The egg award has been my conversation lull solution lately. You know when you’re standing there with someone and there’s that awkward pause, like, “hm, I’ve already asked her about vacations and kids and work…” I’ve been helping people out by saying, “So I’m entering an egg contest.” I’ve told my friend Jackie about it so many times that when she accompanied me to the farmer’s market in our neighborhood (Mondays – we’re very lucky) to look for the eggs it was almost like I had selected her to be my second ovum in command, and she didn’t take her responsibility lightly. She later helped with sauce suggestions.
The rules of the contest are that the eggs need to be organic, and that there should be a photo of someone/thing related to where the eggs came from, so here’s mine:
Let’s call the free range egg farmer from Innisfil, Ontario, Canada “Laslo,” because he looks like a Laslo and he wasn’t very forthcoming with information. I did manage to learn that he has 100 quail and 20 ducks, but when I asked whether the duck the eggs came from had a name and he just said, “no,” in a very bored way, so I gave up when it came time to ask for his own name. Oh, Laslo.
I was happy to get duck eggs, though, because they’re unique here, which suits the dangerous theme of my blog well while also satisfying the requirements of the contest.
And you should know that these eggs have been on a bit of a journey to get here. I know I could potentially lose some freshness points because they went through slight cooler-coddled travel time, but I feel that the life experience they got added to the wisdom and maturity of this entry, so I feel proud to divulge their history. Like me, they have acquired a few battle scars that have only made them stronger – mine come mostly in the form of wrinkles, theirs…
We went up north for a few days with families and kids, I brought my duck eggs thinking my friend Hong and I would find leisure time to dream up and photograph a recipe, but instead the leisure time was eaten up by kids colouring eggs, and my extra big white ones were too good to resist (didn’t help that I had bought brown ones for my egg dying activity, which, FYI, don’t take colour nearly as well as white. Who knew?). So I wouldn’t let them boil my duckies, but I reluctantly let them dye them, making every three and five year old swear on their mother’s eyes that they’d be gentle. And I cooler-coddled them home again. The trip wasn’t a total loss, though – Hong gave me the idea to bake them in a bread basket.
And so we finally come to the product of all this egg fretting (frittata-ing? Not this time). I now reveal to the world, the perfect post-mortem-Easter-egg recipe and pending winner of the great global egg award…
Duck egg baskets with prosciutto and lemon basil cream sauce
6 fresh, organic free range duck eggs
6 healthy-sized pieces of grainy bread
6 slices of prosciutto
3Tbsp butter, with extra for pan
Green onions, chopped, for topping
Preheat oven to 375. Generously butter 6 spaces in a muffin pan (mine stuck slightly, so do this well). Use a wide mouth glass to make 12 circles from bread. Butter the circles, and overlap two into each muffin space to cover. This can be slightly messy – it will look better later.
Add a slice of prosciutto
Bake at 375f - 190c - Gas mark 5 for 20-25 minutes. Yolk should still jiggle when cooked. Carefully pry from muffin pan with knife. If a bit of the toast crumbles off, no biggie. Still looks delicious.
Now. If you’re tired and don’t want to continue, good for you, this is a tasty, impressive breakfast on its own. You may also wish to top with hollondaise for a “benny-style” treat, or to substitute dill in my sauce recipe below for another traditional option that goes well with lemon and eggs. Since I am entering a contest however, I went with a more unconventional sauce…
Melt butter in small heavy saucepan. Cook garlic, 1 minute. Add cream and chicken stock and boil over low heat until reduced by about half. Mix cornstarch with lemon juice in small bowl and add to saucepan. Stir, continue to boil until sauce thickens, and add pepper. Add basil before serving. Pour over each egg basket on serving plates and voila!
Wish me luck, and thanks @justlovefood for encouraging me to enter this great contest!