POTATO AND ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH CREME FRAICHE AND POACHED EGGS

feeds 4 or so people


ingredients:

12 yukon gold or German butterball potatoes

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 shallots, diced

1 clove garlic, bashed or microplaned or finely diced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

4-6 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chicken stock

40 asparagus tips

8 eggs

2 teaspoons of any kind of white vinegar

pinch salt

3/4 cup crème fraîche

3 spring onion stems (or chives), thinly sliced


directions:

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with cold water. Add several tablespoons salt. Peel potatoes and slide them into the water right away. Turn on high heat and bring up to the boil. Once water boils, turn down to a simmer. Potatoes are done when a paring knife slides in easily. If you're not sure, just cut one open and taste. Drain potatoes in a colander. If they're falling apart a bit remove them one at a time with a slotted spoon. Set aside to cool a bit.


In a bowl, combine shallots and garlic. Cover with lemon juice and vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes. Whisk in dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in half of the olive oil. Taste. This salad is best with a very tangy dressing. Add more olive oil oil if it's too strong.


Bring chicken stock to the boil. Turn down to a simmer. Add asparagus tips. Cook very briefly (1-2 minutes depending on size). Taste one. Make sure there's still some crunch left. Remove with slotted spoon and place on kitchen towel. Save broth for soup or lunch or sick kids.


Boil a big and wide pot of water for eggs. Once boiling, turn flame so low that there are no bubbles. Add vinegar and salt. Stir. Crack 1 egg into a bowl. Slide egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs.  I like the yolks very runny but I hate it when the white is still raw on top. Only way I know to test for doneness is to use a slotted spoon to pull an egg out of the water and touch the top to make sure it's completely cooked. Slide egg onto a clean dishtowel or paper towel. Remove all eggs the same way. It's okay for them to sit for a few minutes. If you want, you can reheat the eggs in the hot water right before serving. 


Slice potatoes and spread out in a single layer on a big plate or platter. Salt each slice. Spoon on shallot dressing. Scatter asparagus tips all over potatoes. Carefully (or not) blop crème fraîche all over the potatoes and asparagus. Add more salad dressing. Place eggs on top on top. Add a few sloshes of olive oil. Sprinkle spring onion slices all over. Eat right away.

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