Monday, April 12, 2010

More Catching Up - Duck Eggs Revisited

I wish I had the elusive ability to describe how something tastes.  Then I could tell you why I enjoyed my duck eggs so much. 

Online descriptions of duck eggs range from "strong" and "gamey" to "rich" and "creamy".  The thought of gamey eggs made me a bit nervous, so for our first meal I paired the eggs with feta cheese and kalamata olives.  I figured these strong flavours would mask any gaminess from the eggs. 

Three eggs made a generous frittata for twoIt was tasty, but the cheese and olives completely obscured the eggs.  It was hard to tell if they were gamey or not, which I guess was my plan.  Sort of.  It would have been nice to have some idea of what the eggs tasted like.

For our second meal I decided to match the eggs with more subtle flavours.  Hubby and I topped toasted homemade bread with sautéed greens and garlic, poached duck eggs, not quite hollandaise sauce and chives from the garden.  

You'll have to excuse the fuzzy picture.  They looked so good, and we were so hungry that I didn't have time to take a decent picture.

The poached eggs didn't just look good; they tasted good too. I will admit the whites were a bit rubbery, but that could be the cook's error rather than a fault of the eggs.  I still don't have the hang of poaching eggs!

The last, and largest, egg was hard-boiled and made into egg salad.  Once again we cast homemade bread in a supporting role and added lots of veggies to make some of the best egg-salad sandwiches I've ever had.  Yes, that's sandwiches - plural.  That one egg, combined with all the other ingredients, made enough salad for four sandwiches.

I wish I could explain how these eggs differed from chicken eggs. The words "smoother" and "rounder" come to mind, but that doesn't really tell you much.  With that vocabulary I could be describing their shells as much as their taste.  Let's just say I wish I had more of these eggs.  Alas, duck eggs seem to be a spring treat.  I haven't seen duck eggs again, but I'll certainly be looking next year.

In the mean time, something rather surprising came out of this ducky experiment.  I created something I'm calling "Not Quite Hollandaise Sauce". (Short for "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike hollandaise sauce". Yes I was inspired by Douglas Adams.  Who isn't?)

I wanted something to top the poached duck eggs, but I didn't want anything with chicken egg in it.  Partly because I'm too intimidated to try to make traditional hollandaise - remember I still don't have the hang of poaching eggs - but mostly because I wanted to be able to taste the duck eggs.  I figured adding chicken eggs would defeat the purpose.

I searched for vegan versions of hollandaise, but they all seemed to call for tofu.  That wasn't quite what I was looking for either.  Again, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to taste the eggs. I didn't have any tofu in the house anyway, so that idea was out. 
In a fit of I'm-not-sure-what, I compiled a list of ingredients from other hollandaise recipes.  Once I omitted the eggs, butter and tofu I was left with a list of components that would add flavour and colour, but I needed a base for those components.  I chose plain yogurt.  What I ended up with was a light sauce that was vaguely reminiscent of hollandaise.  It complimented the eggs without obscuring them, and there was enough left over to combine with pasta, artichokes and parmesan for another meal.  Bonus.  

The recipe still needs work, but I'm including it below anyway.  I'll continue to play with it and tweak it.  I hope you'll do the same and let me know what works for you.

Not Quite Hollandaise Sauce

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch turmeric
even smaller pinch cayenne

Combine all ingredients and let sit for a while in the fridge.  Use as you would hollandaise.


  1. Wow. So I never thought I'd say this, but you're making me drool for egg.

    (who says that?!)

    DUCK egg, in particular. good.

    :) aletheia

  2. Thanks Alethia. They really were good. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. Gosh, the flavor of eggs IS hard to describe! Savory, creamy, and...? I'm stumped!

    I like your hollandaise sauce adventure. And your version seems much easier to make than real hollandaise--score! I bet it would be a good dip for oven fries.

  4. Ooooh. Oven fries. I like the way you think Rosiecat!


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