcake cups and covered that with foil.
And into the oven it went:
And then I started on the Hollandaise sauce.  I used the Alton Brown recipe that calls for butter chunks rather than clarified butter.  It sounded easier to me, plus Alton Brown is a genius.  If he says it will work... it will work!  There are three organic chick egg yolks in here (I get 1 doz free range, organic, yadda yadda eggs in my CSA box each two weeks.)  STIR!
Add a few chunks of butter at a time and keep stirring, make sure it doesn't get too hot.  Don't want to make scrambled eggs!
OO00oooo... pretty!  Add the lemon juice, salt and cayenne.  I added those, then added more for a little additional flavor.  I ended up using the juice of half a lemon, nice bit of tang!
The bacon came out of the oven looking all lovely and filling the kitchen with "ode to cooked PIG!"  (yum)
I don't have photos of the next steps cause it all pretty much happens all at once.  The English muffins went in the toaster oven and I broke four little quail eggs into a round ring in my egg skillet and began frying them.  Eggs Benedict call for poached eggs, but that's an adventure for another day when I want to work with chicken eggs.  This whole adventure started with Quail eggs... so I fried them a bit, pried them off the cookie cutter round and flipped them.  They were SO cute in there cooking away, but quail eggs are really hard to crack.  The shells are very soft and the membranes are pretty strong.  But they are O SO CUTE!  (I had to go after a piece of shell with  my tweezers, that's why there are tweezers in my kitchen.)
Get the English muffins from the toaster oven, add the bacon, top with the four fried quail eggs...
Hurry now, eggs are never good cold!
Top with the Hollandaise and run to the herb garden for some fresh chives and sprinkle those on top.  I called the man and he sat down to eat his... I looked up and it was gone while I was still working on mine.  He eyed my plate while I finished mine, then he licked his plate clean.  Yes, literally.  He kept eying mine until I gave him the last bite.  Not bad, not bad at all.
What a lovely breakfast!  (DH's second breakfast, my first)  Hmmm... I still had those little rounds of bacon, so the next experiment involved getting quail eggs into the little bacon rounds.  As you can see from the photo, it really only worked about 3 out of 12 cases.  What a silly MESS!

I decided that if they already looked that bad, flipping them wasn't going to hurt them.  So... over they went - as one solid mass.  Then I picked them back apart...  I put some Hollandaise on the plate, tucked three little quail eggs in bacon baskets into the sauce.  I sprinkled this with the rest of the chives.  Now they aren't exactly pretty, they didn't turn out looking at all like I imagined... HOWEVER!  When one pops one of these little buggas into one's mouth... it does elicit an involentary creamy-smokey-bacon-and-egg YUMMMMMMmmmmm!
Ok, so not entirely pretty food... but a pretty big YUM! 
I love my CSA!  (Community Supported Agriculture) 
I would never have tried quail eggs without them!

Savoring the Flavors,
-Carmen Rose

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