Ingredients - Serves 4
75 gms Reggiano Parmesan shaved into strips with a fine vegetable peeler
2 bunches of asparagus (snap off the base of each spear, between thumb and forefinger to remove any woody stems)
2 tspn white vinegar
4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature (the fresher the better)
500gms floury potatoes, such as Russet Burbank or Desiree, well scrubbed
2 tbsp Butter
1 Bunch spring onions, washed and finely sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour cold water into a large saucepan until 20 cm deep. Add vinegar. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low (water should still be simmering around the edge).
Crack 1 egg into a shallow bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir water to create a whirlpool. Tip egg into water. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes for a soft yolk or 3 to 4 minutes for firm. Using a slotted spoon, remove egg from water and refresh in iced water. Repeat with all eggs till ready to serve.
Put the potatoes in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until they feel tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and peel while still hot (wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat). Push the potatoes through a ricer or Mouli. For a smoother result, press the mashed potatoes through a fine sieve with a spatula. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a pan. Toss the pureed potatoes in a dry pan to dry out a little, then beat in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Just as the milk comes to the boil, pour on to the potatoes and beat well. (If you want a thinner puree, beat in a little boiling water.) Whisk in a few extra knobs of butter for a rich silky finish and add the finely sliced spring onions.
Cook the asparagus in a pot of lightly salted water for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the water and place onto kitchen paper to dry. The poached eggs can be reheated in the same water while you divide the champ potato onto 4 warmed plates. Divide the asparagus onto the plates and place the heated poached eggs on top of each. Scatter with the shaved Parmesan, give a twist of black pepper and serve with a glass of St Leonards 2014 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.