ASPARAGUS WITH CRISPY EGG, PARMA HAM AND HOLLANDAISE
Asparagus season is here! I love this time of year because it means that Spring has arrived and we can look forward to warmer weather and lots of wonderful produce (that's the theory anyway!).
Ingredients (serves 4)
24 Asparagus spears (class 1)
5 Free range eggs (1 beaten)
1 tbsp White wine vinegar
3 tbsp Flour
50g Panko breadcrumbs
4 Slices Parma ham (optional)
3 Egg yolks
1 tbsp Lemon juice
Pinch of Salt
Bring a pan of water to a barely simmer and add the vinegar. Using a spoon, stir in a circular motion to create a slow “whirlpool”. Gently crack an egg into the middle of the whirlpool. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes (depending on size of egg). You want the eggs to be runny in the middle. Remove and refresh in iced water. Repeat with 3 more eggs. Remove the eggs from the iced water and gently pat dry. Pané the eggs by rolling them in flour, then dipping them in the beaten egg and finally rolling them in the breadcrumbs. It is important to ensure the eggs are completely covered with breadcrumbs and there are no gaps. Chill until required (they can be made up to one day in advance). To serve, place in a deep fat fryer at 180C for 1-2 minutes or until golden.
Place the butter in a small pan and place over a medium heat until the butter melts and starts to foam. Remove the pan from the heat. Bring a pan with a couple of centimetres of water to a simmer. In a bowl that fits the pan, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice and salt. Place the bowl over the pan and whisk the yolks until you have a consistency like double cream. Take great care with the temperature of the water – too hot and you may curdle the eggs, too cool and they will not thicken and may split! Add the melted butter a little at a time to begin with, whisking constantly, until all has been incorporated, leaving the milky residue in the pan. Add 1 tbsp of cold water. Check for seasoning. Best served immediately (or you can keep it warm for up to 30 minutes).
Cut the woody bases from the asparagus spears and peel the skin from the bottom half. Cook in boiling, salted water for 1 ½ minutes and drain (or you can cook for 1 minute and then chargrill for 30 seconds).
Place 6 asparagus spears on each plate. Take a slice of Parma Ham, form a nest like shape with it and place it on the asparagus. Place the egg into the ham and spoon the sauce over and around. Delicious!
If you would like to print this recipe out, you can clink on the pdf link here.