- 8 quails' eggs
- white vinegar
- 2 slices of plain white bread
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- chives to garnish
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp white peppercorns, crushed
- 1 egg yolk
- 65g clarified butter, cooled to tepid
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1. Saw off the rounded ends of your quails eggs with a serrated knife, and place them in individual saucers. Bring a deep pot of water (at least 8-10cm deep) to the boil and add 2 tbsp of vinegar. This will help the egg whites to coagulate. When it starts to boil, gently tip one saucer at a time into the water where the bubbles are, then use a spoon to swirl the water around the egg to create a ‘whirlpool’. Let it cook for about 45 seconds over medium-low heat, and when cooked (press gently on the yolk to ascertain if it is done to your liking), remove using a slotted spoon, and transfer to an ice bath to arrest the cooking process.
2. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. When all the eggs are cooked, use a small knife to trim the edges. This can be done up to 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge in a bowl of cold water.
3. Make the hollandaise by mixing the white wine vinegar with 1 tbsp cold water and the crushed white peppercorns in a small saucepan. Reduce by one third, and leave to cool. Add the egg yolk to the cold reduction and whisk. Place the saucepan on a heat diffuser and whisk continuously until the sauce emulsifies, becoming smooth and creamy after 8-10 minutes, with the heat gradually increasing. Do not allow the temperature to rise above 65C.
4. Remove the pan from the heat, and - still whisking - drizzle the tepid clarified butter in a steady stream. Stir in the lemon juice, and pass the sauce through a muslin lined chinois to eliminate the peppercorns. Season with salt and white pepper to taste and set aside.
5. Use a 4cm pastry cutter and cut two rounds from each slice of bread. Toast the bread lightly on both sides until golden, then brush one side with the melted butter and keep warm.
6. Heat a small saucepan of water to a simmer, then immerse all the eggs in for 10-15 seconds, just to warm through.
7. To serve, place one toasted round on each plate, buttered side up. Top with two poached quails eggs. Cover half of each quails egg with some Hollandaise, then serve
a little extra on the side in a small spoon. Garnish with chives.
Optional: You can even grill two rashers of bacon (each halved) until crisp, and include it in your mini eggs benedict between the bread and eggs!