Quail eggs are a versatile, nutritious, sustainable and adorable alternative to chicken eggs.
Spring Creek Quail FarmsQuail eggs have long been perceived as a high-end delicacy, but Spring Creek Quail Farms, a family-owned, zero-waste farm in Saint Anns, Ontario, seeks to change the misconception and bring these tiny superfoods into more American households. Their mission is to ensure everyone has access to alternative egg choices that are affordable in their everyday lives.
As conscious stewards of the planet and one of the largest producers of quail eggs in North America, Spring Creek Quail Farms operates an ethical and sustainable facility, creating a zero-waste haven where their hens thrive, untouched by antibiotics and hormones.
“At Spring Creek, we do all our own breeding and hatching to ensure it’s done humanely and ethically. Our egg hatchery is certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure we’re meeting the highest standards,” says Aaron Oosterhoff, owner and CEO of Spring Creek Quail Farms.
At Spring Creek the quail are hatched onsite, treated humanely and fed a healthy diet.
Spring Creek Quail Farm“Our quail grow in a comfortable environment, where they enjoy a delicious and nutritious grain mix from local farmers, drink double-filtered water, breathe fresh air and never receive antibiotics or hormones. Our eggs are kept at the perfect temperature and humidity throughout the hatching process, keeping our quail happy from day one. We typically hatch over two million quail each year. Once they’ve reached seven weeks of age, a quail hen is ready to gift us with their eggs, laying almost an egg per day,” says Oosterhoff.
Quail eggs are considered sustainable because quail require less space and resources to raise than chickens. They can be raised in smaller enclosures while still having enough space to roam freely, and they don’t need as much food and water as chickens do, so they produce less waste — which means fewer greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint. Quail eggs have a longer shelf life than chicken eggs, so there’s not as much food waste during the production and distribution process.
They are also nutritional powerhouses. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, high-quality protein, good fats and various other lesser-known nutrients. For being so small, these eggs are surprisingly rich in nutrients and filled with unique antioxidants that may help reverse cellular damage and treat allergy symptoms.
Quail eggs are healthy and nutritious, available in grocery stores across the country.
Spring Creek Quail FarmsAndrea Monzon, a chef at Spring Creek Quail Farm, is an expert at cooking with these tiny treasures.
“Quail eggs are such a joy to cook with,” she says. “The moment they are plated, they never fail to bring out awe and excitement, and they are just as versatile as a chicken’s egg. They may be smaller, but these fun little eggs can be fried, poached, soft boiled, pickled, used in baked goods and so much more. They are particularly well-suited for appetizers and one-bite dishes, or my personal favorite, in salads.”
With a higher yolk to white ratio, quail eggs possess a richness that enhances any dish into which they are incorporated. Three to four of them roughly equate to the serving size of one hen egg.
One important tip when using quail eggs in cooking is not to crack them on the side of a bowl, like you would chicken eggs, because the membrane underneath the shell is thicker. Instead, crack them with a paring or serrated knife, or use a special quail egg scissor or cutting tool.
“One tip that I find very helpful when using quail eggs is to crack them into a bowl before placing them into a pan, or when poaching, etc.,” says Monzon. “Also, by cracking them into a bowl first, if any shells fall into the bowl, they can easily be removed.”
Here are more tips for boiling, peeling and cracking quail eggs, as well as a couple of Monzon’s favorite recipes to get you started.
A traditional Cobb salad is made even better with bite sized quail eggs.
Spring Creek Quail FarmsCobb Salad With Quail Eggs Cobb salad originated in Los Angeles sometime in the 1920s or 30s — the story is disputed — and it became an instant classic.
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
1 medium cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 large avocado, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese
1 1/2 cup grilled or baked chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup smoked bacon, crumbled
6 quail eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and halved
Watercress and radishes, if desired
Dressing 1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Chop and wash the romaine lettuce, giving it time to dry. If adding watercress, chop and wash it as well. Slice the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, shallot and avocado. Set aside. If adding radishes, slice and set aside as well.
Make the dressing. Add all ingredients to a lidded jar and shake thoroughly to combine. Chop and crumble the cheese, chicken and bacon. Peel and halve the hard-boiled eggs.
Once the romaine lettuce is dry, arrange it in a large bowl or on a large platter. Layer each topping successively on the lettuce base. It’s up to you whether each gets its own pile or is spread out evenly on the lettuce. Drizzle the completed salad with your vinaigrette dressing and serve.
These little latkes topped with a poached quail egg and caviar are an elegant addition to a brunch … [+] buffet spread.
Spring Creek Quail FarmsPotato Latkes with Poached Quail Eggs, Lemon Dill Crème fraîche and Caviar Lemon and Dill Creme Fraiche 2/3 cup crème fraîche
1/4 packed fresh dill, finely chopped
3 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside in fridge.
Latkes • 2 russet potatoes
• 1/2 medium onion
• 1/4 cup coconut flour
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
• 12 quail eggs
• vegetable oil for frying
• 1/4 cup white vinegar
• Smoked salmon
• Caviar of choice
• Dill and scallions to garnish
Using a box grater, grate potatoes and onion. Transfer mixture to a clean dishtowel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Quickly transfer onions and potatoes to a large bowl and add coconut flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, scallion and eggs. Mix until flour is absorbed.
In a medium pan, heat up oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot, pour a heap spoon of batter into the pan, making sure not to overcrowd the latkes. Press down with spatula and shape them into circles as best you can. Cook until golden brown, around 5 minutes, and flip to cook the other side until a deep golden color, another 5 minutes.
Remove latkes from oil and place on a small tray with paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Lightly salt each latke. Continue to cook until all the batter is finished.
Place latkes in oven on warm while preparing the poached eggs. Bring a shallow pot of water and white vinegar to a simmer. Crack eggs into a small dish to help pour evenly into water. Once water has come a simmer, place eggs into pot one at a time, cooking for 2 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place on a plate with paper towel.
Divide latkes onto plates, top with lemon dill creme fraiche, smoked salmon, poached quail eggs and caviar. Garnish with more dill and scallions and serve. Any extra latkes can be stored in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to three days.