125g butter, plus extra for buttering the toast
2 egg yolks
Squeeze of lemon juice
3-4 stems Asparagus per person
Pinch of salt
1 Egg per person, for poaching
1. First, make the Hollandaise sauce and keep it warm:
Put the egg yolks in a heavy stainless-steel saucepan on a low heat, or in a bowl over hot water. Add water and whisk thoroughly. Add the butter bit by bit, whisking all the time. As soon as one-piece melts, add the next piece. The mixture will gradually thicken, but if it shows signs of becoming too thick or slightly ‘scrambling’, remove from the heat immediately and add a little cold water if necessary. Do not leave the pan or stop whisking until the sauce is made. Finally add the lemon juice to taste. If the sauce is slow to thicken it may be because you are excessively cautious, and the heat is too low. Increase the heat slightly and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens to coating consistency.
2. Once the sauce is made and being kept warm you can then Poach the eggs:
Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Reduce the heat, swirl the water, crack the egg into a tiny bowl or a cup, and slip the egg gently into the whirlpool in the centre. This avoids getting the tips of your fingers burned as you drop the egg into the water. The water should not boil again but bubble very gently just below boiling point. Cook for about 3–4 minutes, until the white is set, and the yolk is still soft and runny.
3. Prepare the Asparagus:
Hold each spear of asparagus over your index finger down near the root end, it will snap at the point where it begins to get tough. Cook in about 2.5cm of boiling salted water (1 teaspoon salt to every 600ml) in an oval cast iron casserole for 2 or 3 minutes or until a knife tip will pierce the root end easily.
4. Whilst the asparagus is cooking toast four slices of sourdough bread and butter generously once toasted.
Place the buttered toast on a plate and lay three/four asparagus stems on the toast followed by the perfect poached egg and then generously pour the Hollandaise sauce over the egg and asparagus, top with a little parsley and enjoy.