POACHED EGGS WITH ASPARAGUS, HERBED CRÈME FRAÎCHE, & BRIOCHE CROUTONS
I love eggs and I especially love them this time of year. Scrambled egg cups with shaved truffles or chives, spring vegetable frittata, and, of course, one of the first recipes I learned in cooking school: Soufflé! Eggs can be as simple as poaching in a gentle simmer of water and serving them with blanched asparagus and herbed Crème Fraîche for brunch, lunch, or light dinner. I happen to follow a Thomas Keller recipe and brought out my Sous Vide. Although the trend of using a Sous Vide is fun, it is equally delicious with a poached egg.
· 1 teaspoon table salt plus more to taste
· 2 tablespoons white vinegar
· 4 large eggs, each cracked into heatproof cups or small bowls
· Ground black pepper
· 32 asparagus spears
· salted boiling water
HERBED CRÈME FRAÎCHE:
· 5 oz Crème Fraîche
· 1 tablespoon minced chives
· 1 tablespoon minced chervil
· 1 tablespoon minced parsley
· 1 teaspoon minced tarragon
· 1 teaspoon water
· 1 tablespoon butter
· 1 cup cubed brioche or challlah
MAKE AHEAD: To make herbed Crème Fraîche: Put the Crème Fraîche in a small bowl. Stir in the minced herbs and then the water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.
FOR THE CROUTONS: Heat butter in a sauté pan large enough to hold all the croutons in a single layer. When the butter begins to foam add the croutons and season with salt. keep the croutons moving in the pan until golden brown, drain on paper towels until ready to use.
FOR THE ASPARAGUS: Bring 2 1/2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan over high heat; add salt and asparagus, return to boil, and cook until they are bright green and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, fill large bowl with ice water. Drain asparagus in colander and transfer immediately to ice water. When asparagus no longer feel warm to touch, drain in colander again and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Set aside
FOR THE POACHED EGGS: Fill 8-to-10 inch nonstick skillet nearly to rim with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the vinegar, and bring mixture to boil over high heat. Gently crack 4 eggs into 4 heatproof cups or small bowls. Lower cup lip and slightly submerge, tipping egg into boiling water and repeat for the other 3 eggs. Cover, and remove from heat. Poach until yolks are medium-firm, exactly 4 minutes. while waiting for the eggs to cook, get out four shallow bowls or lunch plates and evenly divide some of the Crème fraich. Lay down your blanched asparagus over the Crème fraich however you like, overlapping one another.
With slotted spoon, carefully lift and drain each egg. (Can be dropped into ice water and refrigerated up to 3 days or serve immediately. Top with a sprig of chervil, chive, or parsley and enjoy!