One of my colleagues has a mini farm on her property, with chickens and ducks. I’ve been the lucky recipient of a few dozen fresh chicken eggs and when I mentioned I’d never tried duck eggs before, she brought some in for me to try. Lance stressed me out a little by asking what I was going to do with them, because I had to make something special to match the specialness of the duck eggs. The pressure was on! I didn’t know anything about duck eggs, apart from the fact that they’re bigger than chook eggs. And from ducks. I was told to expect richer, creamier eggs. A large yolk. They are fattier than chook eggs, but also have a higher protein content. They’re apparently great to bake with, and great for egg-heavy things like custards and soufflés.
Ok. Well, with this knowledge but still no personal understanding of what to expect, I thought the first try would be best kept simple. A nice poached egg to let the flavours shine. (Yes, I know this is technically a soft-boiled egg, but David Chang calls this version a poached egg in my Treme cookbook and if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me). Making a poached egg a meal, I thought I’d make some hummus mash of sorts, flavoured with a capsicum Lance had smoked on the weekend (my house is currently filled with an array of yummy smoked things, like salmon, capsicum, cashews as Lance experiments with a new chamber smoking technique). Just some roast capsicums will suffice if you don’t have a Lance/smoking fiend around you. If you do it yourself, really char the skins so they have a little smokiness, and add a teaspoon of smoked paprika to ramp up the smoke flavour more. Instead of tahini, I thought I’d toast and blend some sunflower seeds in the mix, and subbed balsamic vinegar for acid instead of lemon juice to add an extra layer of complexity to the smoke.
I beefed up the whole situation with some leftover roast lamb and toasted quinoa adds heft as well as salt and texture. Sub in whatever leftover meat or even chorizo or bacon as you see fit. A bit of a green salad adds some fresh crunch and voila…a lovely meal comes together.