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Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

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Serves 4.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe found on Epicurious.

This smoked salmon eggs benedict was shockingly delicious. I did not expect such a good flavor, especially in the hollandaise sauce.

Ingredients:

For the Hollandaise (makes about 1 cup/237ml):
2 tablespoons lemon juice (preferably from a fresh lemon)
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3 egg yolks (from large eggs)
1 tablespoon butter
4 ounces (113g) butter; room temperature
For the Eggs Benedict (per serving):
1 large egg
1 thick slice of bread; toasted (pain de mie works well)
1 ounce (28g) smoked salmon; sliced
Hollandaise from above
For Poaching the Eggs:
Several cups water
3 tablespoons white vinegar
For Garnish:
10 sprigs of fresh parsley; leaves only, finely chopped

Directions:

To Make the Hollandaise Sauce:

Combine the lemon juice, water, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Assemble a double boiler with two saucepans, one pan small enough to fit inside the other. Place about 1 cup (237ml) of water in the larger pan.

Place the egg yolks in the smaller pan and whisk until frothy and slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, slowly add the lemon juice mixture to the yolks and combine thoroughly.

Heat the larger pan over a medium-high flame until the water comes to a boil. Carefully nest the smaller pan (with the yolk mixture) in the larger one. Add the 1 tablespoon of butter and whisk constantly over the heat. When the water returns to the boil, reduce the heat to low and whisk the yolk mixture until it thickens to a sauce. This will happen quickly. (The internal temperature should be no higher than 150°F (66°C) because at 158° (70°C) the yolk will begin cooking, giving you scrambled eggs. If this happens, discard the sauce (or use it for something else) and start again.

As soon as the sauce thickens, quickly remove it from the heat and begin whisking in the 4 ounces (113g) of butter, about a tablespoon at a time, thoroughly incorporating each addition of butter before adding more. Cover the hollandaise sauce and set aside. It can be reheated carefully in the double boiler later.

Toast the bread, enough slices as needed.

To poach the eggs, heat several cups of water with the vinegar in a large sauté pan until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer. Break each egg into a small bowl, trying not to break the yolk, and then ease each egg into the simmering water. Do this close to the surface of the water to prevent the eggs from spreading and breaking up. Note: It is essential to use only the freshest eggs with a white that is still well formed and held together. Older eggs will disperse in the water.

Poach the eggs for 3 minutes, adjusting the heat under the water to maintain a gentle simmer. Rapidly boiling water will disperse the eggs. As each egg is cooked, lift from the water with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to absorb excess water. The lacy film can be trimmed from the eggs, if desired.

Place a slice of toast on a plate. Arrange a slice of smoked salmon on the toast. Place the poached egg on the salmon and then coat with a generous spoonful of warm hollandaise sauce. Finish by garnishing with finely chopped fresh parsley. Serve.