Earlier this week, some friends and I tried Alton Brown’s smoked salmon method (videos here and here). We ended up with some delicious smoked salmon as well as some bonus smoked mackerel (equally delicious!).
I stashed most of our haul in the freezer for later (Sarah makes an excellent smoked salmon chowder), but we kept a hunk in the fridge for nibbling on. Yesterday I decided to whip up a Hollandaise sauce for some smoked salmon eggs benedicts.
My dad is the family eggs benedict king – he makes a big breakfast almost every Sunday, especially during the holidays when everyone is back in Spokane. His Hollandaise is really great – it is spiked with quite a bit of lemon juice to keep everything from getting too heavy, as things can get when you’re serving an egg-and-butter sauce on top of eggs and smoked meat. Don’t let anyone tell you you have to make Hollandaise in a double-boiler, either. You can use any small skillet or even saute pan, although a nonstick surface will make things easier. Dad and I both have Farberware nonstick saucier pans sort of like this one (different brand, obviously) – they work great as nothing gets trapped in the corners of the pan.
Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon
Hollandaise recipe from Al Rossi
- 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
- 2 egg yolks plus 4 eggs
- at least 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, plus more if needed (this is about one lemon’s worth, but I do like to measure it)
- splash of white or rice vinegar, or more lemon juice
- 4 good pieces of smoked salmon, lightly flaked (or substitute 4 pieces of Canadian bacon or ham, or substitute a slice of tomato for an equally good – if not equivalent – vegetarian option)
- 4 English muffins
Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove and set aside.
In a small saucepan, preferably nonstick, combine the egg yolks, a big pinch of salt, and the tablespoon of lemon juice. Set the pan over low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened slightly. This will take about 3 or 4 minutes and you can tell it has happened when you can drag your whisk through the egg yolk and it leaves a trail that doesn’t fill in immediately.
Still whisking constantly, drizzle in the melted butter. Continue to cook for a minute or two, or until the sauce thickens up a little bit. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. The sauce should be sprightly, so don’t be afraid to add more lemon juice if you think it needs it.
Meanwhile, poach the eggs. You can use my method from the kale+pasta+egg recipe or your favorite method. I recommend adding a big pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to the poaching water.
Once you have your sauce and eggs ready, toast the English muffins. If you are using Canadian bacon or ham, I like to crisp it up slightly in a hot pan, but this is optional. Assemble the sandwiches: place the fish or ham on each half of the muffin, add the egg, and drizzle the Hollandaise over everything. Serve immediately, with lots of coffee and orange juice.