Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Last weekend I headed to Vancouver, British Columbia for a weekend of racing at the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragonboat Festival with Philadelphia Flying Phoenix. There will be an upcoming post about the city and its locally-grown food scene coming up, but I need to discuss the most intriguing thing I ate while there: a smoked egg.
On my final night in the city I scored a reservation for L’Abbatoir, a cute little restaurant in the Gastown section. This place is known for their creative food and cocktails, and the place didn’t disappoint (more on that later). But as part of the Warm Steelhead and Crunchy Potato Salad appetizer, the smoked egg sort of stole the show. I know that smoked eggs aren’t a new thing (traditionally soaked in brine to make them taste smoked), but I’ve never seen an truly smoked egg as part of a composed restaurant dish, and my companion and I were curious about how they were cooked.
L’Abbatoir has a large smoker, but the server told us for the eggs they tend to use a hand smoker similar to the one sold at PolyScience. They’re relatively inexpensive ($99), and I’m seriously thinking of adding one to my kitchen tools, specifically so I can experiment with smoked eggs. The egg white was smoky but not cloyingly so, and it didn’t have the ugly brown color that comes from brining or smoking over charcoal or wood (such as on a grill). The yolk was soft, almost the consistency of hard yogurt, and also retained a smoky flavor. It’s the yolk that has me fascinated—how to a] infuse the smoke flavor there and b] how to cook it just right. I’m having dreams of smoking some of the fantastic eggs available from local farms here in Philly.
I suspect there might be a few posts about my adventures in egg smoking with a handheld smoking gun. Beware!