Just a thought... You'll never get bored when you try something new. There's really no limit to what you can do. [Dr. Seuss]
Summer arrives this Friday and, with it, the prospect of a little more outdoor entertaining. Last weekend, Rob and I were invited to a Rotary Club "friendship dinner," wherein we meet up at a Rotary member's house for dinner, bringing one of the courses with us. I chose appetizers.
Last year I showed you here my adventures in appies, with the tiny caprese salads: cherry tomatoes cut in half like a little hamburger bun, a slice of bocconcini cheese inside, a bit of basil and a drop of thick, syrupy balsamic vinegar.
I repeated that success with Saturday's dinner offerings, but decided to try something else as well. If you thought that making those little tomato appetizers was fiddly, oh, honey - you ain't seen nothing yet!
Perhaps unwisely, I wanted to experiment. (Who in their right mind does that when you don't know your audience?) Anyway, I chose to make deviled eggs, but with a twist: instead of chicken eggs, I made deviled quail eggs! First, we bought the eggs.
We found them at our local Fairway Market, which, along with regular grocery offerings, specializes in imported and Asian items. Those 24 quail eggs with their beautifully camouflaged shells cost just $5.99! I was amazed, thinking they were going to be upwards of $20. We boiled them for about 10 minutes, then peeled them.
A bit of a thicker membrane (and thinner white) meant we lost a few in the process; they were still yummy to eat, just exactly like a chicken egg, but wouldn't have looked nice deviled.
I gently prodded the yolks out of their white casings (most just plopped into the bowl) and proceeded to have fun with spices and flavours. I put in a bit of Asian five spice, some paprika, dill pickle juice, a bit of curry, some garlic, salt, mayo, dijon and honey mustards, white pepper and - the pièce de résistance - Sriracha sauce! This chili sauce will turn the yellow yolk mixture just a little bit pink but, oh, it's worth it for that nice slow heat that shows up in your mouth. And no, I don't measure anything...that's how I love to cook. Just go by flavours.
Then comes the fiddly part. Now, please know that I had dedicated a few hours to this anyway, so I loved putting on a Terry O'Reilly "Under the Influence" podcast and just listening while I put these little guys together. Rob had barbecued some bacon earlier in the day, then crumbled it with a hammer so I'd have tiny pieces to work with. A few slices of green onion, some finely shredded old cheddar and away we went.
Once they were all done, we just had to cross our fingers and hope that having one platter resting upside down on top of the serving plate would keep these little guys from sliding around. (I could've used some yolk mix to affix them to the plate, I'm sure, but we decided to take our chances.)
Here's how they showed up at our hosts' house. We were driving like we were carrying nitro glycerin the entire way there, but they arrived beautifully!
So there you go - deviled quail eggs that were enjoyed by all. The reaction to people seeing these teeny tiny appies was worth everything. If you're looking for a project for some younger visitors, this would be a great one, especially if they love spending time with you in the kitchen.
(@erindavis on Twitter)