For celebrating spring, allow the creamy texture of peewee quail eggs atop a delicate fettuccini nest, enhanced by the flavor of the mushroom cream sauce and fresh peppery chives, satisfy both the aesthetic eye and gourmet palette.
For the Quail Eggs:
8 quail eggs
For the Fettuccini Nests:
9 ounces fettucini pasta, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 quail eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Mushroom Cream Sauce:
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup oyster mushrooms, julienned
2 cups cordyceps mushrooms
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ pound thinly sliced Italian roast beef or prosciutto, julienned into long, thin strips
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat four to six 3½-inch springform pans or the cups of a giant muffin pan with cooking spray; set aside.
To Prepare the Quail Eggs:
In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Cook the quail eggs for 3 minutes for soft-boiled peewee eggs. Immediately, remove the eggs and shock them in an ice bath. Once cool enough to handle, carefully peel the shell from the tiny eggs.
To Prepare the Fettuccini Nests:
In a moderate-size bowl, toss and coat the cooked and drained fettuccini with the extra-virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese, lightly beaten quail eggs, heavy whipping cream, salt, and pepper. Portion and wind the pasta to form small nests in the prepared pans. Bake for about 16 minutes.
To Make the Mushroom Cream Sauce:
In a saucepan set over medium-low heat, sauté the minced garlic and thinly sliced onion in the extra-virgin olive oil and butter until translucent. Reduce the heat to low. Add the oyster and cordyceps mushrooms with the salt and pepper; cook just until wilted and mushrooms begin to render their juices. Pour in the chicken stock; bring to a simmer over low and reduce by half. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and continue to stir gently until the sauce thickens. Toss in the Italian roast beef or prosciutto. Remove from the heat; set aside.
To Assemble the Quail Egg Fettuccini Nests:
Place a circular layer of mushroom cream sauce on four to six individual plates. Remove the fettuccini nests from their pans and set one nest atop the sauce on each plate. Spoon mushroom cream sauce into the center of each pasta nest. Top with two peeled, soft-boiled quail eggs. Sprinkle the chives randomly over the dish. Serve immediately while hot. Makes 4 to 6 servings individual servings.
If desired, you may use other peewee eggs in place of the soft-boiled quail eggs, such as tiny chicken eggs from a young laying hen. For substituting chicken or duck eggs for quail eggs to make the nests, approximately 3 peewee eggs equal 1 regular chicken egg. You may also try using 1 duck egg in place of the three quail eggs in the pasta to retain the creamy texture.
Recipe Created & Stylized by R. Shannon Mock
Photography by Jenny Mock
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