It’s New Year’s Eve and this will be the last thing I cook in 2019 since I am going to be photographing Larder’s 6-course New Year’s Eve feast. Instead of cooking a beautiful New Year’s Eve dinner, I decided to make lovely English Muffins with Asparagus Breakfast. (Okay, I ate this at 2 PM…so not really breakfast anymore).
If you’re like me and you prefer savory breakfasts over sweet ones, this recipe for english muffins with asparagus breakfast will be right up your alley. It’s sort of like a lighter version of Eggs Benedict.
First, I toasted my sliced English muffins, then I crisped up some diced pancetta. I fried my halved cherry tomatoes and asparagus stems in the pancetta fat (it is New Year’s Eve after all). From there, I simply melted cheese on my muffins and poached a couple eggs.
Although it may seem a bit complicated, I found this asparagus breakfast to be just as satisfying as Eggs Benedict but without the hassle of hollandaise. I also didn’t find these English muffins with asparagus to be quite as rich as Eggs Benedict despite having pancetta and cheese on them! The vegetables really help balance the richness of the cheese and pancetta.
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English Muffins with Asparagus Breakfast
- Medium pot
- Small baking sheet
- 2 English muffins halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon butter divided
- 4 thin slices white cheddar cheese or gruyère I used garlic-chive cheddar
Asparagus and Tomatoes:
- 4 ounces pancetta small-diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (red or gold) halved
- ½ pound fresh asparagus spears woody ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- Splash of distilled white vinegar
- Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon slices optional
Toast the English Muffins:
- Preheat oven to 275ºF. Spread the butter on the cut sides of the English muffins. Place on a baking sheet, buttered side up, and bake for 15 minutes as you prepare the rest of the meal.
- After 15 minutes, place the cheese on each slice of muffin and bake until melted, another 5-10 minutes.
Cook the Pancetta:
- As the English muffins are baking, prepare the vegetables. Add the pancetta to a skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook for 5-7 minutes until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove half the pancetta from the skillet and reserve for serving.
Poach the Eggs:
- Bring a pot of water to a low boil. Add a splash or two of distilled white vinegar.
- Strain each egg through a fine mesh sieve or by cracking each egg into a ramekin and tipping the ramekin into fork tines over the sink to strain off the excess whites. Do this for both eggs.
- Using the back of a wooden spoon, create a whirlpool in the pot and carefully drop the egg in. Make another whirlpool and drop in the second egg. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the whites have set.
- Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Sauté the Vegetables:
- To the skillet with the pancetta, add the tomatoes and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the asparagus spears and cook for 3 minutes until bright green and tender-crisp. Do not overcook the asparagus.
- Add the lemon juice to the skillet and season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper. Toss the vegetables to combine. Set aside and keep warm.
- Place two halves of the baked English muffins on each plate and pile the sautéed asparagus and tomatoes on top. Place a poached egg on top of each dish and garnish with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of the reserved cooked pancetta. Place a lemon wedge on each dish. Enjoy!