Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tiny Deviled Eggs with Pancetta

I couldn't resist the quail eggs from Northshire Farms at the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday, so this morning's breakfast, with a little inspiration from Thomas Keller's poached "Bacon and Eggs" from The French Laundry Cookbook, was deviled quail eggs with homemade pancetta. Keller's famous take on bacon and eggs uses poached quail eggs, which was a little more involved than I wanted to be before my first coffee of the day, so hard boiled had to do.

The pancetta is based on the recipe from Polcyn and Ruhlman's Charcuterie, which is a book I've mentioned before, but if you don't happen to be making your own pancetta, bacon or your favorite salty cured meat will work fine. Spam--why not? Go for the postmodern effect.

Quail eggs are about an inch long and have speckled shells, and can often be found in Asian markets as well as farmer's markets from time to time. To hard boil quail eggs, put eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes, then chill in ice water and peel under cold water. The eggs have a surprisingly thick membrane, so the trick to peeling them without breaking the whites is to break the membrane and let a little water in to separate it from the white. It's a little tedious. I'm glad I restrained myself and only bought a dozen quail eggs, even though they were $3 a dozen, $5 for two dozen.

The egg salad is made from the quail egg yolks and whites that broke while peeling, a little mayonnaise, grainy mustard, and a brunoise (a fine dice--about 1/8 inch) of cornichons. I put the extra quail egg salad over cucumber slices. I filled the egg whites with the egg salad using one of grandson of food's baby feeding spoons. He hasn't needed that spoon for over a year, but I knew it would come in handy for something eventually.

The pancetta is diced similarly to the cornichons and then fried like bacon and drained on a paper towel before garnishing the deviled eggs.


Carol said...

Gave me goosebumps. They look wonderful. Another great use for my Charcuterie inspired pancetta cured belly.

Son of Food said...

Thanks, Carol!

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