duck eggs, asparagus and brown shrimps

this was today's breakfast. well, actually, it was more like lunch - we got up late, went to the gym, queued at the fish shop, queued at the veg shop, said hello to the butcher, came home...and then we had breakfast. so it was 12.30 already, i think. not that i wouldn't eat this at 7.30 in the morning but still. and if it looks big, i should add that we also had 3 pieces of bacon each - but they were ruining my photo so i hid them. (incidentally, i have found nitrate-free bacon in a supermarket so we now tend to eat it a little bit more often than we used to.)

i was leafing through the first mark hix book the other day when i spotted this dish. it's not so much a recipe but just a simple idea to put things together that you wouldn't normally think of doing. and it's the asparagus season now so i am making sure we eat so much of it that we're sick of the sight of the stuff by the end of may.

you can buy potted shrimps in shops if you can't find these brown ones on their own - our fishmonger sells them in little plastic trays of maybe 100g each. if you do use potted, don't use extra butter. as it happens, i poured most of the butter away because rich has some bizarre dislike of it when it's melted in large quantities. there is a particular face he makes, accompanied by the 'urghh, it smells too buttery'. personally, i didn't know such a thing was possible but there you go. i actually think it's the milk solids in the butter he hates - milk on its own makes him gag too. maybe i should just start using more ghee for cooking.

for two

a bunch of asparagus, trimmed
4 duck eggs
100g or however much you fancy of brown shrimps
olive oil
a knob of butter (25g or so)

boil the asparagus for about 4 minutes, depending on how thick it is. drain and set aside. melt the butter in a pan, add the brown shrimps and warm through. at the same time, fry the eggs until the white is set but the yolk is runny. add the asparagus to the shrimps to warm it through, then plate the eggs and spoon the asparagus and shrimp mixture on top.


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