• Renata Haidle

French Cooking: Pancake Purses Filled with Quail Egg and Piquant Mayonnaise

This week's Instagram find is @stephencooksfrench. As you might guess, Stephen curates a feed of simple yet elegant images of French-inspired dishes that he cooks himself. I happened to find his gallery thanks to Alexandra, aka @frenchfamilyfood, who was featured on this blog a couple of weeks ago with a delectable recipe for a vegetarian quiche.

One of the dishes that stood out to me was Stephen's Petite Bourse Froide d'Oeuf de Caille Mollet, which translates to pancake purses filled with quail egg and piquant mayonnaise. I asked Stephen if he would mind sharing the recipe, and he graciously accepted. Please read below the image for ingredients and instructions.

Pancake purses filled with quail egg and piquant mayonnaise

"This flavoursome dish, inspired by The Roux Brothers Cooking for Two (published 1991) is perfect for dining al fresco. Serve it with baguette and a chilled rosé - and you have a feast. Bon appétit." - @stephencooksfrench


For the pancakes (more than you need for 4 pancakes):

30g flour

2 eggs

200ml milk

A dessertspoon of snipped chives

A good knob of butter

For the filling:

6 tenderstem broccoli

6 quail eggs

1 shallot, minced fine

4 cornichons, minced fine

Snipped chives, to taste

Mayonnaise – about 6 tablespoons – homemade or from a jar.

Long chives

Lettuce leaves of your choice, washed and dried.


1. Make the pancake batter; Put the flour, eggs and half the milk in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the milk, season with salt and pepper, and leave to rest in the fridge.

2. Cook the quail eggs in simmering water for 2 minutes; place in iced water while you cook the broccoli and make the mayonnaise (or open a jar – no-one needs to know, if you do!).

3. Blanch the broccoli for 3 – 4 minutes until al dente; refresh in iced water, then chop the florets into small pieces.

4. Mix the mayonnaise with the shallot, minced chives, minced cornichons and broccoli. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

5. Peel the quail eggs.

6. Make the pancakes: heat a knob of butter in a hot 22cm pancake pan (if your pan is a different size, don’t worry – just make the pancakes larger or smaller). When the butter foam subsides add a ladle of pancake batter and swirl the pan around to cover the base of the pan. Cook for half a minute or so, then summon up all your strength and courage and flip the pancake over. Ta-da! Cook for another half minute; both sides should be lightly browned – and if they’re not, just cook them until they are. Transfer the pancake to a plate, cover with greaseproof paper, then make the rest of the pancakes and leave to cool.

7. To assemble the pancakes: lay a pancake on a chopping board, place a spoonful of mayonnaise in the middle, put a quail egg on top, then add another spoon of mayonnaise. Lift the pancake edges to form a purse and secure it with either knotted chives or a cocktail stick. Or if you prefer, spoon the mayonnaise onto the middle of the pancake, add a quail egg, and roll the pancake into a cigar shape.

8. Place each pancake on a lettuce leaf and serve with the rest of the mayonnaise, the extra quail egg and snipped chives.


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