What do you do when a friend gives 3 dozen quail eggs?
Before I answer that, let me set the stage.
It was a Friday night, and we had friends coming over for a little Sushi dinner party. I was on appetizer duty, Nich was in charge of the sushi-making (as I can’t make a pretty sushi roll to save my life), and friends were bringing drinks and a host of other goodies.
I was originally going to make regular old sushi appetizers: edamame and miso soup. But then, that very day, my co-worker brought me a carton full of beautiful little quail eggs. I was so excited!
Immediately, I began dreaming up teeny tiny appetizers. For any of you that know me well, you know I’m a bit of a deviled egg fanatic. I own not one, but two, vintage deviled egg platters. So, it should come as no surprise to you all that I was thrilled about the prospect of making deviled quail eggs. In fact, I’d been wanting to make them for a long, long time. Since these particular eggs were going to be paired with a sushi dinner, I decided to go with a Wasabi Lemon Deviled Quail Egg:
I quickly whipped up a batch of my darling little deviled quail eggs, and I still had so many eggs left! I had to figure out what to do with the rest of them. So, I began to dream up other appetizers. Since I wanted to keep with the sushi theme (and stick within the realm of Asian flavors), my next thought was to simply fry up the quail eggs and pair them with a soy sauce reduction. But, then, I had a better idea: I was going to recreate Susan Feniger’s Kaya Toast.
For those of you who don’t know her, Susan Feniger is an accomplished chef (also a contestant on Top Chef Masters) who owns a couple of restaurants in Los Angeles — Border Grill and Street. During our last trip to LA we stopped in for lunch at Street, as we were told that we had to try Feniger’s Kaya toast. We were not disappointed…it was deeeeeeelicious! As far as I can remember, Kaya Toast consisted of a large slice of toasted white bread that was slathered with coconut jam, topped with a fried egg, and served with a dark soy sauce reduction. It was the perfect marriage of sweet and savory.
So, back to quail eggs. Once I remembered the magic of Feniger’s Kaya Toasts, I decided that I was going to make my own mini versions. The only problem: we had friends coming over in 3 hours and I had no coconut jam. Since I didn’t have the time to make my own jam, I frantically searched my local specialty grocery store for any exotic jam that might work. And, I was in luck! I happened upon a jar of ginger jam. I knew the ginger would work well with the soy and the egg, and so my own mini versions of the kaya toasts were born:
Lastly, I must credit the almighty Google for my third quail appetizer. By this point, I was dead set on the idea of a trio of quail egg appetizers. I wanted each of my guests to have 3 separate and distinct quail egg bites. Since my own brain wasn’t coming up with a third option, I turned to Google to help me out. After a quick search, I saw that Ping restaurant serves a Bacon Wrapped Quail Egg with a Sriracha Sauce. I didn’t know you could DO that — hardboil an egg, wrap it in bacon, and top it off with the best hot sauce known to man. I looked no further for other ideas: this was the perfect bite to round out my quail egg trio. I hard boiled the eggs, wrapped them in applewood smoked bacon, and topped them with a creamy sriracha sauce.
I will end this post by saying that our Friday night sushi party was the epitome of all that is delicious. These appetizers were only the beginning of a night of good food with good friends. I was grateful to be given such a fantastic ingredient (quail eggs!), which inspired me to make a few fancy little appetizers.
The moral of the story is: When life hands you 3 dozen quail eggs, make some dainty (and delicious) appetizers for your friends. It will be great, I promise.
(Note: I chose not to write out the recipes for the appetizers here, as I wasn’t sure how many of you have regular access to quail eggs. However, I am more than happy to share my recipes! Please leave me a comment or email me at lindsay dot strannigan @ gmail dot com and I’ll gladly send you the recipes!)