Cook in the Moment: Boiled Quail Eggs with Meyer Lemon Sea Salt & Chives

Boiled Quail Eggs with Meyer Lemon Sea Salt & Chives (c)2012

April is National Poetry Month. I was going to tell you that I don’t read poetry, put my head down in shame and admit to the fact that I don’t know much about poetry at all. I’ve never been good at posturing, impressing others with obscure quotes. Ask me my favorite anything: poem, painter, band, etc., and I panic. My mind goes blank. The doubt crawls in and I’m definitely feeling uncool. But then I realized poetry is an inextricable part of my life, always present. Poetry is in the everyday and the momentous occasions. Kind of like cotton, it’s the fabric of our lives.

I learned that April is National Poetry Month because I read the blog Eat This Poem. Okay, so I do read poetry. Nicole announced National Poetry Month and asked readers to share their favorite poem. For once, my answer came to mind immediately. I grew up reading Shel Silverstein, famous for his illustrations and poetry. I’ve carried a tattered, coverless copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends with me since I was a little kid. Silverstein’s writing is a mix of ridiculous silliness balanced by loving guidance and a dash of melancholy. As a kid I turned to Where the Sidewalk Ends for comfort and respite from the anxiety of living in a world I couldn’t predict. I’ve always walked to the beat of my own drum, and reading Shel Silverstein’s poetry reassured me that my music was worth playing. My favorite Shel Silverstein poem from Where the Sidewalk Ends:


10 Ways Tuesday: Quail Eggs

Quail Eggs (c)2012

I’ve got creative recipes for cooking with quail eggs during spring:

1.  Simple Boiled Quail Eggs with Flavored Salts

My favorite way to cook with quail eggs is the simplest: boiled with a fun flavored salt garnish and fresh herbs. Kids love the tiny shape for it’s whimsy, adults love them as a cute one-bite appetizer with a glass of wine. This week at la Domestique, I’ll be sharing a recipe for Boiled Quail Eggs with Meyer Lemon Sea Salt and Fresh Chives. This is a great opportunity to show off a favorite salt blend whether flavored with herbs, smoke, hot peppers, or curry. I used the citrus salt recipe from 101 Cookbooks.

2.  Poached Egg on Toast with Sorrel

With the arrival of spring comes sorrel, a plant with long lemony tasting leaves. The tart flavor of sorrel pairs beautifully with rich poached eggs. I found a recipe for Poached Egg on Toast with Sorrel from The River Cottage Cookbook that would be lovely with quail eggs. The sorrel is sautéed in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper, a dollop of crème fraîche stirred in. Place a poached quail egg on a small piece of toast and spoon over the sauce. Simple spring snack or breakfast.


Ingredient of the Week: Quail Eggs

Quail Eggs (c)2012

This week at la Domestique we celebrate Easter, and spring, with quail eggs as ingredient of the week! Green-tinted and tan, speckled with brown spots, quail eggs are tiny compared to chicken eggs. Some may call them fussy, but I prefer whimsical and fun. If you’ve never cooked with quail eggs, it’s time to try something new. Not as exotic as they may seem, quail eggs can be found at farmer’s markets and some grocery stores. For this week I picked up my quail eggs at the Asian market, Pacific Ocean Marketplace, in Broomfield, Colorado, where I can always count on an interesting selection of quail, duck, and chicken eggs. Tiny quail eggs have a flavor that’s milder than chicken eggs. The same rules apply to cooking and storing all eggs, which you can find by taking a look at my egg tips from last year. I learned something reading Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking, and it’s that quail eggs can keep for up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator before going bad. Store quail eggs in their carton pointy side down.


Cook in the Moment: Fennel Soup with a Green Swirl

Ingredients for Fennel Soup with a Green Swirl (c)2012

Out with the old, in with the new. Spring is here, have you cleaned out your closets? Boxed up your sweaters and pulled out your sandals? It’s time to open up the windows and let in the light. To me, spring  has truly arrived when the birds start singing. I’m amazed by their gusto, listening to the finches belt out arias with their tiny lungs. How can something so tiny make such a powerful sound?

As many of you know, the husband and I just moved to a new apartment in a neighborhood just a few miles away. We never actually saw our unit until we signed the lease and picked up the keys. To our surprise our humble new home on the third floor has a large patio with a mountain view! In all the time we’ve called Colorado home, we’ve never had a mountain view, so we’re pretty excited. I look forward to many al fresco meals. That’s where David Tanis’ Fennel Soup with a Green Swirl comes in. Flipping through his book, Heart of the Artichoke, the recipe immediately caught my eye as a perfect way to celebrate spring. This time of year fennel is sweet and succulent, with a fresh, herbal flavor reminiscent of anise. If you’ve never cooked with fennel, this simple puréed soup is a great place to start. The “green swirl” is basically a pesto made with fennel fronds, basil, parsley, and scallions. I enjoyed the bright and herbal green swirl atop the velvety soup. Typical of David Tanis’ recipes, Fennel Soup with a Green Swirl is easygoing and low maintenance- let it sit on the stovetop while you prepare the rest of the meal, serve it warm or room temperature. I recommend bare feet and a light, crisp, refreshing bottle of white wine on a Saturday afternoon. If the birds show up to sing you a song, even better.


10 Ways Tuesday: Fennel

Fennel (c)2012

I’ve got creative ideas for cooking with fennel during spring:

1.  Fennel Soup

David Tanis’ Fennel Soup with a Green Swirl from Heart of the Artichoke seems like the perfect way to welcome spring. Just shopping for the produce is uplifting, filling your basket with gorgeous bulbs of fennel, bundles of scallions, fragrant basil, and leafy parsley. It’s an overload of green, which many of us are craving this time of year. The soup calls for sliced fennel to sauté in hot olive oil with garlic and onion, then simmer in water or stock until tender, which cooks the anise flavor of this bright vegetable down to mellow loveliness. A handful of rice gives the soup body reminiscent of comforting potato soup. The green swirl is a pesto made with vibrant herbs and fennel fronds that adds a light and fresh note to the nourishing bowl. Look for the recipe this week here at la Domestique!