Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quail's eggs

Are quail's eggs seasonal? I just don't know. All I do know is that I went to the butcher on Kentish Town High Street the other day and he was selling some on his counter top. And I thought "quail's eggs!" I haven't had any of those for ages (neatly forgetting the zillions I guzzle regularly at Jin Kichi in Hampstead).

There are two tricks to cooking quail's eggs passed on to me by the mighty Mark Hix. Actually, make that three tricks.

1 - Boil for two minutes and then plunge into very cold water, which stops them cooking and makes the yolk go that lovely fondant consistency
2 - When you peel them - which can be a bugger - start at the pointy end rather than the fat end. It makes the white less likely to rip
3 - Eat with CELERY SALT, which you make by baking some celery leaves (just lop them off a bunch of celery stalks) in a hot oven for 3 minutes until brittle and flaky and then pounding together with some salt.

The best thing to do with quail's eggs, to my mind, is to have them as a starter. They have an interesting gamey flavour, which I think is lost if you put them in any sort of salad. Much better in my opinion to leave them as they are.

Girls eat about four as a canape and boys about 6.

By the end of all that peeling you'll be an expert.

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