Welcoming guests for overnight stays is a great way to make loved ones feel welcome. Overnight guests also get time to reconnect with their hosts, making such situations a win-win for all involved.
When hosting overnight guests, hosts can start their mornings off on the right foot by whipping up a special breakfast. Relaxing at the breakfast table over a homecooked meal can be a welcome departure from the sometimes hectic nature of weekday mornings, when families have to hurry off to school and work. The following recipe for “Poached Eggs, Asparagus and Chorizo” from Betty Rosbottom’s “Sunday Brunch” (Chronicle Books) is a simple yet impressive morning entrée that’s sure to please hosts and their overnight guests.
Poached Eggs, Asparagus and Chorizo
11⁄2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (see cooking tip)
4 ounces Spanish chorizo, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes (use the Spanish-style chorizo in
casing, not loose Mexican-style chorizo)
11⁄4 pound medium asparagus
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until hot in a medium, heavy frying pan set over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, tossing constantly, until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the crumbs to a plate. (Crumbs can be prepared 1 hour ahead; cover and leave at room temperature.)
2. Heat the remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon oil in the same frying pan set over medium heat. When hot, add the chorizo and stir until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. (Chorizo can be prepared 1 hour ahead; leave at room temperature.)
3. Trim and discard 2 to 3 inches of the tough bases of the asparagus spears. Add the asparagus and 1 teaspoon salt to a large frying pan filled halfway with simmering water. Cook until the spears are just tender, 4 minutes. Drain and toss the asparagus in a large bowl with the butter and lemon juice. Season with salt and cover with foil.
4. Bring a large frying pan filled halfway with water to a boil. Add the vinegar and gently break each egg into a saucer and slide it into the water. Swirl the water with a wooden spoon while the eggs are cooking. Cook until the eggs are just set but the yolks are still soft, 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. (If you have an egg poacher, cook according to the manufacturer’s directions until the eggs are set.)
5. Mound some asparagus spears on each of four dinner plates. Top each serving with a poached egg and sprinkle with the chorizo and bread crumbs. Season the eggs with several grinds of pepper and a pinch of salt and serve.
Cooking tip: To make bread crumbs, use a 1- to 2-day-old, good-quality peasant or country bread with crusts removed. Process large chunks of it in a food processor to make coarse crumbs. Sourdough bread works particularly well.