Deviled eggs are either loved or abhorred. Personally, I love them. Always have. But I have always liked egg salad sandwiches too. And mayonnaise. These deviled quail eggs were an idea I came up with, inspired by the smoky bacon essence amuse bouche they serve at Hatfield’s in Los Angeles.
Since this was part of a tasting menu for the Upscale Patriotic foodie Fourth party I co-hosted, I wanted to still have some remnants of traditional picnic foods and casual BBQ’s on the menu. The delicate and tiny quail eggs were made more delicate and rich by using homemade aioli instead of store bought mayo and a touch of Sriracha rooster spicy sauce, the green tipped bottle common at pho Vietnamese restaurants, for a kick of added heat.
Quail eggs are so fun. They remind me of those malt covered candy eggs at easter time. They are small and hard to handle so taking your time in peeling and filling them is important because they will tear easily. One added insurance is that you can boil a lot extra in anticipation of them not all making it to the final plating.
Once again I saved a buck by purchasing these eggs at the Asian supermarket, Ranch 99, for $1.29 a dozen. I saw them at Surfas for $4.50 for the same pack. I had so much fun working on a small scale I was thinking I should stage a miniature meal, all surrounding the tiny size of these eggs: baby benedicts, baby croque madame, etc. But then reality kicked in and tiny portions are not that fun to eat.
DEVILED QUAIL EGGS
makes about 24 deviled eggs- serve as an appetizer or amuse bouche
would be great as an app paired with a smoky cured ham or salumi
1 dozen quail eggs
1/2 tspn sriracha sauce or tabasco sauce or to taste
2 tbs homemade aioli
or Best Foods aka Hellman’s mayo
fresh ground pepper
Garnish: thyme springs, chives and paprika
Boil the eggs in salted water. Cook for about 4 minutes at the boiling point. Remove from heat and rinse with cool water so they are cook enough to handle. Peel and rinse the eggs. Set aside and allow to cool for at least 40 minutes.
Once eggs are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and put in a small mixing bowl. Mix in the mayo, salt and pepper till smooth and creamy.
The hardest part of this recipe is refilling the egg halves with the yolk mixture. A chopstick or what I found in the drawer worked out ok. I used the flat end of a swizzle stick that acted like a tiny spatula.
Fill the eggs with small mounds of the mixture. Garnish with whatever you like from the recommended list. When plating these, I wanted to emphasize their tiny stature so I put it on a large platter with a lot of negative space. Then I dotted the plate with some dots of vibrant red sriracha sauce. Et voila!
These were an impressive hit at the party. I had so much fun making them and seeing people pop them in their mouth like popcorn wasn’t as painful as I had expected.