Lots of upscale breakfast restaurants are now getting fancy with their Eggs Benedict…and you should too! This combo of smoked salmon and cream cheese with the usual Benedict players is devastatingly good-better, perhaps, than the original. If only Mrs. Legrand Benedict were here to taste it!
makes 6 servings
4 cups water
½ cup distilled white vinegar
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
12 fresh large eggs
6 English muffins
12 tablespoons cream cheese (about 6 ounces), at room temperature
6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
1½ cups Hollandaise sauce (see recipe)
chopped dill for garnish
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. In a large skillet, pour in the water, vinegar and salt, and bring to a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, carefully crack 4 eggs into separate small cups. One at a time, carefully pour the eggs into the water against the side of the skillet and cook until firm, about 3 minutes. Remove poached eggs, drain on a kitchen towel and cover with another towel, which has been soaked in hot water and squeezed dry, to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining eggs. If the eggs’ whites have any ragged edges, you may trim them with kitchen shears.
4. While the eggs are poaching, make a small slit on the side of each English muffin and gently pull each muffin into 2 halves. Transfer the muffins to a baking sheet and toast under the broiler, turning once, until crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Spread each muffin half with 1 tablespoon of cream cheese, and divide the muffins among 6 plates.
5. Place some of the smoked salmon on each muffin half and top with 1 egg each. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the Hollandaise sauce over each egg (if the Hollandaise is too thick, thin it with warm water). Sprinkle with dill and serve immediately.
makes about 1½ cups
1¼ cups clarified butter
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons cold water
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste
1. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, warm the clarified butter. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.
2. In a large saucepan, pour in water to a depth of 1 inch and bring to a simmer.
3. Place the yolks and 2 teaspoons water into a large stainless steel bowl and whisk until frothy. Place the bowl over the simmering saucepan of water (make sure the water doesn’t reach a boil.) The water must not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the yolks rapidly and constantly, until very thick, about 2½ minutes.
4. Remove the bowl and saucepan from the heat. Place a kitchen towel in between the bowl and saucepan to hold the bowl in place. While rapidly whisking the thickened yolks, slowly drizzle in a small amount of the clarified butter; continue whisking until fully incorporated. Continue with the remaining butter until a thickened sauce is formed (if the yolks become too thick, add a little warm water). Whisk in the lemon juice and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until ready to use.
photo credit: Sara McGuyer