Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes one ingredient at a time.
My Experience With Quail Eggs Began ... On Hubpages
Four years ago, at the urging of my younger daughter, I started a blog—a blog about cooking and baking, and the central theme was "carbs." At first, it was a fun endeavor—something new, a place where I could create and write and TALK. But without a personal domain name and knock-out photos, traffic was low. The days, weeks, and months wore on, and it just seemed so... meaningless. The "everyone-at-the-grade-school-track-meet-gets-a-ribbon" type of meaningless.
Was my writing cogent, insightful, or entertaining? Did anyone really care?
And so I looked around on the internet for a place where I could write but (perhaps) receive feedback from peers—people who shared my passion for writing, cooking, travel, and history.
I found HubPages.
And on HubPages, I found Bill Holland. Billybuc to most of you. I don't remember when our paths crossed. Was it a particular topic, or merely our geography? As fate would have it, we live just 20 miles (give or take a few) from each other. We were both born and raised in the same city. We're about the same age (also give or take a few). And we share many of the same values. Kindred spirits in an Anne of Green Gables sort of way.
Bill is a prolific (and skilled) writer and author. He is a teacher, a blogger, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. And he is an urban farmer, raising quail, gathering eggs, and making new friends each week at our local farmer's markets.
Last week, I finally had an opportunity to meet Bill at our town's mid-week market. I bought a dozen quail eggs from him with the promise that I would develop some recipes. Well, here is what happened.
This is without a doubt the quickest and easier way to prepare quail eggs. I must be honest—the photo above is not from my kitchen; I didn't want to use all of the eggs on one dish. And, unfortunately, time was short and my family was ravenous. So all I have to show for our first quail-egg-adorned meal (russet/Yukon gold/sweet potato hash) is three broken shells. Forgive me.
How to Fry Quail Eggs
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Break each egg into a shallow cup and then pour into the prepared pan. Within 30 seconds they will be crisped on the edges, the whites will be set and the yolks will be almost cooked. Remove immediately from heat. Don't flip them over-easy!
Another easy-peasy recipe. Place the eggs in a small lidded pot. Cover with water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, cover, and remove from heat. Let it sit for 3 minutes more. Remove eggs to an ice-water bath.
When cool enough to handle place eggs in a small bowl. Cover with a saucer and shake gently so that eggs bump into each other. This should crack the shells. Return to the ice water bath. The water should seep into the cracks and separate the shell and membrane from the cooked eggs.
How to Use Hard Cooked Quail Eggs
Don't even consider for one moment turning these into an egg salad sandwich. They are just too adorable to be mashed into an indistinguishable state. I suppose that one with patience and steady hands could slice them in half vertically, remove the cooked yolks, mash them with Greek yogurt and yellow mustard and then pipe them back into the whites to make deviled quail eggs.
But that's not for me.
I envision using wooden picks suitable for appetizers. Several combinations come to mind:
- quail egg, grape tomato, square of crisp cooked bacon, black olive
- quail egg, baby gherkin, chunk of cooked kielbasa
- quail egg, grape tomato, fresh basil leaf, chunk of fresh mozzarella
Sumo Baby at Goodfoodies.blogspot.com created a lovely brunch dish with a quail egg baked in an avocado half. The concave depression where the pit once sat is the perfect size and shape for a wee little quail egg.
But what if you take this in a slightly different direction? Instead of a garnish of crisp bacon and dill sprig, why not drizzle with salsa and top with some cheese for a huevos rancheros taste?
Quail Eggs in Avocado Halves on the Grill
While we are on the subject of avocados, I have heard of (but never tried) grilled avocados. Could we somehow do a mash-up of quail eggs cooked in avocado halves on the grill? Well, believe it or not, someone else crept into my mind and stole my idea. Kinda. Grillinfools.com used chicken eggs and hollowed out the avocado (removing some of that wonderful creamy flesh) to make room for a massive chicken egg. Why not stick with a cute little quail egg—you get the eggy yumminess and keep your avocado intact?
Sunny Side Up Quail Eggs and Bacon Pizza
I made a "bacon and eggs" pizza a while ago and posted that recipe (and suggested variations) on HubPages. Could quail eggs be used in place of chicken eggs? I can't imagine why not. Of course, you would use two or three quail eggs in place of one chicken egg.
I'm not sure of the timing on these. Instead of 10 minutes, I would begin to check at about 6 minutes or so. (Sorry I can't give you a definitive time, but my oven died last week. I mourn her passing—she served me well).
If you can ignore the snarky remarks in the comments (honestly, why do some people turn the comments portion of a recipe, blog, or article into a social gathering?) this is a pretty good concept. But I'm never satisfied with the status quo.
I can imagine all kinds of variations—let's consider a few:
- Don't like (or have) celery leaves? Use baby spinach or arugula.
- Craving meat? Cooked shrimp would be wonderful in this.
- Want to add some more veggies? Quickly cooked (blanched) haricot vert (slender green beans).
- Want more protein without meat (to turn into a complete meal)? Some canned cannelloni or garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained).
- Perhaps you crave a bit more color? Grape tomatoes are the perfect size and shape!
How Do Quail Eggs Compare to Chicken Eggs?
Ignore the obvious. Chicken eggs are larger and are white or brown. Quail eggs are small and speckled. The ratio of yolk to white is higher in a quail egg, so the numbers for calories and cholesterol are a bit higher. But the other nutritional bonuses are hard to ignore.
Of course, you can't compare one chicken egg to one quail egg. So that all things are equal, we will compare 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of chicken eggs and the same amount of quail eggs. That's 2 medium chicken eggs compared to 1 dozen quail eggs.
|Chicken Eggs||Quail Eggs|
How to Break a Quail Egg
You cannot tap a quail egg on the edge of your bowl to break the shell as you would with a raw chicken egg. Gentle pierce the larger end of the egg with the tip of a sharp knife, pry it open slightly with the knife tip, and then pour out the contents into a cup or bowl.
One Last Thing
OK Bill, how'd I do?
Questions & Answers
Question: Can I give quail eggs to my kids?
Answer: Quail eggs are a healthy source of protein. When compared ounce for ounce against chicken eggs they are a better source of B-12, riboflavin, folate, and iron. So, with that in mind, I would say that they are a great food for kids.
© 2016 Linda Lum