I love eggs, perhaps a bit too much. There was a time when I had eggs for breakfast just about every day--boiled, scrambled, or sunny side up with baguette and a touch of Maggie soy sauce. I grew up with the last dish. In Vietnam, you can get freshly baked baguette, or banh mi, from a local bakery every morning. Imagine the crispy baguette exterior and its warm dough smothered in luscious egg yolk. Pure bliss. It is definitely one of my breakfast staples. Since I started cooking, I played with other ingredients to build on my basic egg dish.
Recently, I found a combination that I really enjoy-Serrano ham, Parmesan cheese, pesto, and asparagus in addition to egg and baguette. The flavor profile is a mix of French and Italian.
This breakfast is packed with a lot of flavors and many sources of nutrients. Enjoy!
Poached egg with grilled asparagus and Serrano ham (4 servings)
2 tbsps white wine vinegar
One bowl of ice water
16 asparagus spears, washed
2 tbsp olive oil
8 pieces of Serrano ham or proscuitto
8 slices of toasted baguette
4 tbsp pesto
¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. To poach the eggs, fill a medium saucepan with 8 inches of water. Add the white vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Gently crack one egg into a large spoon. Using a wooden spoon, stir the water at the edge of the pan in a circular motion to create a whirlpool then lower the egg into the water. Cook the eggs for 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg from the saucepan and place in the bowl of ice water. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
2. Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Holding the tip and stem of each asparagus spear, break off the less tender bottom end. Toss the asparagus with olive oil and salt to taste. Grill the asparagus until slightly charred, about 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the asparagus spears.
3. Gently return the eggs to the saucepan until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and gently blot on a paper towel to remove excess water.
4. Place the toasted baguette and Serrano ham on a plate. Add the grilled asparagus. Place one egg on top of the asparagus. Drizzle each plate with pesto and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.