Eggcellent!!!

I grew up in a small Mississippi town.  Our neighbors were kind and caring.  Our church friends were loving and giving.  My friends parents treated me like their own.  I’ve lived on two continents and traveled to ten countries outside the United States.  All that…and still yesterday…a first.

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A neighbor, which Brandt had met once turns into our drive…gets out of her truck…and brings us a gathering of quail eggs.

WHAT!?!?!?

I’m thinking back to her standing in the door with a box of quail eggs and I didn’t even stand to welcome her. I didn’t so much as get off the sofa.  Actually, I’m still a bit taken back knowing a stranger stopped by to bring us fresh laid quail eggs…still surreal!!!

So…what am I to do but get up and cook?  Our cousin is visiting from San Diego and we had already planned to have a Patio Supper…and suddenly the menu became eggcelent!!!

What to do???

First, I boiled them.  Mercy…who would’ve thought quail eggs could bring such joy.

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Because, I’m Southern to the core…Potato Salad and Dressed Eggs (I grew up calling them Deviled Eggs but my friend Paul Holly’s family called them Dressed Eggs and I love that).

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Dressed Quail Eggs

No fuss here…a little mayo, a little mustard, sweet pickle relish, S & P.  Done.  Now, don’t ask me why we have to sprinkle them with Paprika but that’s what we do “down here”…ya’ll!!!  They were sooooo  good.

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Potato Salad

Mom didn’t put boiled eggs in her potato salad. Truth be told I’m not a lover of eggs. However, they do make for a richer potato salad and offer an added texture that seems very “summery”.  Again, no fuss…

  • potatoes, chopped and boiled in salted water ’til tender
  • mayo
  • yellow mustard
  • sweet pickle relish
  • onion, minced (don’t tell Brandt…he doesn’t eat raw onion)
  • spanish olives, chopped (because mother did)
  • quail eggs, boiled and sliced

Mix, chill, eat!!!

Our neighbor mentioned she enjoyed the eggs over easy.  I immediately thought Lyonnaise Salad.

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Lyonnaise Salad with Sunnyside Up Quail Eggs

I didn’t have fresh green beans in the fridge.  Luckily the Byhalia Piggly Wiggly produce department had bagged green beans. This is a bit more complicated but worth the effort.

  • mature green beans, sliced french style
  • mustard vinaigrette
  • quail eggs
  • bacon grease
  • greens
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar

Cover beans with water in a saucepan, add salt, bring to a boil, boil uncovered for 1 minute, remove from heat and cover 5 minutes or until tender.  Drain and run under cold water until slightly warm…not cold.

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup good quality Italian olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix first four ingredients and whisk for a smooth emulsion.  Stir in herbs. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

To make salad…toss greens with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper; arrange on platter.  Toss warm or room temperature beans in vinaigrette, then mound in the center of the greens.  Fry eggs in bacon grease to “over easy”.  Add to salad.  It was so good everyone went back for seconds.

Dinner was complete with Fay’s Grilled Chicken and Tim’s Summer Salad.

Mom marinated chicken in Wish-Bone Italian dressing.  I’ve tried a lot of other marinades and rubs but Fay’s Grilled Chicken still gets the blue ribbon.  Seriously, it’s nothing but Wish-Bone Italian and chicken in a ziplock for an hour or two, grill and eat. Not, Lite Italian, Creamy Italian, Kraft, Paul Newman or some fancy brand…Wish-Bone Italian…that’s it.

The salad has come to be a staple on our table since we met Robert Tim’s of Ripley Produce at The Memphis Farmers Market.  His tomatoes and peaches rival anyone’s in the country.  The tomatoes and peaches always start the salad. Then, I add whatever I have sitting around.  Last night it was avocado, vidalia onion and basil.  Sometimes it gets cheese of some sort.  Last night it simply got olive oil, lime juice, fleur de sel and cracked pepper. Truthfully, this salad and the chicken would be ample for a delicious dinner.

I don’t expect neighbors to drop by everyday with something as exotic as quail eggs but be assured…the next time it happens you’ll be the first to know…

Because I want to make sure your dinners are lovely and a good time is had by all.

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