Monday, October 25, 2010

Scrambled duck eggs with piperrada

The summer produce keeps on rolling!  Last week, we got about 2 gallons of peppers and a gallon of tomatoes.  We also did a special order of a dozen duck eggs.  I had never had duck eggs before this... so I wasn't sure what to expect.  For our first duck egg breakfast, I just cooked them over easy and we had them with some toast and grilled tomato slices.  They were only okay.  I didn't love the texture; the yolks are a bit stickier than an over easy chicken egg yolk, and the whites were much firmer.  But they were very rich.  It made me think they'd be better scrambled.  And I have to say, they definitely were.
The peppers and tomatoes that went into the piperrada
I made this for breakfast by myself on Friday.  I had some time to kill after dropping Andy off for the airport shuttle at 5:30am (he went to Montana, and his friends got their elk, he'll be coming home on Monday with a cooler full!)  I love cream cheese in scrambled eggs, and at the risk of over-rich-ifying the duck eggs, added a small amount.  I think they went great together.  Inspired by a NY Times recipe, I stewed some of the peppers and tomatoes from the CSA, trying to mimic a Basque piperrada.  Not sure how close I got, but it tasted great!  I thought about cooking everything in the same pot, but decided against it cause I wanted to be able to control the heat on the duck eggs.  Also had some leftover roasted red potatoes.  Now that's a breakfast.

Piperrada (makes a good amount!)
1 T. olive oil
12 small peppers, cut into strips (probably equivalent to 8 medium sized bell peppers.  Use a mixture of types, if possible, I think it imparts some depth... our CSA calls our peppers "Italian peppers" which look like bell peppers, and "chile peppers" which look like hatch or poblanos)
4 tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 t. smoked paprika
1 t. thyme

1.  Heat the olive oil over low heat.  Add the peppers and some salt and cook about 10 - 12 minutes, stirring only occasionally (longer's fine too, this is basically a stew).
2.  While the peppers are cooking, boil a medium pot of water.  Cut a shallow cross into the skin on the bottom of the tomatoes.  Submerge the tomatoes in the water for about 15 seconds.  Plunge the tomatoes into ice water.  Slip the peels off.  Roughly chop the tomatoes.
3.  Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, smoked paprika, and thyme.  Cover and cook for 12 - 15 minutes, stirring only occasionally.
4.  If it looks watery after 12 minutes, remove the cover and turn the heat up a little.  There should be liquid, but you probably want it more sauce-y than liquid-y.  Mine probably could have used a little more time but I was hungry.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Scrambled duck eggs (serves 1, multiply as you wish)
1 t. butter
2 duck eggs (size?  most of the ones we got were close to the size of chicken eggs... except for one giant one.  I used the chicken egg sized ones)
2-3 t. cream cheese
Freshly ground pepper
Salt, Maldon smoked sea salt if you have it

1.  Heat the butter in a sautee pan over low heat.
2.  Whisk the ducks eggs, add in some salt and pepper.
3.  Pour into sautee pan.  Use a spatula to stir and break up the curds nearly constantly.  You want to cook these guys slowly, it probably took about 5 minutes to cook my two eggs.  More than 2 eggs will take longer.   The texture at the end is closer to a small curd cottage cheese than, say, the egg patty you might get at a bagel shop on your breakfast sandwich.
4.  When they're nearly done, add the cream cheese and break apart with the spatula.  I like it mostly broken up but with an occasional tasty little chunk. 
5.  Season at the table with the smoked sea salt and more pepper.

Does anyone else have ideas on ways to cook duck eggs?  I have 6 left.  If you have an idea leave a comment!

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