Quail eggs have long been considered a delicacy in many parts of the world including Asia, Europe and North American. Surprisingly, in other countries such as Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, a hard-boiled quail egg is not unusual or considered exotic. In fact, in those countries quail eggs can even be seen as garnish on a hot dog. In the U.S., quail eggs are not particularly expensive, somewhat readily available (especially at local farmers’ markets) and are not that difficult to work with. You cook a quail egg just like a regular chicken egg, but for less time. I have been cooking with quail eggs for many years. In part because of my requests, a local market now carries them regularly. Don’t be intimidated by their miniature size, they make a wonderful addition to numerous appetizers without much work. And if you’re entertaining, guests are always intrigued by them. My Truffled Quail Toasts are an easy and elegant hors d’oeuvre to be served at a casual dinner party, and work great before a special holiday meal. In this recipe, the essence of black truffle oil complements the warm quail egg.
Truffled Quail Toasts
- 12 (1/2-inch) thick slices of french baguette
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons Havarti cheese, grated
- 12 quail eggs
- black truffle oil for drizzling
- 1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 2 Using a small paring knife, carefully cut small circles into the center of the baguette slices.
- Step 3 Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the melted butter on both sides of the bread. Arrange the bread slices on the prepared baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven for about 3 minutes.
- Step 4 Remove the tray from the oven and place a small amount of Havarti cheese in the holes of the bread. Press down gently with your finger to make a cradle for the quail egg.
- Step 5 Open the quail egg and pour into the hole. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Step 6 Place in baking sheet in the oven and bake until the egg whites are set, about 6-7 minutes.
- Step 7 Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Drizzle with black truffle oil and garnish with fresh chives.