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!  

4 comments:

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

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

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    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

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