All you need to make this recipe a meal is a pot of good coffee or a pitcher of mimosas. If you feel like experimenting in the kitchen, Richard also recommends whipping 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of Versawhip 600K modified soy protein to make the whipped maple. Versawhip 600K is available from WillPowder at willpowder.com and at amazon.com. You can also vary the herbs in the panko mixture, and swap the asparagus for broccolini. Recipe courtesy of Top Chef All-Stars Winner Richard Blais.


  • 4 ham steaks (trimmed, about 1/4-inch thick)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Crystal)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons leaf parsley (fresh flat-, finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 tablespoons lard (also known as manteca, or more if needed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili paste (such as harissa*)
  • 12 spears asparagus (trimmed)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (such as Blis)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces sausage (patty style breakfast)
  • 2 tablespoons onion (finely diced)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • salt
  • black pepper


  1. For whipped maple, using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip cream to stiff peak. Fold in maple syrup. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. For sausage vinaigrette, in a medium skillet over medium heat, combine sausage, onion, garlic, ginger, and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up sausage, until sausage is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits in the skillet. Remove from the heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
  3. For asparagus, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a small bowl, combine oil and harissa. Arrange asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and spread with harissa mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Squeeze juice from lemon over asparagus. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  5. While asparagus is roasting, for eggs, prepare an ice bath and set aside. In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook eggs for exactly 6 minutes. Transfer eggs to the ice bath and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  6. Peel eggs, then season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  7. For ham cutlet, place flour in a large, shallow bowl. In another large, shallow bowl, whisk eggs, mustard, and hot sauce. In a third large, shallow bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, parsley, basil, chives, tarragon, and garlic.
  8. In a very large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons lard. Working one cutlet at a time, dredge in flour mixture, egg mixture, and panko mixture. Add cutlets to skillet and cook, in batches if necessary and using more lard as needed, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer cutlets to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  9. To serve, arrange cutlets on plates, and spoon on breakfast sausage vinaigrette. Arrange egg on top and asparagus along side. Garnish with whipped maple.
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