Monday, March 14, 2011

Asparagus with Poached Eggs

Supper tonight was enough to motivate me to post again. It tasted like spring in our house this evening---asparagus with poached eggs, chard and dried fruit linguini, and oatmeal raisins cookies. It really doesn't get much better than this.

This dish was the show stopper. Yes, it was just a side, but that didn't matter. I found this recipe in Food and Wine Magazine on Wednesday and envisioned it again on Saturday as I walked through the Farmers Market on Saturday. I went straight to the guy with the asparagus and knew that this week, asparagus was getting a makeover.

I used about 4 oz of asparagus. I had bought 8 oz, but my kids love asparagus. Seriously, J and M fight over it. It worked out perfectly because it meant Curtis and I both had our own asparagus, which the kids wouldn't touch and they had theirs.

Asparagus. Sigh. It will be a glorious spring with asparagus to eat every week.

To make this use 2 oz(4 oz if main dish) of asparagus per person/serving and 1 egg. Multiply as needed. This can also be a brunch/breakfast dish. Serve with toast in that case.

The recipe in these proportions will serve 2.

Asparagus with Poached Eggs
from a Gwyneth Paltrow recipe in Food and Wine

4 oz thick asparagus trimmed
1/2 T butter
salt and pepper
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 T white wine vinegar
2 eggs

Preheat the broiler. (My broiler has a hi and lo setting--it confuses me. For the record, I preheated my broiler to hi and set the rack in the top 1/3 of the oven--about 6 inches from the heat source.) Blanch the asparagus in a large pot---a large deep skillet will also work--of boiling, salted water until crisp-tender. Watch carefully, especially if using Farmers Market/homegrown asparagus, which will cook more quickly than grocery store asparagus. Meanwhile, cut the butter into pieces and put in a long, shallow, broiler-safe dish. Transfer hot asparagus with a slotted spoon to dish with butter. Roll the asparagus in the butter until butter has melted and coats the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cheese. Broil until golden.

Meanwhile, add the vinegar to the asparagus blanching liquid and return to a simmer. Crack the eggs into a small cup and then gently pour into simmering water, one at a time. If the whites kinda run away, use a spoon to gently bring them back to the yolk. Poach until the whites are set, but the yolks are runny, about 3 minutes or so. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove each egg from the water. Set on the asparagus. (If your egg looks less than beautiful, try gently flipping it over. The bottom often looks better.) Sprinkle eggs with a little salt and pepper and serve.

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