Friday, April 20, 2012

Poached Eggs With Asparagus And Hollandaise

It's about time I make something a little more advanced, don't you think? This recipe is very Classical French. Make this as a breakfast with toast, or as a vegetable side dish for dinner. Make it with or without the poached egg. Hollandaise goes really well with asparagus and other bitter, green vegetables such as broccoli.

Who doesn't like sauteed asparagus with buttery hollandaise sauce and an oozing poached egg on top?
Clean the asparagus and trim off the ends.
To be really "fancy", peel the stems as well.
Using a little olive oil or butter, saute the asparagus for just a few minutes until tender and bright green. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cover and set aside to use later.
Now for the hollandaise sauce. You will need a double boiler like this. Only put a couple inches of water into the pot. The water shouldn't be touching the bottom of the bowl.
Whisk the egg yolks a bit.
Get a little hot water from the pot
and whisk this into the egg yolks to thin them out.
Add the lemon juice too.
Put the bowl over the simmering water in the pot and start drizzling in the melted butter. Remember to do this VERY SLOW! Drizzle in a little, then whisk for a minute. Then drizzle in a little more butter, and whisk it a little. You might want to do this off heat. If it gets too hot, or if you don't mix it good enough the sauce will "break".
Your sauce will start to thicken as you add more and more melted butter.
Add salt and pepper. Okay, so you really should add white pepper, but it's not going to kill you if you only have black pepper. And as far as the salt goes--I needed A LOT of salt...especially if you use unsalted butter, which you should always cook with unsalted butter so you can control the salt content.
If your sauce is a little too thick, add a little more hot water.
For the poached eggs, add a little vinegar to the water in a small pot.
Add the salt as well.
First crack the eggs into a small cup like this.
When the water starts to simmer, carefully drop the egg into the water.
Cook for about 1 minute, then gently loosen the egg from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. If necessary, gently shape the eggs into ovals.
Cook for another 3-5 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.
Hold the spoon with the egg over a paper towel for a few seconds to drain the water off.
If your asparagus has gotten cold, make sure you heat it back up. First plate the asparagus then spoon over the hollandaise sauce. Add the poached egg, a little parsley and parmesan cheese and that's it.
Asparagus with Hollandaise and Poached Eggs
Yield: 2 (for breakfast) 4 (as a side dish)

(for the asparagus)
1 bunch asparagus
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil for sauteing
salt and pepper

Wash and trim the asparagus and cook in a pan with heated oil or butter for 3-5
minutes or until the asparagus is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

(for the hollandaise sauce,
adapted from "The Good Egg", by Marie Simmons)
1 stick butter
2 egg yolks
1/8 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the butter. Off the heat whisk the egg yolks in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the boiling water and lemon juice. Place the egg-yolk mixture over the hot water. Gradually dribble in the butter, whisking constantly. Continue whisking over hot-not boiling-water until the sauce is very thick and smooth. Remove from the heat. Add the salt and white pepper. Taste and add more salt, pepper or lemon juice, if necessary. Serve at once, or keep warm over hot water. To make sure that the water isn't too hot, bring it almost to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Set the pan or bowl with the hollandaise over the water and let stand off the heat until ready to serve. Gently reheat the water as it cools to hot, never boiling. Keep warm for up to 1 hour.

(for the poached eggs,
adapted from "The Good Egg" by Marie Simmons)
2 quarts water in a 10-inch skillet or saute pan
1 teaspoon salt (for each 2 quarts water)
1 tablespoon white vinegar (for each 2 quarts water)
4 eggs

Fill a deep 10-inch skillet or saute pan with water, adding the salt and vinegar. Heat the water to a bare simmer. Use cold eggs straight from the refrigerator. Break the eggs one at a time into a cup and slip gently in the water. Adjust the temperature to maintain the simmer, but do not allow the water to boil. Cook the eggs for 1 minute, until partially set, then gently loosen them from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. If necessary, gently shape the whites into ovals. Poach until the yolks and whites are cooked to the desired doneness, 3-5 minutes. Remove eggs one at a time with a slotted spoon in the order that they went into the pan. Hold over paper towels to drain off extra water. If necessary, trim any ragged edges of white with a small knife or scissors.


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