Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pheasant Eggs on Sausage Toast – a Very Special Treat




Pheasant eggs you say. Where on earth did you find pheasant eggs? Actually we started out looking for banty eggs, which are tiny eggs laid from a Bantam chicken. Here in the mountains we buy organic eggs or in some areas what are called “yard eggs” from a local vendor. We were visiting with her one day about eggs and she mentioned that occasionally she gets tiny banty eggs and asked if we would like some. Of course we replied, save some for us the next time you have them. I was intrigued with using the tiny eggs in a recipe and we talked about ideas on the way home. As luck would have it, every time we asked about the banty eggs she said the chickens were molting right now and she didn’t have any. (If the word molting and the laying habits of hens when they lose their feathers are as new to you as they are to me, here’s more information.)

After that, we just put the idea of small eggs on the back burner until we were at our local farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago. My husband Meakin was visiting with a vendor who sells produce, eggs, and flowers and on a lark he asked if he happed to have any banty eggs. Much to our surprise he did, but apologetically said that he had only one. But, he added, he also had four pheasant eggs. Bingo, we finally found some tiny eggs.

As you can see by this picture, banty eggs (or bantam eggs as they are also called) are smaller than a large hen egg and pheasant eggs are even smaller than the banty.



The pheasant eggs are khaki-colored and quite pretty. Compared to a hen egg, pheasant eggs and banty eggs have a higher yolk-to-white ratio, thus producing a richer flavor.



If you would like to see what a pheasant looks like, here’s a link along with some tips on cooking their eggs.

This recipe is what I call a “small plate” meal. It also makes a lovely appetizer to pass on a tray at a party. If you can’t find pheasant or banty (bantam) eggs, quail eggs will work very well also.



If you do use tiny eggs, use them in a way that shows them off and puts them on center stage. They make a great conversation piece at get-togethers. But please promise me - no scrambled eggs. They are much too special to use as ordinary eggs.

I hope you enjoy this unusual and attractive treat. If you have used any kind of tiny eggs in recipes, please share your experiences with us.

Join me next time as we visit our Saturday Farmer’s Market that’s typical of a North Carolina mountain town to see what’s offered by local farmers and craftsmen of our region.



Pheasant Eggs on Sausage Toast
Adapted from The Tapas Cookbook – serves 6 as part of a tapas meal

12 slices French bread, cut on the diagonal, about ¼” thick, toasted
24 slices ready-to-eat smoked sausage or Spanish chorizo, cut into thin pieces on the diagonal to fit the toasts, and browned on both sides in a skillet
Olive oil
12 pheasant eggs (or banty or quail eggs)
Smoked sweet Spanish paprika, also called Pimention de la Vera (or substitute mild Hungarian paprika)
Crunchy sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Break the eggs into the skillet and cook, spooning the fat over the yolks, until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your liking sunny side up. Remove the cooked eggs from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Top each piece of toast with browned pieces of sausage. Immediately transfer the eggs to the sausage-topped toasts and dust with paprika. Sprinkle with crunchy salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Serve at once.



This recipe is being linked to Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Seasonal Sunday at The Tablescaper, Southern Sundays at Slice of Southern, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.

Have a great weekend everyone. And keep your eyes out for tiny eggs.


33 comments:

  1. I'm happy to have a culinary challenge! The tiny eggs do make an interesting plate and I'll be keeping an eye out and asking about them.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  2. Wow Sam! Who knew? I'd come across the occasional recipe for quail eggs but never had seen them, much less banty or pheasant eggs. Thanks for all the interesting information. I too will be on the lookout for such small eggs. I just hope the finding of them will coincide with a special occasion - perhaps just finding the eggs themselves will make the occasion.

    Regards, Lee

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  3. Beautiful eggs and gorgeous toasts! I wonder how those pheasant eggs taste...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. If I ever find any, I promise I won't scramble them. ;) I love this small bite idea Sam. And thanks for the education about Banty and Pheasant eggs. Growing up on a farm, several nearby neighbors raised Banty's. Now why on earth don't I remember ever having one of their eggs???? We just had the run of the mill chickens at our house.

