Tom Aikens was the youngest chef to win two Michelin stars, aged just 26. The chef remains a leading influence on food and restaurants in the UK, most recently with the launch of his ambitious new restaurant Muse, in Belgravia. Read Brummell’s Five minutes with… Tom Aikens here and find out how to make his perfect spring breakfast recipe below.
Tom Aikens’ Asparagus, Herb Sabayon, Pea Pancake
500g frozen Birds Eye peas
6 spring onions finely chopped
50g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2g chopped chervil
2g chopped parsley
4 eggs, separated
12g caster sugar
12 turns of milled black pepper
1) Cook the peas in 1l of boiling water with 12g salt and 12g caster sugar for 2 minutes.
2) Drain very well in a colander. Place the peas in a food processor with the sieved cornflour and flour, egg yolks, seasoning, herbs, sugar and process to make a coarse purée.
3) Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt and cream of tartar until whipped thick, stir into the pea mix.
4) Cook in a small blini pan with one spray of oil for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.
1 egg and 2 egg yolks
50ml vegetable stock
100g clarified butter
10ml lemon juice and the zest of ½ lemon
8 turns of Pepper
2g chervil finely chopped
2g chives finely chopped
2g parsley finely chopped
1) Whisk the egg, egg yolks and stock in a saucepan over a very low heat until they start to get light and fluffy.
2) Remove from the heat and add the butter little by little whisking constantly.
3) Whisk vigorously until the sauce becomes fluffy, then add the lemon juice, zest, herbs, salt and pepper.
TO PREPARE THE ASPARAGUS
1) Take the asparagus spears and cut the tough end from each and remove any ears that sprout from the sides about an inch from the top.
2) Trim the base off each one and peel very slightly, cook them in 2l of boiling water with 20g salt.
3) Cook until just tender – about 2-3 minutes – then remove and place into iced water to cool.
4) Leave for 5 mins then drain and dry very well.
5) Lightly season the asparagus and brush with olive oil, then place onto a grill and cook lightly all over
CRISP BREAD CRUMBS
2 tbsps sourdough crumbs – these should be fresh breadcrumbs, not dried
Picked thyme leaves
- Place the duck fat onto the heat and once hot add the butter.
- Add the breadcrumbs and thyme, season with a small amount of pepper and salt and then cook until crispy.
TO POACH THE EGGS
1) Fill a large, shallow pan with water and bring to a simmer, adding salt (10g per litre of water), and some white wine vinegar (2-4 tbsp per litre of water), which will help the eggs hold their shape.
2) Break eight eggs into separate ramekins, and when the water is simmering, take a spoon or spatula and swirl the water round in the pan like a vortex, adding the eggs one by one quite quickly so they cook at the same time, the water swirling around like this will keep the eggs in a nice round shape.
3) You may have to move them around a little so they do not stick to each other or the bottom of the pan, and poach for 3-4 minutes till the white is soft and the yolk is runny, then spoon into iced water to refresh.
TO ASSEMBLE THE DISH
1 poached egg a portion
5 spears asparagus a portion
Crisp cooked breadcrumbs
Lemon and herb sabayon
1 pea pancake
Place the grilled spears onto the pea pancake and then onto the plate, then the warmed poached egg on top, then the warmed sabayon on the eggs and then the crumbs.