Taking over the world, one apron at a time...


The Devil in Miss Mae.

Deviled Quail Egg.

By now it's not a secret that I love eggs.  Just about any food item adorned with an egg will have my full ("Squirrel") attention.  A burger crowned with a fried egg, flatbread pizza a la The Oaks baked with an egg and mushrooms, salmon roe topped with a raw quail egg,  a whiskey sour frothy with egg whites, an egg cracked open over a hot spicy bowl of soon, a creamy yolk placed lovingly on a pile of pasta,  over medium or over easy, scrambled soft, scrambled hard, coddled,  poached, boiled and baked, I love my eggs.
Last month, F for Food and I brought Dinner at Eight back into our crook of the canyon. We muddled and shucked, stewed and fried and if nothing else filled our guests to the brim with all things Southern.
There were mint juleps and oyster stew, fried chicken legs and gravy, biscuits and roasted pork loin but the meal began with a tiny little egg. A deviled egg. A deviled quail egg to be exact. I made other contributions to our Southern feast but this was one I insisted on right out of the gate. Small, tangy and rich, the deviled quail egg would make the perfect amuse bouche for our meal.

There was however a hitch. I've never made deviled quail eggs before, I've never prepared quail eggs of any sort in fact. I don't even know where to procure a quail egg.  The quail quest began with the most logical choice, The Hollywood Farmer's Market.  Elliott and I left ourselves with a tight schedule, we had one week until our dinner deadline and one day to test recipes as a complete team, Elliott, Kathy and me. There was little room for error or the birthday party we were also due to attend that day so we had to act fast.  Racing to the HFM, we kept our fingers crossed that the secret parking space was available. It wasn't. Still in drive, I opened the door rolled out into the alley behind the market, did a set of summersaults worthy of Nadia Comaneci and over my shoulder yelled to my getaway driver..err.. I mean FForFood to circle the block. Okay, okay, I may have exagerrated that last bit a tad but the scene wasn't far off.  I ran/walked through the crowd ducking absently handled french rolls, dodging baby strollers and flower pots to get to the egg man. Breathless, I asked the gentleman for quail eggs. "No Ma'am".
Alright, maybe there's another vendor? I ran/walked up and down the length of the market (no easy feat in a sea of leisurely market goers),found four more egg related stands and the closest I got was a "We sold out earlier, sorry...".  I leapt back into Elliott's car and we peeled out leaving the other early risers in our dust. Okay, maybe not, but the failed mission did put a crimp in our limited time.  We made it to the aforementioned birthday party, and then it was back on the hunt.  I vaguely remembered that ages ago The Merchantile restaurant sold quail eggs but the bartender delivered the bad news gently when we inquired attempting to restrain our desperate expressions. We tried Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. Nope and Nope. We were running out of ideas and daylight. 
As my confidence began to dissolve Elliott had a lightbulb moment. The Original Farmer's Market! I'd been there for shrimp tacos and cactus salad at Loteria. I'd been to see the passadores at Pampas Grill but it manages to escape me that it is in fact a farmer's market. SCORE!

The elusive eggs nestled together.

Clutching the trays of delicate bespeckled eggs, and wearing a smile with renewed confidence, F for Food and I returned to the Dinner at Eight kitchen quarters and with Kathy, got to work. Flour was flying as each dish was tested. Heads were scratched, salt was added,  but the easiest job belonged to me.  The eggs boiled in no time and before I knew it I was trying my first deviled quail egg. After the ordeal I had trying to find them the rest was easy and delicious! The Deviled Quail Eggs were a hit at the party too and even better, I had enough eggs left over for a few sunny sides up for breakfast! Win.

Fried Quail Egg.

To make your own Deviled Quail Eggs:

You can work with the ingredient list I provide in Something Borrowed, Something New. Quail Eggs take considerably less time to boil.  Add 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water, until the eggs are completely submerged. Exactly two minutes from the time the water starts to boil they're done. To open the shells, pop the bottom of the shell (there will be a small air bubble there) pinch and pull apart. Quail eggs are much more delicate than regular eggs so peeling them will require patience and a delicate hand. For one package of 10 quail eggs you will need far less Duke's (1tsp), honey, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard can be measured with the tip of a demitasse spoon, the Blackie's pepper relish (1/2 tsp), and much smaller pinches of salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Don't forget to taste as you go to allow for adjustments. Happy Tastebuds!

XOXO Maggie Mae

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