Quail Egg Pizza

Sixty quail eggs arrived at my apartment the other day.  That’s six with a zero at the end.  Not six or sixteen. 60.  Want to know what that looks like?  To be honest, it’s not very much.  They’re tiny little guys.

After admiring their beauty for a few days, relishing in the fact that I had something that, for me, seemed so elegant and exotic, sitting in my refrigerator, I then began to wonder just how I was going to use these eggs.  Others, like my mom and dad, started inquiring as well.

“How do you cook quail eggs?”

“Have you thought about what you’re going to do with all of them?”

“When are you going to post the eggs on the blog?”

GAH! THE PRESSURE!

And when I’m feeling stressed, there’s really only one thing to do… and that’s make a pizza.  I’m right… right?  A tall beer and a slice of pizza make for one very happy man.

These quail eggs were almost too pretty to eat, with their brown speckled shells.  They are a dream to photograph and I had fun scouring the yard in search of various backgrounds to use to accentuate their exquisite beauty.

It may be hard to see the distinction between these and hen eggs, but one thing I noticed was the consistency of the yolks.  Before turning the quail eggs into a pizza topping, we hard boiled a few.  While it’s a subtle difference, I found their yolks to be creamier and less chalky than other eggs.

Cracking quail eggs was not as difficult as I had anticipated.  After a few failed attempts, I figured out the trick.  The best way to open these eggs is to work on one of the ends, gently cracking into the tip until you reach the membrane.  At this point, you can peel away a hunk of the shell and then break through the membrane, which will allow you to pour the egg  out into a bowl.  Of course, there may be easier ways (I’m sure folks have come up with lots of techniques), but this proved to be successful.

You may be curious as to how I came to acquire said quail eggs.  They were generously provided by the generous folks at FromTheFarm.com, which sells a variety of farm-fresh ingredients.  Here’s a little info they gave me about the source of their quail eggs:

“Our fresh quail eggs are mailed the very day they’re hatched at Turnbull Farms in Bloomington, Indiana. Zachary Turnbull comes from a long generation of Scottish-American farmers and takes great care in providing these gourmet delicacies delivered directly to your doorstep in quantities of 2, 4, 6, or 8 dozen. He sells the eggs at his local farmers market, and to consumers across America through FromTheFarm. Zach says that many parents enjoy the petite size of hard-boiled quail eggs for this kids, and those who suffer from hen egg allergies can enjoy quail eggs without issue.”

Also, if you are interested in raising your own quail, FromTheFarm also has Giant Brown breed hatching eggs.

The folks at the site are generously providing a 10% discount on quail eggs to A Thought For Food readers.  The discount is valid until September 20th, 2012.  Just use the code: THOUGHTFORFOOD.

Lastly (and completely unrelated to quail eggs), this week is our big launch of The Boys’ Club, a new cocktail blog created by a few of us male food bloggers. Please stop by to check out some posts.  Be prepared, though… you’re going to want to mix up a drink.  But, as I like to say, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere! Cheers!

Quail Egg Pizza

(pizza dough recipe adapted slightly from Jim Lahey’s recipe)

Yield: 2 pizzas (Serves 8-10)

Ingredients

3 3/4 cups (500 grams) bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) instant or active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
3/4 teaspoon plus pinch (3 grams) sugar
1 2/3 cups water
Extra Virgin olive oil for pan

Toppings

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
2 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced
4 ears of grilled corn, kernels shaved from cob
24 quail eggs
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade

Directions

1. In a bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water, and using a spoon, your hand, or a baker’s plastic bench scraper, mix together until blended — about a minute (Jim says 30 seconds but mine took a bit longer). You don’t want to mix or knead this dough too much, or else the gluten will develop and you won’t be able to shape it in the pan. But you want to mix in all the lumps of flour. In the end, you’ll arrive at a stiff dough.

2. Cover the dough and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours. (If your room is cold, put it in the oven with a pilot light to warm up a bit, or in a closed cabinet).

3. Dump out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it in half. Use both pieces, or save one in the refrigerator (I use a zip lock bag) for up to 1 day. Oil a 13×18 inch rimmed baking sheet liberally with good extra virgin olive oil (yes, pour it on). Then gently plop the dough on the pan and stretch and press it out to the edges. If it springs back (that’s the gluten working) wait five minutes and then proceed. I found the gluten weak enough to spread it fully over the pan. The dough is very thin. If it tears, piece it back together.

4. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

5. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and cheddar on top of the pizza dough.  Spread tomato slices evenly across dough.  Sprinkle corn on top.  Evenly distribute the fresh mozzarella over the pizzas. Sprinkle fresh basil.  Season with a little salt and pepper.

6. Bake in the oven for approximately 23 minutes, or until edges have browned and all the cheese has melted.

7. Pull pizzas out of oven and pour a dozen eggs over each, making sure to spread across the pie evenly.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place back in the oven for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove immediately, cut and serve.

 

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  • StephanieSeptember 5, 2012 - 1:44 am

    I have never seen quail eggs used this way before. And it looks so delicious!

    I have dozens of wild quails running around my neighborhood. I am so tempted to find their nests or catch some to eat, but I always get yelled at when I suggest it. So the quails in my neighborhood are safe from me…for now.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren at Keep It SweetSeptember 5, 2012 - 6:45 am

    This pizza looks amazing! I’ve never cooked with quail eggs but I have enjoyed them out to dinner on a rare occasion. What a fun delivery!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny @ BAKESeptember 5, 2012 - 7:55 am

    the photos of those quail eggs are gorgeous! the pizza sounds delicious too!ReplyCancel

  • Ann MahSeptember 5, 2012 - 8:08 am

    I love quail eggs, their tiny size and jaunty speckled shells. My dad has always made quail tea eggs — a play on Chinese tea eggs — and he serves them as an appetizer in a nest of slivered vegetables. I love this Italian-inspired pizza creation. A runny egg on pizza is one of my very favorite treats!ReplyCancel

  • thyme (Sarah)September 5, 2012 - 8:17 am

    I remember eating quail eggs on the second trip to France after my husband and I were married. They were a little side accompaniment on the plate. We thought they were so delicious. Wonderful to see that they are being made more available in the U.S.! And from Indiana!ReplyCancel

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveSeptember 5, 2012 - 8:21 am

    I could just stare at those quail eggs all day. Gorgeous… and gorgeous pizza!ReplyCancel

  • Kiersten @ Oh My VeggiesSeptember 5, 2012 - 9:09 am

    What beautiful little eggs–almost too pretty to eat. I’ve never tried them before, but putting them on pizza sounds good to me!ReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Confessions of a ChocoholicSeptember 5, 2012 - 9:39 am

    My sisters and I love hard boiled quail eggs. Quail egg pizza sounds great, the little yolks are so cute!ReplyCancel

  • AshleySeptember 5, 2012 - 10:03 am

    Can I get pizza delivery for lunch? The eggs are gorgeous!!ReplyCancel

  • CarolynSeptember 5, 2012 - 10:06 am

    Wow, I’ve never had quail eggs, let alone on pizza. Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • MeetaSeptember 5, 2012 - 11:13 am

    I love quail eggs. I’ve used them on quiches and tarts before and with all those quail eggs I am sure you have leftovers. If you do try my salmon kedgeree with quail eggs (on the blog) I am sure you’ll love it. In the meantime I might have to make this pizza now!ReplyCancel

  • Betty Ann @Mango_QueenSeptember 5, 2012 - 11:51 am

    This is amazing! We love quail eggs and I’ve cooked with it so often. I have lots of recipes using it, but never with pizza. My son will just love this. Thanks for sharing the amazing photos and recipe, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • Bev @ Bev CooksSeptember 5, 2012 - 11:53 am

    Killing. Me. Softly.ReplyCancel

  • JulieDSeptember 5, 2012 - 2:10 pm

    Wow!! So pretty, Brian!! I haven’t had quail eggs since I was a kid. Pure genius to make a pizza with them!ReplyCancel

  • Heather | Farmgirl GourmetSeptember 5, 2012 - 2:16 pm

    I’m the same way with quail eggs. I’d almost rather just look at them, than eat them. But then the first bite…I forget all about my hesitation. Beautiful photos Brian…I want a slice!

