I just combined two of my favourite things and got something even better! The weekend staple of poached egg on an english muffin, plus the time-limited joys of those vibrant green asparagus spears dipped in rich, sharp hollandaise…this is bliss! The morning sun is streaming through the windows, and I had some asparagus in the fridge – and that is how the best May breakfast was born!
Asparagus and poached egg with Hollandaise
Asparagus spears for two
2 english muffins
2 fresh eggs
2 egg yolks
white wine vinegar
Hollandaise sauce recipe:
Hollandaise sauce is THE accompaniment for asparagus – I don’t want asparagus with anything else! Everyone’s taste for hollandaise seems different, but I like a richly buttery sauce which is sharply vinegary – I hate these creamy concoctions served in some restaurants – you need a bit of bite from the vinegar. This is also the most simple and cheaty way of making it – thanks to the wonderful microwave!
Plenty for 3-4 people:
1tbsp cold water
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
100g butter, diced
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper
Heat the water and vinegar in a bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes on full power. Add the diced butter square by square, whisking ferociously to make it melt into the water vinegar mix. When the butter’s all in (check the balance – I usually use less than 100g, but 100g is the max you would possibly need – you just want an unctuous sauce) and whisk in the egg yolks. Put it back into the microwave for about a minute, this time on half-power/medium – and check it every ten seconds or so, whisking it each time. If it hasn’t begun to take, perhaps leave it 20 – but keep your eye on it, and whisk it frequently as it begins to thicken. At this stage, take it out of the microwave until everything else is ready, then whazz it for 5-10 more seconds until it is the perfect consistency for you, and dollop it on. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
Recipe for breakfast:
Get your Hollandaise going, but as it starts to look like a loose sauce, take it out of the microwave (leave the final blast for when you’re ready to serve). Get the kettle on, and poor the hot water into two pans – one to poach your eggs, one to cook your asparagus (I do them in a frying pan, in an inch or so of water, so they can lay out flat across the bottom).
Get an egg poaching. Now this whole topic is controversial. Even more controversial, I don’t really have a technique, I just go by gut feeling – but my eggs are rarely wrong! I simply bring a pan of water to the boil with a splash of white wine vinegar in it (I love the sour taste of vinegar, and it does toughen the outside of the egg a little, which can be useful)! Crack your egg and put it into a sauce for easy entry. I make a whirlpool in the boiling water with a spoon, then gently plop in the egg. The white strands should sort of wrap around the yolk, creating a nice whole entity. If your eggs are slightly old, this won’t happen – that’s why it’s so much easier (nicer too!) to use fresh eggs.
If the water is boiling too aggressively, I then move the pan off the hob for 10 secs ish, before returning it for 30 seconds or so. I err on the side of caution, because I don’t want an overdone yolk, but as long as the white is white, and not translucent, you’re good to go. Follow whatever poaching recipe you prefer!
Check your asparagus is done by giving the end of one spear a chew. It should have become soft. Drain the pan.
Get your muffins in the toaster. Strain your eggs on to kitchen towel. Whazz your hollandaise back into the microwave for a final few seconds blast, then butter your muffin, lay on the asparagus spears, your egg (with a screw of pepper) and slather with hollandaise! Yum! x