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Garden to table 04-12-17

I was in the garden today picking kale and collards for a big pot of greens tonight and spinach and lettuces for salads when my eye was drawn to the gorgeous spears of “purple passion” asparagus peeking up through their mulches. Asparagus season always makes me crave eggs Benedict and roasted asparagus. I can eat it anytime, morning, noon or night but the dish is classically served on a brunch menu. When I lived in Mobile, TJ Crockmeyers had a Sunday brunch of eggs Benedict and mimosas that was a treat to attend occasionally. Now I have my own version and the added delicacy of freshly roasted asparagus just elevates the dish so much I don’t even miss the mimosa! So if you are planning a nice family day on Easter or anytime, especially when asparagus is in season and so cheap, try this and let me know if you think it is as delicious as I do. Have a beautiful Easter weekend no matter where you are or what you eat!

This recipe will serve 2 to 4 people depending on whether you want one or two eggs per person. The secret to making it work is to have all components organized and ready before you start each aspect of the dish. Of course, that is true with cooking anything successfully.

Ingredients:

1 pound of fresh asparagus, washed and tough ends cut or broken off

1 Tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Make sure the asparagus spears are dry. In a large bowl mix olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss asparagus in the seasoned oil and place on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Roast for 6-10 minutes or until crisp tender. Fresh asparagus cooks quickly and, of course, roasting time depends largely on the size of the asparagus spears so check often to make sure you don’t over cook. Remove from oven, cove with foil to stay warm.

Ingredients:

4 large eggs , preferably free range or organic

1 Tbsp. white, vinegar

1 tsp. salt

4 slices ham or Canadian bacon, heated through and set aside to keep warm

4 pieces good quality bread or English Muffins, lightly toasted and kept warm (If you are gluten free, use g.f. bread or substitute sliced potatoes that have been pan fried )

Method:

Lay down the toasted bread and ham on a plate and keep it in the oven, covered, on “keep warm” setting. Meanwhile, fill a 12 inch non-stick skillet nearly to the rim with water, Add vinegar and 1 tsp. salt to the water and bring to a boil. Crack 2 eggs, each, into 2 teacups or saucers. As quickly as possible gently lower the cups and tip the eggs into the water-this should be done with both cups of eggs at once, if possible so that the eggs all cook evenly. Cover the skillet and gently remove from the heat. The residual heat will cook the eggs in about 6 minutes so that the whites are set and the yolks slightly runny. If you don’t like your eggs runny, cook them longer. When they are done to your satisfaction, remove from water with a slotted spoon or egg turner, making sure you drain them well before placing atop the ham and toasted bread. Keep warm while you make the sauce-or if you are lucky enough to have a kitchen helper, have them do the sauce while you make the eggs.

 

(All ingredients must be at room temp.)

Ingredients:

2 Extra Large egg yolks, use Organic or Free Range Eggs because of the raw nature of the eggs in the sauce

1 &1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2-3/4 tsp. salt, use less if butter is salted

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

6 T. butter Melted and kept hot

Method:

Place egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne in a medium size bowl and using an immersion blender (or regular blender if you don’t have one) blend for about 15 seconds. With the blending apparatus on low speed, slowly add the hot butter to the mixture and continue to blend for 30 seconds or until very thick. Makes about 1/2 cup. Spoon 1-2 Tbsp. to each egg assembled and serve immediately with the roasted asparagus on the side. And a mimosa if you have the notion! Cheers!

 

 

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