Grilled Asparagus with Bacon and Poached Egg
Our dog Bea was drooling all day yesterday as we prepared for the Bacon Blow Out dinner party. Family, friends, and Seasoning And Salt readers congregated for multiple courses of bacon, from salad to dessert. Chef Zach went through 14 pounds of bacon, with one of them going into this asparagus appetizer. It isn’t heavy on bacon, considering that the one pound was for 15 people, but it’s an excellent way to start a night of savory, salty meat celebration. This is the first of many recipes we’ll be posting today, so stay tuned and you may be inspired to host your own Bacon Blow Out!
For 15 people
2 lbs. of asparagus
1 lb. of Applewood Natural Sunday bacon
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 tbs. of fresh garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp. of Himalayan salt
1 tsp. of dried oregano
1/2 tsp. of dried thyme
Wash the asparagus and let drain. While draining, mix together in a bowl the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, oregano, and thyme. Toss the washed asparagus in this marinade mixture, making sure that all the stalks are evenly coated. Lay out on a sheet pan in a single layer (if possible, just don’t pile the asparagus in a mound). Pour the remaining marinade over the asparagus, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, grill the asparagus on an outdoor grill, charcoal or propane. Cook for no more than 4 minutes – the goal is to get a quick char and add a little flavor while still being a little crisp, because it can get stringy and mushy when overcooked. Let cool just a little so you can handle them, and cut the stalks in roughly 2″-long pieces.
Cut the bacon across the width for 1/4″-wide mini strips. Render the bacon in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. By cooking on a lower heat, you will be able to render out the fat and still keep the bacon crispy.
While cooking the bacon, you can get the water ready for the eggs. Fill a tall-sided saute pan with water, roughly 8-10 cups. Add the rice wine vinegar. Bring the water to just under a boil, but never at a boil. Just picture it as a super hot water bath.
After about 30 minutes, the bacon should be crisped. Drain in a metal strainer, and after having dripped for 3-4 minutes, transfer the bacon to a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Spread out the bacon, and blot with more paper towels.
Crack an egg into a small cup-sized bowl, being careful not to break the yolk. With the bowl touching the water, gently slide the egg into the water – turbulence can break it apart. Eight to 10 eggs can cook at the same time, depending on the size of your tall saute pan. Cook for roughly 5 minutes until the egg white is still set up, and the yolk is still just a little runny. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and drain slightly by resting the spoon on a towel.
Toss the asparagus with the bacon. Serve in a bowl topped with a poached egg.