Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Deviled pompous ass eggs

I was at the grocery store the day after Christmas and saw the cutest stinking thing: A box of 18 teeny tiny speckled quail eggs! I floated over to them as if in a trance, wearing a foggy, dazed smile. Quail eggs! At the grocery store! It was a Christmas miracle.

I picked them up and hesitated: Why would I buy quail eggs?

Then, a better question occurred to me: Why wouldn’t I buy quail eggs?

I put them in my cart and skipped off to the register. So surprised, so happy. At home, I flourished them at Brian, Chloe, my grandmother, my sister-in-law, anyone who’d pay attention. Look at them! They’re so little! And speckly! My brother-in-law, Chris, accused me of buying them in the pompous ass section of the grocery store, and although that’s a good guess, no, no. They were just sitting there, looking so dang cute, among the regular ole’ eggs.

But what to do with them? It seemed a tease to fry them, a waste to simply scramble them. These little suckers needed to be showcased. I decided, then, to devil them for a belated Christmas party the next day.

Before I get to that, though, the basics: What the fuck is a quail?

Basically they’re just little birds, but don’t they sound so fancy? I imagine that they look—even in the wild—like 18th century zoological lithographs or Audubon prints, like something you’d see at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Also a few quail facts, too: Some quails have a feathery little flourish jutting out of their foreheads. Quails are found around the world, from California to New Zealand to India. A group of quails is called a flock, a covey, or a bevy. A bevy. Isn’t that delightful?

Now, a word on deviled eggs: As much as I love them, they present something of an eating conundrum: They’re a bit messy for two bites, but too big for one.

Deviled quail eggs present neither problem. They are one-bite wonders. Chloe and I popped toothpicks in each of them for easy eating.

Since quail eggs are half the size of chicken eggs, I boiled them for 7 minutes instead of 15. Next, I cooled them down in cold running water and peeled them. This was a little tricky; the quail eggshells weren’t as brittle and easy to peel as chicken egg shells. Instead, they felt a little more rubbery. They were also absurdly tiny in my hulking, giantess hands. Seriously, quail eggs will make you feel wild with power.

Once the eggs were all peeled, I cut them in half, wiping the yolk off of the knife blade after every egg to keep things tidy and clean. I gently popped out the yolks, and mashed and mixed them with mayo, salt, mustard powder, and a bit of apple cider vinegar (add what you like until it looks, feels, and tastes good to you), I put the yolk mixture into a homemade pastry bag (a gallon-sized zip-top bag with a teeny piece snipped off the corner) and filled the eggs. It was really easy. Chloe actually did a few of them, too.

Later, at the party, there were two reactions to the deviled quail eggs: “Cool!” or “Eeeewww!”

I can kind of understand both reactions, but in reality, there was nothing earth-shattering about the way they tasted: Like deviled eggs.

Which is to say delicious!  


  1. I have an odd aversion to anything outside a regular ole chicken egg, so cheers on going outside the box. Fun read.

    1. Thanks! If you think too hard about eggs of any kind, they're all pretty gross, actually.

    2. PersichettiR@merrimack.eduJanuary 7, 2015 at 8:05 PM

      Simply Amazing...just like you Alex, "Simply Amazing". This short story made me think about the saying "never judge a book by it's cover" nor should we judge people by their skin or an egg by it's shell. It doesn't matter what's on the outside; only the inside. These beautiful and differently spotted egg shells all shared the unique presence of an egg and the yummy flavor like any other egg. Ummmmm, I only wish I could have shared in the tasting of this exceptional, delicately prepared recipe prepared by Alex and Chloe. Love you both dearly, ~Rita