Crispy Quail Egg Mini-Bennys
I knew this experiment/recipe would be one my husband would love, because he has always loved eggs. Family legend has it that when he was little, all he would eat were hotdogs and eggs, and those are still two foods that he’ll throw into his daily food rotation without hesitation. He’ll grab a hotdog on the way home from work as a dinner appetizer, and if he’s left to cook for himself for a day he’ll boil up a few eggs because he believes that makes for a portable snack. Before we had kids, when we had more money, time, and freedom than we knew what to do with, we’d visit someone’s cottage or would host at our own and Phil would cook Eggs Benedict for the entire group. He is the egg man. Koo koo ka choo.
So when I saw these little beauties
at the farmer’s market that happens every Monday at the end of our street (I’ll give you a moment to be jealous of my awesome hood. Okay, come back now) I knew I had to bring them home no matter what the price, which didn’t turn out to be crazy at $5 for 8 wee eggies.
And who knew that quail’s eggs were a superfood? Bonus. The hippieish farm lady I bought them from tipped me off to this fact, telling me that they’re three times as nutritious as a chicken egg, also telling me that she slurps them up raw. I don’t think I’m quite ready for raw eggs, but I confirmed her nutritional proselytizing here, where they also explained that quail’s eggs have greater proteins, B1, iron, potassium, and lower allergens than chicken eggs. They’re just healthy enough to tempt me into making them unhealthy with a delicious deep fry recipe. Insert maniacal laugh here.
I was inspired by this recipe, where the chef poached the eggs and then panko-breaded and deep fried them, topping them with little strips of bacon. I thought to myself, “I’ll see your little fried bacon poachers and raise you some green onion mayo and a Triscuit bird’s nest.” I was thinking about my husband’s love of eggs benny as I was improvising, although I wasn’t about to make Hollandaise for the benefit of some bite-sized appys, which was where the mayo substitution came from. And yes, I know that Eggs Benedict doesn’t include traditional bacon, but it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want to. 🙂 Here are the specifics:
Crispy poached quail’s egg with bacon on a Triscuit nest (makes 8 appetizers)
- 8 pretty little quail’s eggs
- Splash of white vinegar
- Small bowl of flour
- 2 eggs, beaten with fork in small bowl
- 1C panko crumbs in small bowl
- 2C canola oil for frying
- 4 strips of bacon, pan fried until crisp
- 6Tbsp mayonnaise (homemade or the easy way, your choice)
- 2 green onions, diced fine
- 8 Triscuit crackers
Directions: Set up everything required before dealing with your eggs: Prepare small bowls of flour, eggs, and panko…
…fry bacon and set aside, mix mayonnaise with green onion in another small bowl. Also fill another small bowl with cool water and set aside. Boil 2” water in a deep frying pan, adding a splash of vinegar. At the same time, heat canola oil over med-high heat in small fry pan (1.5-2” of oil). Now all is set to be able to work quickly. Crack mini egg into a small shallow dish.
Slip the egg from the dish into the boiling water, and fold the whites over the yolk with spoon as it begins to cook. When egg looks cooked but still jiggly (about 1 min) use slotted spoon to move poached egg from boiling water to cool water. Dip egg in flour, egg, and then panko, and quickly fry, just until it browns. Spread Triscuit with onion-mayo, add egg, and top with small piece of bacon. Repeat for each egg. When you get the hang of how it works, you can begin to do two or three eggs at once.
Results: Completely delicious!
I was very proud of how this recipe turned out, although it was a bit of a pain to prepare, and I’m not sure how I would have done it if guests had been milling about. Saying that, though, somehow I think this might be one of those recipes where those who try it drop hints about tasting it again, and where the cook happily goes to the trouble of making it because it’s one of the dishes she’s known for. Phil ate four of them, and when my bro-in-law popped in and tried one he said it was “really good.” Even my little guy ate one. Rating: 4 Yums
Wine Pairing: Winealign.com’s “food match” section suggested that Champagne is the perfect match for Eggs Benedict, but I’m too cheap for that. When I switched the search to “sparkling wine,” one of the top rated matches for less than $40 was the St. Nicolas Brut Crackling Strong Cider from Quebec at only $16.95, so my tight little wallet will recommend that instead.