Post by Alison Hein.
If you find yourself in Cape May, New Jersey, make sure to stop in for dinner at the Ebbitt Room. The Virginia Hotel’s recently remodeled dining room will delight you with its shimmering charm, and its spacious yet cozy ambience. Even better, Chef Lucas Manteca employs a farm-to-table philosophy, showcasing fresh, local produce from the hotel’s certified organic Beach Plum Farm.
Sean, our friendly, professional waiter, wisely suggested the daily sampler of deviled eggs. Delicate Beach Plum Farm eggs are cleverly cut on the diagonal, artfully spiced, then creatively adorned with three different micro-toppings. Our selection? Spicy coppa with pickled garden hash and gouda crumble; cold beet purée with smoked salmon, crème fraîche and tobiko; and tuna tartare-stuffed Belgian endive with mint lime vinaigrette. (Sean kindly wrote all this down for me!) Believe me, a tiny farm-fresh egg, dressed with luscious seasonal accoutrements, is one perfect bite – a devilishly delicious, sophisticated combination of flavors.
Naturally, I had to try this out as soon as I got home. I purchased small eggs, to keep with the one-bite sizing. Then I foraged in my refrigerator for tiny amounts of topping ingredients (only ½ teaspoonful or so is needed per egg half). Here’s what I came up with: roasted asparagus with speck; fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomato, golden beet and basil salad; and smoked salmon with sour cream lemon-dill sauce. Perhaps not as sophisticated as Chef Lucas’ version, but still a devilishly delightful breakfast in bed!
P.S. If you dine at the Ebbitt Room, make sure to arrive early and enjoy a cocktail on the front porch of the Virginia Hotel. Overstuffed seating, a cool breeze, and hand-crafted drinks make it the perfect spot to people watch on quaint and busy Jackson Street.
3 small eggs
I tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon horseradish cream (or use fresh horseradish)
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup micro greens
Tiny portions of assorted meats, vegetables, cheeses, fruits, nuts, grains, etc.
Place eggs in small heavy saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and cook for one minute or so. Turn off heat, and let eggs remain in hot water for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Immerse in cold water and carefully peel eggs.
Slice eggs in half at the center, so yolk openings are round, rather than oblong. Carefully slice a little bit off the end of each egg half, just enough so the egg white can rest flat on a plate. Scoop out yolks and place in small bowl. Mash yolks thoroughly, then add mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, salt and pepper and mix until smooth and creamy. Refill egg white halves, and place three halves on each of two plates.
Prepare three assorted toppings. Place a tiny bit of topping on eggs, garnish plates with micro greens, chill and serve cold.
Makes 2 servings.