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  5. This is a beautiful, showstopper appetizer or (small plate) for sure! I've only had pheasant eggs once at a delightful restaurant in London. I didn't know where to begin to find them here but will definitely keep an eye out at the farmer's market.

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  6. I have never hand banty, quail or pheasant eggs. Your dish looks delish!

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  7. I love the diminutive nature of these eggs! I'm looking at my hand and thinking they are just slightly bigger than chocolate Easter Eggs - Wonderful! Petite eggs on toast!

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  8. Looks delicious Sam - I'd like a half dozen please. The only small eggs I've eaten are from guinea hens.

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  9. What a delicious appetizer too! I love the different sausage also!

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  10. Pheasant eggs...I don't think I have ever seen them, let alone to taste them! These look delish!

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  11. I never had them before, would love to try them one day. The sausage and toast is a great combo too.

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  12. Very elegant! Looks like a great appy. I've never seen the tiny eggs in person, glad you finally got to try them:@)

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  13. Sam, this looks so good!! I love pheasant and it does look elegant as well. Wow!! Thanks for linking to Foodtastic Friday!

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  14. Adorable! And surely delicious as well. I once made deviled eggs from banty eggs -- also pretty darling but an awful lot of work.

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  15. This is such a simple and yet novel appetizer. I love the idea of using smaller eggs to top the toast.

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  16. Georgous eggs & what beautiful toasts! They look utterly tasty & just wonderfully appetizing too!

    I don't think that I can find pheasent egg's overe hre in Belgium! They must taste very rich & yummy too! :)

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  17. What a great find... the yolks look like bursts of sunlight.

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  18. These look great Sam! I love how both of you get excited over finding little eggs! :)

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  19. This is a great use for these small eggs. I have never seen small eggs, of any kind, but I guess I just need to keep my eyes wide open. If I do, pinky promise that I won't make scrambled eggs out of them.

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  20. This is a wonderful way to use small eggs. I have never seen pheasant or bantam eggs…I will have to check them out at the next farmers market I go to. I have tried duck eggs and they have a very large yolk and are much richer than a chicken egg! Nice post with beautiful photos!!

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  21. can you call eggs adorable? I think these are arodarble little eggs! I have a preference for yolk, so I think I'll have to try and find some. Where would I look for these?
    Thanks for linking to Foodie Friday

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    1. Adelina, we found these eggs at our local farmer's market. We asked a vendor who sells eggs and he happened to have a few. Ask around at your farmer's market or anywhere you buy local eggs. You might get lucky just as we did.
      Sam

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  22. A delicious brunch bite, for sure! I've never done anything with tiny eggs except once I helped a friend peel quail eggs - that wasn't fun.

    P.S. I like the fact that there is more yolk to white.

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  23. Beautiful eggs and gorgeous toasts! I just saw pheasant eggs at the farmers market recently.

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  24. I love how small those eggs are! I must find some pheasant eggs, and soon!

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  25. oooh, YUM!!... and I just love your photography, as always, Sam. I have never seen pheasant eggs for sale anywhere around here.. not even Bantam eggs!...

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  26. Aren't eggs such a work of art? Those are so pretty! And I love these bites although I would make a light meal out of a plate of them, sitting in front of the tv for an easy homey evening. One great recipe, Sam!

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  27. A fabulous idea and I love the thought of going to farmer's markets too. I cannot believe the thought never crossed my mind while in the Carolinas, but I will definitely be looking for one on my next Saturday morning in the mountains.

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  28. How adorable are these! Thanks for sharing such a unique egg on Southern Sunday. Have a great week!

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  29. Love this!! I have silkies and they lay the smallest eggs, I love eating them! But I've never had pheasant eggs, they are very pretty! Similar to my olive Egger laying hens, eggs color.

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  30. Meakin "asked on a lark" <-- I see what you did there, ha ha.

    I've never had the opportunity to have quail eggs but I will most certainly be checking them out at the market. Then again, our local egg guy has jacked up his prices on chicken eggs to $5 a dozen (WHAT!?) so I'd hate to see what he would charge for quail eggs.

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Sam