Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon and Chives

You know those things you think you just can’t do? For years I’ve been convinced I couldn’t poach an egg. I had tried and tried and tried again, and failed more times than I can remember. A darned shame too, because of all the ways eggs can be made poached is by far my favourite. 

But today is King’s Day in the Netherlands - and with all outside festivities cancelled it was up to me to make of the day what I could. So I put on a pretty dress and decided to get over myself and make myself the rich and festive brunch I’d been craving: eggs benedict with smoked salmon and chives. Poached eggs and all. And this time they came out perfect. The lesson here: never convince yourself that you can’t do something. 

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon and Chives

Ingredients (serves 2):
80g smoked salmon
2 eggs (as fresh as possible - fresh eggs hold together better when poached)
2 slices of white bread
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
sprinkle of fresh chives
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

hollandaise sauce:
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
100g butter
pinch of salt

Instructions:
1. Take 2 eggs and split them, putting the yolks in a bowl (retain the whites if you like, you can use them later to make meringues).

2. Whisk the yolks with a pinch of salt to mix them (don’t overdo it).

3. In a small sauce pan, heat the lemon juice and 1 tbsp vinegar. When warmed, slowly add it to the egg yolks, as you keep whisking.

4. In the same saucepan you used earlier, melt the butter - heat until 2/3 is melted and then let the remainder melt by the heat of the rest of the butter. This way, you prevent it from burning. Drizzle it into the egg mixture, whisking all the while until you have a silky, smooth, thick sauce.

5. Now make the poached eggs. Take skillet with relatively high edges and fill it with about 6 cm of water and bring it to a boil. Add the remaining half of the vinegar.

6. Turn the water off the heat temporarily so that it doesn’t form bubbles when you put in the egg. I like to do the eggs one after the other, because it gives me more control. Crack the egg open into a small bowl, taking care not to break the yolk.

7. Swirl the water in circles in the pan and carefully drop the egg into it, swirling a bit more to keep the egg together. Turn the fire back on (low heat) and leave for about 3 minutes, until the white is cooked but the yellow is still runny. Remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat for the other egg.

8. Divide the salmon over the two slices of bread. Place an egg on top of each, and top with hollandaise sauce. Season with salt and pepper and top with some fresh chives.

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon and Chives

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