    HReplyCancel

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenSeptember 5, 2012 - 5:22 pm

    You’re right quail eggs are almost too pretty to eat, so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Linda--There and Back AgainSeptember 5, 2012 - 6:07 pm

    I remember my mom telling the story about ordering a pizza in Rome and having it arrive with an egg cracked in the middle. She liked it! Yours looks wonderful. I’ll have to give it a try!ReplyCancel

  • SMITH BITESSeptember 5, 2012 - 7:16 pm

    nothing like a great pizza and beer – yeah baby!!ReplyCancel

  • Ronald HilbinkSeptember 5, 2012 - 8:14 pm

    Brian:

    Thank you for sharing your bounty of quail eggs. The pizza topped with them was superb.

    RonReplyCancel

  • JeanetteSeptember 5, 2012 - 8:30 pm

    How fun to have so many quail eggs to play with. I’ve only had the canned kind, never fresh and would love to try them. Great idea putting them on your pizza!ReplyCancel

  • BunkycooksSeptember 5, 2012 - 10:09 pm

    That’s a whole lotta quail eggs! Great idea to make pizza and drink beer. That always works. ;-)ReplyCancel

  • MonetSeptember 5, 2012 - 10:11 pm

    Hi friend. What a beautiful pizza! I have never had the opportunity to try quail eggs before, but now I must find some…fast. This looks just perfect. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • KateSeptember 5, 2012 - 10:47 pm

    Lovely photos! So pretty.
    Laura Calder of French Food @ Home did an appetizer of boiled quail eggs coated with the spice za’atar. It was so cute to see them on a platter with nasturtium flowers that were bigger than the wee eggs.
    They MUST have been hard to crack without breaking the yolks,
    Well done!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanSeptember 5, 2012 - 10:50 pm

    Mmmnnnn . . . I loves me some eggs, especially when they are quail quality.

    Soy tan libre como un ave.ReplyCancel

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.comSeptember 6, 2012 - 1:13 am

    Quail eggs on pizza?! Geniusly yum!ReplyCancel

  • MariaSeptember 6, 2012 - 9:20 am

    I want a slice!ReplyCancel

  • Lora @cakeduchessSeptember 6, 2012 - 9:40 am

    You inspired me to make pizza night tonight. Nice dough, Bri. Gorgeous eggs and I think you had a super idea with this yummy pizza:)ReplyCancel

  • sweetsugarbelleSeptember 6, 2012 - 9:59 am

    Brian, I am constantly amazed at your talent. I cannot give your ideas, recipes and photography enough praise. I hope that some day I will be able to have dinner ONCE at your table!ReplyCancel

  • naomiSeptember 6, 2012 - 4:05 pm

    Im such a quail egg lover-pizza is such a great idea! Lvoely pics as alwaysw, Brian.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel @ Baked by RachelSeptember 6, 2012 - 5:27 pm

    Beautiful pizza! I’ve never had quail eggs but love the sound of them.ReplyCancel

  • Sneh | Cook RepublicSeptember 6, 2012 - 5:46 pm

    They are gorgeous aren’t they? They are one of my favourite things to photograph. I once did a feature on them “Caged Eggs!” it was called and it was awesome doing it, all dark tones and wrought iron. Love your pizza! Have you tried boiling and peeling them, I am terrified of doing it. I have tried several times to replicate a dish we get at a place called District Dining without much success. A bowl full of soft centred, deep fried quail eggs with runny yolks. I always make such a mess of peeling them .. yikes!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa | With Style and GraceSeptember 7, 2012 - 12:01 am

    my stress eating looks nothing like this. it usually involves eating pizza made by someone else :) would love my first time with quail eggs be to eating THIS pizza!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneSeptember 7, 2012 - 9:20 am

    We all know the only surefire way to make pizza even better is to put an egg yolk on top! Runny egg yolk is truly THE BEST. Now…what are you going to do with the rest of those eggs??ReplyCancel

  • foodwanderingsSeptember 9, 2012 - 8:39 pm

    60 quail eggs, oh boy. This pizza looks so delicious!ReplyCancel

  • DeniseSeptember 12, 2012 - 6:41 pm

    Now this is a pizza after Lenny’s heart. He is all about the runny egg on pizza; I just finally came over to the dark side. Have yet to try quail eggs – have always been a bit scared of them. Not sure why – they are an egg. Will have to give it a try next time we make pizza.ReplyCancel

  • MonikaSeptember 28, 2012 - 8:27 pm

    You should make this! Looks divine! Please print this recipe and send it to me!!! :)ReplyCancel

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