Asparagus and Crab Hollandaise


3 lbs. jumbo asparagus, trimmed and peeled
1/2 lb. shallots or spring onions, sliced
1/4 lb. bacon, cut into lardons (small strips, about 3/8 inch wide)
12 fresh eggs
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 cup (2 sticks) + 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 lb. crabmeat, picked over to remove shell fragments
2 tablespoons tarragon or parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Bring a pot of water to a boil and add enough salt to taste like the sea. Cook the asparagus in the boiling water until al dente and the remove to an ice bath and cool. Remove from the ice bath and lay on paper towels to dry.

Cook the bacon lardoons in a sauté pan until crisp; drain the fat and reserve warm.

Over the same pot, place a non-reactive bowl and beat the egg yolks and water together in it over low heat. Melt 2 sticks butter in a separate pan. Whisk to the ribbon or until yolks are fluffy and cooked. Slowly whisk in the warm melted butter adding drops of water as needed to keep from curdling. Whisk in the lemon juice, Tabasco and season to taste. Reserve warm.

In the same pot of salted water, add the vinegar and crack the eggs into the water and poach until whites are set and yolks are still runny.

In a sauté pan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter and cook the shallots or onions until soft. Add the asparagus and season to taste.

Place the asparagus on a platter and warm the crab in the same pan. Sprinkle the crab over the tips of the asparagus, and the bacon just below the crab. Place the eggs on the bottom of the spears and then ladle the hollandaise over the eggs and asparagus. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the crab and bacon and the parsley or tarragon over the eggs and serve immediately. Enjoy!

YIELD: 12 servings

SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Chef Jamie Smith

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