Simple Pleasures: Quail Egg Toast

This is one of Ariane’s go-to dishes for easy entertaining and a favorite among D’Artagnan staff. Whether you call it toad-in-a-hole, sunshine toast, egg-in-a-basket, eggs in a frame, or cowboy toast – when made with brioche, black truffle butter, and diminutive quail eggs, we call it ridiculously delicious! 

Perfect for l’heure de l’apéro, as a passed or plated hors d’oeuvre, the little toasts are just the right size to whet the appetite. Buttery brioche crisps up beautifully and makes the perfect foil to a velvety yolk and a sprinkling of crunchy Maldon salt finishes the dish. This is less of a recipe and more instruction. 1 pack of eggs will make 18 toasts & we’d recommend 2-3 toasts per person.

You will need:

Here’s what you do: Cut the brioche into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Using 2 biscuit cutters (or a doughnut cutter!) cut each slice into the ‘frame’ and set aside.

Note: You’re going to end up with a lot of brioche scraps! We left ours in a basket to dry out overnight then made a simple bread pudding the next day. It was perfect!

Ok, back to it! Get your mise en place together because the rest of preparation happens fast & the toasts should be served hot. Open the quail eggs but keep them in the carton. Open each egg by carefully but swiftly hitting it about 1/3 of the way down the pointed end with a sharp paring knife. Remove the top and place each egg carefully back in the carton.

These are best cooked in batches a la minute – just make sure each batch has at least 1 toast per guest. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high. Add a knob of truffle butter and place the brioche circles in the pan, swirling around in the butter to coat. Cook until golden brown then flip. As soon as you flip each circle, empty a quail egg gently into the center. You’re going to cook these until the whites are just set and the bottoms are golden. Remove the toasts to a serving dish and sprinkle with Maldon salt. Serve immediately.

Get your next batch ready – because these golden babies FLY off the plate!

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