Emu Egg Frittata in Bacon Cups
Dear Chef Bourdain;
My first conscious act after a holiday party in 2013 was to blow the guts out of an emu egg, and turn it into frittatta in bacon cups. I think that’s a pretty good start, and probably as close to becoming Danaerys Targaryan as I’ll ever get. Mother To Dragons? I’ll have to settle for “Frother Of Dinosaurs.”
But wait, Davy, you must be asking yourself? (If you were reading this, so if you’re actually asking yourself that, something weird has happened. Perhaps something weird and magical, but anyway… let me not digress to much. Or give away the secrets of”Phase 2″…) Where did I get an emu egg? My friend and accomplished writer, Jesse Heinig delivered it as a treat from the North, from an ostrich farm near Solvang. My research revealed that emu eggs are about the equivalent of 10-12 chicken eggs, have a very similar flavor, and will keep for a week or two in the fridge. It’s a beautiful, vibrant and multi-hued teal color, so we wanted to be sure to preserve the shell for …some decorative purpose. (Or maybe part of phase 2? Wait and see!)
Getting into the shell was itself quite an endeavor. My wife and her father took turns delicately whirring away at it with a power drill, and switched out bits at least three times before they managed to get through the shell. In the hand it feels weighty and solid, and in fact it’s even thicker and stronger than it would seem. And it seems doughty indeed. Having created a small hole at one end and a slightly larger blowing-hole at the other, it then became a test of lung power to get the contents out and into a mixing bowl. This calls for a professional blowhard. Fortunately, no shortage of those in this family!
Next up was not fucking up my meez. The egg-violating took quite a while, so I had plenty of time to finely slice a couple shallots, dice up half a red onion, and dice four cloves of garlic. I also kept close to hand some salt, seasoned pepper, savory, and white truffle oil.
Once the egg was in the bowl, its secret places invaded by blown breath; I used an immersion blender to make it nice and frothy. I found I had to use a sort of jerking-off motion to get the blades up in the air for a fraction of a second to incorporate the air and substantially increase its volume. I also folded in the salt, seasoned pepper and about 2 tsp of truffle oil. When it was about half-again in volume, I folded in the garlic and shallots.
First thing in the morning I had already created bacon cups with a half-pound of bacon. That’s dead easy – just wrap the bottoms of a cupcake tin with foil. Cut a rasher in half, lay it crosswise over the top, and then wrap another piece around it. I let it cook slow in the oven with another tray underneath (and the tin foil curved up at the edge) to catch drippings. When the fat had rendered out, it made nice crispy bacon cups. I don’t have any pictures because…well, it was first thing in the morning after a holiday party. You can guess my condition. I wasn’t focused on photography. Fuck you if you don’t empathize. But to quote the immortal George Patton, “I’ve read your book, you son of a bitch!” So I know you feel me.
After that it’s easy. I’d pre-heated the same cupcake pan (with bacon cups removed and rinsed off) in a 400F oven. Put that on the range over heat to keep it hot, and poured the frittata over a little heated olive oil in each cup. Topped it with a sprinkle of shredded cheese and red onion. Into the oven it goes, and about ten minutes later, or at any rate when you jiggle it and the center is just set, you take it out of the oven. Sit for a minute or two, and pull the frittatas out of the cups, put them in the bacon cups, and serve to your hung over, curious and hungry friends and family.
The flavor was nice; emu eggs really are like chicken eggs in flavor, but have a more dense, creamy texture. I think frittata was a good choice, though the solid ingredients sunk right to the bottom. A more experienced cook would have known that and stirred while pouring, but as it stands we got all the chunky and delicious bits in some of the frittata and less in the others. But it all tasted grand, as delicious as any dinosaur egg could reasonably be!
I’ll include the recipe after this, for completeness sake. Something tells me you won’t be making it though, chef.
Emu Egg Frittata in Bacon Cups
- 1 pound of bacon
- 1 emu egg
- 2 shallot, finely sliced
- 2 tsp of truffle oil
- 1/2 red onion finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1 tbsp of savory
- salt, seasoned pepper to taste
- pre-heat oven to 275F, invert cupcake pan and carefully wrap in foil.
- Cut a piece of bacon for each cup in half, and make criss-cross over top. With another piece, wrap each cup. Put it in the oven until the bacon fat renders out; about 20-30 minutes, maybe more. Can do ahead by a few hours. (Put a drip pan under to catch the fat!) Set bacon cups aside.
- Increase oven heat to 400F
- Make a large hole in one end of the emu egg with a power drill. Use a fine bit to punch through and a larger bit to widen the hole. Put a small hole in the other end, blow egg out into a mixing bowl.
- Put a cupcake pan (clean the first one if you re-use it) in the oven to pre-heat the pan.
- Add the salt, seasoned pepper, savory and truffle oil. With an immersion blender, use a jerking off motion to froth the egg until it’s substantially increased in volume, and nice and frothy.
- Fold in the shallot and garlic.
- Put the cupcake pan over high heat on the range. Pour a tsp or so of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom. Heat until it just shimmers.
- Pour half a cup full of egg mix in to each cupcake cup. Top with red onion and cheese.
- Put in oven. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the center is just set when you jiggle it.
- Remove, let sit for two minutes.
- Slide frittatas out of pan with a spoon or very small spatula. Place in bacon up – serve.
This recipe created by David Krieger. Enjoy, but credit!