The Lion bought me Ad Hod at Home for my birthday this past year. It is a wonderful book by Thomas Keller, author of The French Laundry Cookbook, and Bouchon. Keller is an incredibly persnickety chef–in the best way possible. In the introduction to The French Laundry Cookbook he states that he never allows a sauce to reach a customer without being strained at least 3 times! Ad Hoc at Home takes those same principles and applies it to Keller’s version of home cooking. I’ve made a handful of recipes from the book and true to Keller form each one has exacting instructions and yields wonderfully delicious results.
This dish is just one of those recipes. Keller combines grilled asparagus, perfectly poached eggs, prosciutto, and freshly made garlicky croutons. I had never poached eggs before attempting this dish and Keller’s detailed instructions (including the number of times you should stir the water with a wooden spoon!) made it possible to make beautiful ones–solid whites and runny, delicious yolks. While you could use premade croutons, I highly recommend making the croutons from scratch. They are addictive and delicious. The Lion almost polished them off before I could plate the dish! This dish is simple and encapsulates the beauty of fresh spring vegetables in its simplicity.
Grilled Asparagus with Prosciutto, Poached Eggs, and Garlic Croutons
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Delicious grilled asparagus topped with salty prosciutto, perfectly poached eggs, and homemade garlic croutons.
- For the Asparagus:
- 6 large eggs, the freshest you can find
- 2 bunches of asparagus
- 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Large pinch of salt
- 6 grinds of black pepper
- 2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
- 2 cups torn croutons (see below)
- Balsamic vinegar
- For the croutons:
- 1/2 loaf sourdough bread, crusts removed
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- Vegetable oil
- For the eggs:
- Fill a large saucepan with six inches of water and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to just below a simmer. You should be able to see small bubbles at the bottom of the pot and an occasional bubble or two should come to the surface.
- Crack one egg into a small bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir the water at the edge of the pan twice in a
- circular fashion and gently lower the egg into the center of the water. Simmer for exactly 2 minutes, or until the white is no longer transparent and the yellow still seems soft. Remove the egg with a spider strainer or a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate. Skim and discard the foam that rises to the top of the water. Repeat with the rest of the eggs.
- For the asparagus:
- Heat a grill pan or saute pan over medium high heat and spray with vegetable oil. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus, removing the woody ends. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the asparagus on the pan and cook, turning every 2 minutes until tender.
- Arrange the prosciutto, asparagus, croutons, and eggs on a plate. Crack fresh pepper over the dish, drizzle with some olive oil, and balsamic vinegar and enjoy!
- For the Croutons:
- Pour 1/8 inch of vegetable oil into a saute pan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook until the garlic slightly browns and wrinkles, and the oil becomes aromatic. This should take about 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, roughly tear up the half loaf of bread into irregular pieces. When the garlic is done, remove it from the oil. Add the bread to the pan in a single layer. Stir the croutons frequently, and cook all sides until golden brown and crisp.
Adapted from Ad Hoc at Home