Omnivore’s Barbecued Asparagus
with Eggs Benedict and Hollandaise Sauce
- 8 spears fresh asparagus
- Salt, pepper
- 2 wooden kebab skewers, soaked 60 minutes in water
- 1 teaspoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (25 mL) olive oil
For the hollandaise sauce
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cold water
- Juice 1/2 fresh lemon
- 1 cup (250 g) unsalted butter, melted in a heatproof glass measuring cup with
then cooled to comfortable temperature (not hot)
- Salt, to taste
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
For the eggs
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vinegar
- 1 English muffin, sliced and halves toasted
- 2 slices sandwich ham
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) grated cheddar cheese
1. For the asparagus, wash spears, trim off 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the woody end,
and peel the bottom half of each stalk, like a carrot. Season
with salt, pepper,
and skewer each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the end of wooden
turning the skewer like a drill when piercing to avoid
splitting the asparagus.
Skewer 4 stalks on each. Sprinkle lightly with balsamic
then brush with olive oil; set aside.
2. Preheat gas grill to medium-high. Make ready a small non-stick fry pan for
by half-filling with water, then add vinegar. Also make ready
a double boiler
by pouring water 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) deep into a medium
and placing a large stainless steel mixing bowl nearby.
3. Grill asparagus skewers until florets start to char, flipping once or twice
about 5 minutes total. When done, extinguish burners and set
asparagus aside indoors.
Heat water in fry pan and saucepan to simmer.
4. Make the hollandaise sauce by placing egg yolks in stainless steel mixing
Whisk yolks together with cold water; rest bowl on mouth of
and continue whisking while holding bowl steady with your
Bowl should never be too hot to hold comfortably.
Periodically remove and return bowl
from/to heat as you continuously whisk, to ensure sauce does
and “scramble” the egg. As the sauce thickens, take off heat
and blend in
about 1/4 of the cooled, melted butter, whisking constantly.
Add half the lemon juice to thin sauce, then add more butter.
Return to heat,
whisking constantly; as it thickens again add remaining lemon
juice and butter,
leaving behind the milky-white sediment. Season with salt,
and set aside. This process should take 8 to 10 minutes, and
should now have the texture of cream.
5. For the eggs, poach them about 4 minutes in simmering water,
or until they are done to your liking.
6. To assemble the plate, place half an English muffin on each plate,
and four grilled asparagus spears to one side. On each
muffin half, place 1 slice of ham,
followed by a poached egg. Spoon hollandaise sauce on
asparagus and egg,
then top egg with grated cheddar.
Touches: Eggs Benedict
Omnivore’s Cedar-Planked Grilled Camembert
Each cheese wheel serves 4 as appetizer
-1 plank untreated western cedar, about 3/4-inch (2-cm) thick, 7 inches (18 cm)
and 14 inches (36 cm) long
- 1 or 2 wheels of camembert cheese, each about 170 grams
-Crackers, for serving
For savoury topping
-1 green onion, chopped fine
- 1 large clove garlic, smashed and minced
-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, pepper to taste
For sweet topping
- 1/4 cup strawberry or raspberry jam
- 3 large strawberries, or small handful raspberries, chopped
-about 10 blueberries, chopped
- 1 tablespoon spicy barbecue sauce
1. Soak untreated cedar overnight in a bucket of water, weighed down to keep it
2. Prepare savoury or sweet topping, or both, by mixing all ingredients in
savoury and sweet bowls, crushing large pieces of fruit, as
the case may be, with a fork.
3. Preheat gas grill to 400 or 450 degrees F. With a sharp chef’s knife,
barely shave off the top crust on each cheese wheel,
then spoon topping(s) on top of the cheese.
4. Outside beside the grill, have ready a pair of thick, fireproof barbecue
one spray water bottle if needed to quench flames,
and a large heatproof container to hold the smouldering cedar
when cheese is done.
5. Place soaked plank on the grill; close lid until the plank is smoking well,
about 5 minutes.
When smoking, transfer cheese wheel(s) with topping to the
close lid, reduce heat to medium and bake about 10 minutes,
until cheese is melted and just starts to turn golden at
Temperature in the barbecue chamber should not fall below 400
Periodically open the barbecue lid to inspect - if there are
spray briefly with water and close lid.
6. When done, put on barbecue gloves and transfer cheese while still on the
to a fireproof platter. Serve immediately with