Monday, May 2, 2016

Poached Eggs on Asparagus Bundled with Prosciutto on Cheesy Polenta for #BrunchWeek2016 #sponsor

Here we are at day two of one of my favorite blogging weeks of the year: Brunch Week. Every year, Terri of Love and Confections coordinates a multi-blogger, multi-day celebration of all things brunch. This year Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures is co-hosting. And I challenge myself to post everyday, getting creative with all of the sponsor goodies we receive for participating. It's so much fun.

If you've been following me for even a little while, you know that I gravitate towards the savory side of things. When I received the generous sponsor package from Cabot Cheese I knew exactly what I was going to make: cheesy polenta. It's a family favorite and on our table at least every couple of weeks.

I picked the white oak cheddar and paired it with fire roasted green chiles and some fennel pollen.

The word fennel comes from the Latin word fenum meaning 'hay' which might describe its sweet, grassy smell. Charlemagne is credited with introducing fennel into central Europe. And this aromatic plant is found in Greek mythology and Italian folklore. Fennel is purported to have bestowed immortality in the Greek legend of Prometheus. Roman women believed that eating fennel reduced obesity. Pliny wrote about fennel as a cure for many complaints and for improving sight. And, to keep away ghosts, keyholes were stuffed with fennel seeds.

Before I get on with the recipe, I want to talk about the cheese grater I received from Cabot Cheese. When I first looked at it, I thought: oh, it's cute, but I won't use that. I have so many cheese graters. But it turns out I was wrong. It's the perfect size for grating and - here's the best part - it's easy to clean because it's completely open on the back, unlike my box grater that is a torture to clean. So excited to use this! 

This is a multiple part dish, but the polenta can be done ahead of time and everything else comes together in a jiffy.

Ingredients serves 4

Cheesy Polenta
  • 1 C polenta
  • 2-1/2 C warm water
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 small can of fire roasted green chiles
  • 2 C shredded aged cheddar (prefer Cabot Cheese), divided into 1-1/2 C and 1/2 C
  • 2 T butter
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fennel pollen
Asparagus Bundles
  • 20 thin asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 4 pieces of prosciutto

Poached Eggs
  • 4 to 8 eggs, depending on if you're serving 1 or 2 eggs per person 
  • water

  • freshly ground pepper
  • freshly ground salt
  • fennel pollen


Cheesy Polenta
Bring water, orange juice, and honey to a boil in a large saucepan. Add freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring constantly, approximately 15 to 20 minutes

Remove from the heat, stir in butter, green chiles, and 1-1/2 C shredded cheddar. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Spoon into a buttered pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and fennel pollen. Let cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.

When you're ready to serve, cut the polenta into squares or diamonds. Place them on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet. Heat till warmed through in the oven.

Asparagus Bundles
Quickly blanch the asparagus. Drain. Let cool until you can touch it comfortably.

Heat the oven to broil and place a rack about 5 to 6 inches below the heating element. 

Brunch 4 to 5 asparagus together and wrap each bundle with 1 slice of prosciutto in a downward spiral toward the cut end, barely overlapping the edges of the prosciutto. Place on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat, leaving as much space as possible between each bundle.

Broil for 3 minutes. Flip the asparagus over and return to the oven. Broil until the asparagus is charred in spots and the prosciutto is crisped and browned, approximately 3 more minutes.

Poached Eggs
Fill a saucepan with 3 to 4 inches of water. Bring water to a boil, then lower the heat until the water is at a simmer. Crack eggs into the simmering water. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let sit for 4 minutes. This results in eggs whose whites are completely cooked and the yolks are still runny. See photo above!

Gently lift the poached eggs out of the pan with a slotted spoon and serve.

Lay your polenta pieces on a plate. Place the asparagus bundle on top. Plate the poached egg next to the polenta. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fennel pollen. Serve immediately.

The Other Bloggers' Recipes
Get ready to be inspired!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
BrunchWeek Desserts:

The Giveaway
Many thanks to the #BrunchWeek sponsors whose ingredients were used in the creation of this recipe. Thank you, Cabot Cheese!

Don't forget to visit my kick-off post and enter the huge giveaway: here!

Disclaimer - Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own.


  1. I want this right now!!! It looks so tasty!

  2. This looks great Cam....I have never made polenta nor have I had it.

  3. I love polenta and eggs. They're like a perfect pair for me.

  4. Such a wonderful combination of flavors. Sounds perfect.


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