Quail eggs are sweet, some might even say darling, in the same way that a petits-four or a mini tartlette is. But they can also be quite expensive. Usually I cruise by them at the market, thinking longingly of making diminutive hard-boiled eggs, topped with dollops of cool, black caviar. But each time I pick up those tiny cartons, and see the price– around $6 for one dozen, I quickly put these eggs back on the shelf, and scurry away. Five quail eggs equals about one chicken egg, and let’s just say I am usually not feeding dainty diners.
But in Chinatown, during my splendid day out, there were stacks and stacks of quail eggs, in cartons of 24 (that’s two dozen, mind you!), all to be had for $3 and some change. You have to love Chinatown. I of course bought a passel, and there they sat, in fridge for nearly one week before I decided what to do with them. I wanted to make something that exemplified their stature, so I knew that scrambling them just would not do.
It’s that time of year, a time when my little apartment is overrun with guests. Since our move to NY, Brian and I have had more welcomed visitors than our entire tenure in Berkeley. Each of these guests expects a little something special to come wafting out of my tiny NY kitchen, and I am only to happy to oblige. Especially when I finally know what to do with those lovely quail eggs.
Fried quail eggs on crostini, simple yet spectacular, bright and sunny, with those shiny yolks staring right up at you. I made the crostini from slices of baguette, brushed with olive oil and baked in the oven until they reach a toasty brown. Then one egg, fried in olive oil, sunny side up, of course, adorns each toast. A sprinkling of fresh chives, a grinding of pepper, a dash of salt, and breakfast is served. Four crostini, one half a grapefruit, and a mug of good, strong coffee, and my guest were off to enjoy a day of sightseeing. I of course told them Chinatown should not be missed.