Quail egg and bacon appetizer

Bacon and egg toad in the hole
Makes 18

"The creaminess and slight acidity of our Chardonnay makes it the ideal pairing for Toad in the Hole," says Chef Eric Lee.

In this appetizer, the richness of the quail eggs is balanced by the salty-sweet tang of the balsamic bacon. If you are short on time, simply sauté bacon pieces until crispy and add a splash of wine and balsamic vinegar.

Nestled in a slice of buttered toast, this dish neatly combines a variety of rich flavors.


  • Balsamic Braised Bacon
  • 1 ounce olive oil
  • ½ pound slab bacon
  • 1/4 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves, garlic, sliced
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons SIMI Sauvignon Blanc (or SIMI Chardonnay)
  • 3 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 18 quail eggs
  • 1 French baguette cut into 1/3" diagonal slices
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 small cello container of micro arugula or baby arugula cut into a chiffonade
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a small non-reactive saucepan, sear the bacon on all sides until golden brown.

  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook covered over low heat until very tender, about 2-3 hours.

  3. Turn as needed. Let cool and store in the braising liquid. When cold, remove the fat that has solidified at the top and discard.

  4. Gently remove the bacon from the liquid. Cut into small lardoons. Sauté over medium low heat in a nonstick pan until slightly crisp.

  5. Using an egg cutter or paring knife, gently cut off the tops of the quail eggs so you can get the eggs out quickly. Set aside. Using a 1" round cutter, cut out the center of each bread slice.

  6. Heat a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Spread one side of each bread slice lightly with butter and place as many bread slices as will fit on the griddle, butter side down.

  7. Remove when golden brown. Spread some more butter on the griddle and place the slices golden side up. Quickly empty each egg into the holes and cook until over medium. Remove and place onto platters. Top with bacon.

  8. Toss the micro arugula with a touch of the extra virgin olive oil and place atop the eggs and bacon. Serve immediately.

Paired with SIMI Sonoma County Chardonnay $18.00

Simi Winery
16275 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: 800-746-4880
Website: www.simiwinery.com

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