a home cook with notions & an appetite
So we’re at the farmer’s market and the same place where we got our duck for smoking is also selling a dozen duck eggs for $6. Duck eggs are bigger than chicken eggs and have more protein than a chicken egg. They taste a bit richer than a chicken egg, so one does owe it to themselves to do very egg-centric dishes with your duck eggs. I know that there’s this whole Top-Chef-y “egg slut” movement, but I’m not that far gone. Okay, I have had a deep-fried soft-boiled egg and it is everything that they say, but it’s not like I’m egg-crazy. I can quit anytime I want.
This open-faced egg sandwich does bear a passing resemblance to a certain lighter cooking magazine’s sandwich, but I changed a lot, so here’s my ingredient list for two sandwiches:
These were my duck eggs. As you can see, the coloring is a little different from a conventional chicken egg (they’re not dirty!). If you’ve never worked with a duck egg before, what you’ll probably do right off the bat is fail to crack your first egg open. You’ll fail like I failed because you’re muscle memory will crack a duck egg with the same force you’ve always cracked a chicken egg with. This same force that’s cracked a million eggs will fail to make a dent in a duck egg. The shells are tougher and thicker. You don’t need super-human strength, but you’ll want to make it known to the egg that you intend to crack it.
With my master duck-egg crack tip out of the way, onto the sandwich…
I quickly toasted the bread under the broiler. Well, the second time, I was a bit more diligent in the whole “watch the bread so it doesn’t burn” step and got the lovely toasted slices you’ll see in a moment. In the meantime…
In the small amount of olive oil we’re using and a nonstick pan, I fried the eggs on medium heat. This takes a few minutes, but you can see some of the magic of the extra protein in duck eggs – the yolks stand up more than their chicken counterparts and the whites aren’t as prone to running. Once the eggs were cooked, I transferred them to a staging area and quickly sauteed my braising greens in the same pan with a bit of salt and pepper. I also mixed my ricotta and Parmesan cheeses together.
It was now time to assemble:
On bread, spread half the ricotta mixture. I tasted the ricotta for salt, but with the Parmesan, there was plenty. Top with greens. Top greens with egg. Top with a bit of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Enjoy with knife and fork. MMMMMMM Egg. Delicious.