Asparagus with Crispy Poached Eggs and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Recipe
Hands On Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
3 strips applewood-smoked bacon, diced
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
4 large eggs
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumb
To make the dressing: Place the bacon in a large skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon, stirring constantly, until the bacon has rendered its fat and turned very crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard and honey and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
To make the asparagus: Fill a large saucepan with heavily salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Prepare two ice baths: one in a medium bowl and one in a large bowl.
Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until it just turns bright green, about 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer it to the large ice bath.
Drain the water from the saucepan. Re-fill the saucepan with at least 2 inches of water. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, then add the vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt. While the water is simmering, prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl and crack two of the eggs into separate ramekins.
Using a slotted spoon, stir the water clockwise to create a vortex. While the water is swirling, add one of the eggs to the center of the vortex. Poach until the whites have set but the yolk is still runny, 3 to 5 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the egg to the ice bath. Repeat with the second egg.
Meanwhile, in a second large or medium saucepan, begin heating 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees over medium-high heat. (Alternatively, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer following the manufacturer’s directions.) Line a plate with paper towels.
While the oil is heating, whisk the remaining two eggs in a shallow bowl until smooth. Place the flour on a plate and season lightly with salt and black pepper. Place the breadcrumbs on a separate plate.
Remove the poached eggs from the ice bath, pat dry, and very gently coat with the seasoned flour. One at a time, carefully transfer each poached egg from the flour to the egg wash and thoroughly coat with egg wash. Roll each poached egg in bread crumbs until completely covered.
When the oil is hot, carefully add each egg to the oil and fry until the exterior is crisp and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let drain on the paper towel-lined plate and lightly season with salt.
Arrange the asparagus on two serving plates. Liberally drizzle with the bacon vinaigrette, then place each egg in the center of the asparagus. Serve immediately.
About the recipe
If you love poached eggs but want more of a contrast of textures, try breading and frying the eggs after poaching. The key is removing the eggs from the poaching liquid and transferring to an ice bath once the whites have set just enough to handle, and the yolks are still very runny — remember, you’ll be cooking them a second time.
The warm bacon vinaigrette is an amazing contrast against the rich egg yolk and tender-crisp asparagus. Starting the bacon in a cold pan ensures that the bacon cooks evenly and renders as much of its fat as possible. You’ll be making the entire vinaigrette in one pan, so don’t worry if the final appearance is a little broken. The flavors will certainly come together.