Often simplicity is hard to achieve when it comes to creativity involving food, however this dish achieves just that in my opinion. The asparagus is complimented so well by the crisp shards of serrano ham, the local eggs and the garden herb and lemon oil becomes the star of the show when incorporated into the hollandaise sauce, this is a flavour revelation but also 75% less saturated fats than using butter for the hollandaise. This is truly the perfect simple brunch dish.
Preheat a baking\oven tray 160 degrees. Line the tray with parchment paper and lay the ham down flat. Now cover the ham with another piece of parchment paper and place another tray on top covering the ham to press it down. Place it in the oven for about 12 mins. The ham will have darkened in colour and have taken on the crisp texture.
I like to blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 20 seconds draining quickly and shocking it back cold with ice water. Pat it dry with kitchen towel and reserve for later. I find this helps keep the colour and freshness locked in.
Sherry vinegar 50ml reduce to 20 ml
Egg yolk 2
Cracked black pepper
You will need a pot of lightly simmering water, not rolling boiling water to control the heat but we will revisit this shortly.
First, while the vinegar is on the heat reducing begin to whisk the yolks, add a small splash of the warm water to loosen them out and give you a bit more to work with. When the vinegar has reduced enough empty it straight into egg mixture whisking constantly.
At this point you will put the mix over the pan of water to introduce extra heat from below. Don’t let the bowl contact the water as it’s the indirect heat from the steam that’s needed. You may need to take the bowl off a few times if it gets too hot. You will know the egg is cooked when you lift out the whisk and the egg leaves a ribbon that is raised. Now pour in the oil gently until you achieve the consistency you want.
Poach 2 eggs
Toss the asparagus in a very hot pan for 1 minute.
Drizzle the hollandaise
Snap on a few serrano ham shards.