Sunday mornings, I make a big breakfast. Sometimes it’s quiche, sometimes it’s just a lot of bacon and eggs, sometimes it’s David Eyre’s pancake (which, alas, does not adapt to gluten free– it’s still worth it.) My local grocery store (Market Basket in Chelsea) has lots and lots of Hispanic and “international” groceries. And their fresh produce is great. But as I went up and down the dairy aisle a few weeks ago, I noticed: Fresh Quail Eggs. $2.99 for 18. They came from Canada, so clearly they were quality quail eggs (despite my never having eaten them before in my life, anything from Canada’s usually good.) And they bore Spanish labeling, which makes me wonder why they’re attractive in the Hispanic community.
Fresh quail eggs.
Did you know they hard-boil in 3 minutes? And they’re ever-so pretty?
They are, however, a bitch to peel.
It’s easier, though, if you have a heart-shaped Beleek dish from your grandmother’s china cabinet. It’s clearly the highest and best use of that dish. And the pale blue insides are a delight.
Obviously, the appropriate condiment is some kind of wild-caught American fish roe. Salmon roe looks pretty in Nana’s Waterford olive dish.
And then, of course, you’ve got to make a whole pile of small crepes with fresh herbs in the batter. (My recipe came from Amanda Hesser’s Essential NYT Cookbook, gluten-full and all. Try their cocktails. So yummy.)
Put some sour cream, chopped red onion, and more of the herbs from your pancake batter on the table, cut up the little eggs you’ve so painstakingly peeled (Hint: Pinch the bottom of the egg, where the air pocket forms. You’ll only curse twice per egg.) and assemble your crepes. They might look something like this:
Guzzle a lot of champagne for me, since we don’t drink Chez Waldorf and Statler, as you assemble each little crepe and decide: eh, they taste like regular eggs, just smaller but still decide to buy them again because gosh darnit, small food is cute, and you really ought to be eating more fish roe, despite the tremendous expense. Then you can swan around all day knowing you’re probably the only person of your acquaintance who had caviar for breakfast, and, well– some days that’s validation we all need. (Baby, you’re worth it.)
Did I mention the peels were pretty?