Eggs Benedict with Quail Eggs, Spiced Biscuits and Lemongrass-Crab-Fennel Salad
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 12 quail eggs
- Spiced Biscuits (yield: 12 biscuits, 2 per serving):
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour
- 2 3/4 cups cake flour
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 3/8 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 4 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- Zest of 1 lemon, minced
- 1/2 cup chilled butter (4 ounces)
- 2 eggs
- 12 ounces buttermilk (Place 2 eggs in a pint-sized measuring cup and fill to the top with milk.)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, finely minced
- 3 scallions, sliced 1/16-inch thick, green/white separated
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon coarsely ground coriander, toasted
- 1/2 pound fresh crab leg meat, picked through
- 1 large head fennel, cored and shaved paper thin
QUAIL EGGS: Fill a 2-quart sauce pan 2/3 to the top with water. Add vinegar and bring to a simmer. Open eggs into the water and try to gather the whites around the yolks. Cook briefly for 1 to 2 minutes to keep the eggs runny.
SPICED BISCUITS: In a food processor, combine all dry ingredients, thyme and zest. Add chilled butter and pulse to small pieces. Add egg/milk mixture and incorporate. Do not over-mix. Remove from processor and roll out on a floured surface. Using a 2-inch round pastry cutter, make circles and bake on parchment lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
SALAD: In a small saute pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and saute lemongrass and scallion whites until soft, about 4 minutes. Season and set aside. In a bowl, whisk together juice, coriander, scallion greens and remaining oil. Add lemongrass and check for seasoning. In another bowl, mix crab and fennel. Add 2/3 of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste, if necessary.
PLATING: Cut the biscuits in half. Lay a little salad down to prevent sliding and place the bottom half of the biscuit on the salad. Top biscuit with a small mound of salad and a poached egg. Drizzle on vinaigrette and rest the top half of biscuit against the mound.