Poached Eggs, Morels & Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Sauce

Eggs with Morels & Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Sauce

Morel mushrooms.  Asparagus.  Fresh eggs.

What do these ingredients have in common? They’re all traditional spring foods – and they all taste great together.

This dish is a great way to celebrate the start of spring (and the end of winter). It’s just the thing for a leisurely weekend breakfast or casual brunch, and while our recipe serves just two, it’s easily scaled up for larger groups of any size.

Instead of trying to twist it into some convoluted version of Eggs Benedict, let’s just call this dish what it is: Poached Eggs, Morels & Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Sauce.

While there are a few steps involved in making this dish, it’s not really that complicated. Broken down by components, each of which can be made separately and then quickly assembled just before serving, it’s actually pretty easy to make, even for novice cooks.

While there is nothing we love more than fresh morel mushrooms, their relatively short season (late March through June, depending on the region) means that we can only enjoy them for a few weeks each year. Thankfully, dried morels reconstitute exceptionally well and make an excellent substitute for fresh in this dish, so we can enjoy them just about any time of the year.

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make this dish. We’ve broken things down further in the step-by-step instructions that follow.

Ingredients for this dish:an English
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large or 2 small Meyer lemons
  • 4 large organic eggs, the fresher the better
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus
  • 1/4 lb fresh morel mushrooms OR 1 oz dried morels
  • 1 oz dry sherry
  • 4 thick slices of rustic bread OR 2 English muffins, split
  • 1 Tbsp snipped chives for garnish (optional)

Poached Eggs, Morels & Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Sauce

While at first glance it might seem a little complicated, this dish is really quite easy to make.  Just prepare each component in the following order (poached eggs last) and quickly assemble each portion on warmed plates just before serving.

Step 1: SAUTÉED MOREL MUSHROOMS

Fresh morels in a colander

Fresh morels in a colander

If using fresh morels:
Fill a large bowl with cold water and stir in 1 -2 tablespoons of salt, stirring to dissolve.  Plunge the fresh morels into the cold, salted water for 20 – 30 minutes, agitating them very gently two or three times.  The water will dislodge any dirt or grit and the salt will discourage unwanted “hitchhikers” from clinging to the morels.  Gently lift the soaked morels from the water, place them in a clean colander and rinse gently under cold running water for a minute or two to flush away any remaining debris.  Drain well, then place on paper towels or a clean dishtowel.

If using dried morels:
Place the dried morels in a small heat-proof bowl.  Pour over enough very hot water to cover them completely.  Allow to stand for 20 minutes or until the dried mushrooms have become very soft & pliable.  Strain off the soaking liquid, reserving it for other uses.  Gently, but thoroughly rinse the rehydrated morels under cool running water to dislodge any remaining grit.  Set aside to drain completely on clean paper towels.

Sauté the morels:
Slice the morels, whether fresh or rehydrated dried, lengthwise into halves or quarters.  Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a skillet or fry pan over medium-high heat.  When the butter begins to foam slightly, add the morels.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until any released juices have evaporated.  Add the dry sherry and continue to cook until nearly all the liquid has again evaporated.  Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 2: MEYER LEMON SAUCE

The irresistible flavor of Meyer lemons makes them one of our favorite citrus fruits.  Their slightly sweet tanginess adds just the right touch to a simple white sauce and helps to tie all the fresh flavors of this dish together.  If Meyer lemons are unavailable, regular lemons will work fine.

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large or 2 small Meyer lemons, the rind zested and the lemons juiced

Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbling; remove from heat.

Stir in the lemon juice and zest, then add the milk, stirring until smooth. Increase the heat, bringing the sauce to a low boil,  then reduce to medium.  Continue stirring until the sauce is smooth and has thickened. Remove from the burner and keep warm.

Step 3: MICROWAVE THE ASPARAGUS

Why microwave?  Microwaving fresh asparagus is super-easy, super-fast AND you get great tasting tender-crisp asparagus every single time.  If you prefer, by all means use a conventional asparagus or vegetable steamer (but we are willing to bet the results won’t be any better).

Cooked Asparagus Spears

  • 1 lb fresh asparagus

Rinse the asparagus and remove the tough, fibrous ends of each stalk by bending it near the base until it snaps off.  Arrange log cabin-style in layers 2 or 3 deep in a microwavable dish just large enough to hold them.

Add one tablespoon of water to the dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap or lid.  Microwave at full power for 4 minutes 15 sec, or until the asparagus is done to your preference.

Step 4:  TOAST THE BREAD

  • 4 thick slices of rustic bread OR 2 English muffins, split

We used 1-inch thick diagonally cut slices of a nice crusty French-style loaf (the asparagus fit them very nicely), but any good bread will do, including English muffins. Use whatever you like the best. Toast the bread lightly in a toaster, toaster oven or under the broiler until just barely golden brown.  Keep it warm for a few minutes until the poached eggs are ready.

Step 5: PERFECT POACHED EGGS FOR TWO

Conquer your fear of poaching!  Perfect poached eggs are perfectly simple to make if you follow a few easy, but important steps.   The addition of a little vinegar helps to “set” the whites as soon as they slip into the hot water.

  • 4 large organic eggs, the fresher the better
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar

Fill a large skillet or sauce pan with water 2 – 3 inches deep.  Bring to boiling, then reduce to a low simmer. Add the vinegar.

Carefully break each egg into a ramekin or custard cup. Hold the ramekin very close to the water’s surface and allow the egg to gently slip into the water; repeat with the other 3 eggs.

Cook until the whites are set and opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully lift each poached egg from the water with a slotted spoon. (Hint: spray the spoon with oil for easier handling and the eggs will slip right off).  Drain the eggs completely, blotting with a paper towel if necessary.

Step 6: ASSEMBLY

Lay two slices of the toasted bread on each warmed plate.  Arrange 3 or 4 stalks of asparagus on top of each slice.  Gently slip a poached egg onto the asparagus.  Spoon a generous amount of the Meyer lemon sauce over each egg.  Divide the sauteed morel mushrooms and scatter half over each plate.  Garnish with a sprinkling of the snipped chives, if using, and serve immediately.

Poached Eggs with Morels & Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Sauce

 

Curly Divider

 

Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.

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