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Quail Egg Appetizer on Blini with Grapefruit Zest & Dill Sauce

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Awake at the Whisk: Quail Egg Appetizer on Blini with Grapefruit Zest & Dill Sauce

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Quail Egg Appetizer on Blini with Grapefruit Zest & Dill Sauce

Want an easy way to impress your party guests? Try these! They’re tiny, cute, and tasty to boot. You can find fresh quail eggs for a mere $1 at the Sacramento downtown farmers’ market on Sunday.

When you present a platter of these, your friends will ooh and ah. Go ahead. Let them think you slaved all day! Only you and I will know how quick these little treats really are to prepare.

Quail Egg Appetizer on Blini with Grapefruit Zest & Dill Sauce
20 quail eggs

Blini with Grapefruit Zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg (chicken egg, not quail egg)
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon melted butter
Zest from one grapefruit

Dill Sauce
1 cup organic sour cream
2 Tablespoons organic mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon dill weed

Farmers’ Market Fare: quail eggs, grapefruit, chicken egg, butter, mayonnaise (you can make your own mayonnaise with local egg yolk and olive oil)
Locally sourced from California: buttermilk, sour cream
Garden-grown: dill
Supermarket ingredients (non-local): flour, salt

To hard boil the quail eggs, lay them in the bottom of a small sauce pan in a single layer. Cover with cold water about 1 inch over the tops of the eggs. Partially cover the pan with a lid, and turn heat on to medium high. Bring water to a boil. As soon as the water boils, place the lid fully over the pan and turn the heat off. Set a timer to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a small bowl with ice and water. As soon as the egg timer rings, drain the hot water from the quail eggs and immediately place the eggs in the ice water bath to stop them from cooking. This method will produce an egg with a creamy yellow middle.

When the eggs have completely cooled, crack each egg thoroughly on a plate to loosen the shell. From the bottom of the egg, pinch the shell to tear it open. Gently peel the egg. Rinse off any bits of shell that remain behind. Repeat until all the eggs are peeled. Set them aside until assembly.

Meanwhile, make the blinis (or mini pancakes). First, place two skillets on the stove top over medium heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, melted butter, and grapefruit zest. Add this buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until combined.

Coat your skillets lightly with olive oil. Using a single Tablespoon, drop the blini batter onto the skillet. You should avoid using too much batter. You want the blinis bite-sized, or smaller than a biscuit cutter.

I use two skillets at once and make four blinis at a time in each skillet (or 8 blinis at one time). This speeds up the cooking time considerably.

You should flip the blini over when air bubbles begin to surface, and then cook until they are golden brown on each side. Place each finished blini on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

While the blinis cool, make the dill sauce. Stir together sour cream, mayonnaise, and dill weed until well combined.

Now you are ready to assemble your appetizers.

Set one single blini on a pretty serving tray. Top with one teaspoon dill sauce placed in the center of the blini. Place a hard-boiled quail egg in the center of the dill sauce. Repeat.

You are now ready to impress your guests!

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