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Asparagus, Ham, and Poached Eggs on Cheese Polenta

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“In 'Spring Gatherings' by Rick Rodgers”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Poached eggs--combine 2 quarts water and the vinegar in a large skillet.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Decrease heat to very low to maintain the water at a bare simmer.
  4. Place a bowl of hot tap water near the stove.
  5. Crack an egg into a ramekin.
  6. With the ramekin close to the simmering water, pour the egg into the water.
  7. Using a large metal slotted spoon, quickly spoon the egg white back onto the remainder of the egg.
  8. Cook very gently until the egg white is opaque and the egg is just firm enough to hold its shape, 3-4 minutes.
  9. Using the slotted spoon, carefully transfer the poached egg to the bowl of hot tap water, trimming off any stray strands of egg white.
  10. Repeat with the remaining eggs (with practice, you should be able to poach 3-4 eggs at the same time, but keep track of the eggs so they don't overcook).
  11. The hot water will keep the eggs at serving temperature for up to 10 minutes.
  12. Asparagus-Ham Saute--melt the butter in a large skillet over med-high heat.
  13. Add the ham and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  14. Stir in the shallots and cook until softened, about 1 minute.
  15. Stir in the asparagus, then add the sherry and 2 tablespoons water.
  16. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  17. During the last minute, add the heavy cream.
  18. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  19. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  20. Meanwhile, make the polenta--bring the milk, 2 cups water, and the salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  21. Whisk in the polenta.
  22. Decrease heat to med-low and let bubble, whisking often, until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.
  23. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan until melted.
  24. Using a large spoon, spoon equal amounts of the polenta into warm serving bowls, making an indentation in the center of each mound of polenta.
  25. Spoon the asparagus-ham saute around the indentation.
  26. One at a time, remove a poached egg from the water with a slotted spoon, drain well, and nestle in the indentation in the polenta.
  27. Sprinkle with chives and serve hot.

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