Egg And Asparagus Gratin
- 12 asparagus spears
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 cup whipping cream divided
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- Salt to taste
- Cayenne to taste
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese divided
- Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
In a wide frying pan, bring about 1 inch water to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus; then cut spears into 1-inch pieces. Add asparagus to boiling water and cook, uncovered, until just tender when pierced (3 to 5 minutes), or to your tenderness preference. Drain well.
Divide asparagus among 4 well-buttered 4- to 5-inch-wide ovenproof dishes. Carefully break 2 eggs over asparagus in each dish. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the cream over eggs in each dish. Then sprinkle eggs evenly with lemon peel, and with salt and cayenne to taste.
Set dishes on a baking sheet and bake in a 450 degree oven until eggs are done to your liking (5 to 7 minutes for firm whites and soft yolks). Sprinkle evenly with cheese and bake for 1 more minute. Serve at once. (If you are using the cheddar cheese sprinkles as well, add them after the parmesan extra baking minute and give it 1 to 2 more minutes to melt and bubble.)
This recipe yields 4 servings; 2.5 carb grams per serving.
Stalking Fresh Asparagus: To peel or not to peel -- when it comes to fresh asparagus, that is the question. You may think peeled asparagus is a tedious affectation. But first, consider the benefits. Without that fibrous exterior, you can enjoy each spear to its tender base. Here's how to do it with the least fuss. First snap off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Then, holding the spear near the tip, peel away scales and the thin outer skin. An ordinary vegetable peeler works best, and one glide per cut will do; there's no need to whittle away at the stalk. Peeling goes faster than you think, especially if you look for the fattest asparagus when you shop.