Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

This recipe is not easy. Or quick. Or even remotely healthy. It is, however, incredibly decadent and delicious. And if you’re in need of a classy brunch fix, don’t bother waiting in line at the local overpriced joint, make this recipe instead. Full disclosure though, there was a lot of yelling and cursing involved during preparation… Poaching eggs is a delicate operation and making hollandaise sauce requires patience and attention. It is damn good though and well worth the anxiety. Friends, pour yourself a glass of champagne topped off with some fresh squeezed orange juice and get your butt in the kitchen, these eggs benedict aren’t going to make themselves!

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Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

3 egg yolks

2 tbsp water

6 tbsp butter

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

pinch of cayenne

pinch of salt

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp salt

4 eggs

water

2 English muffins

1 cup fresh spinach

olive oil

smoked salmon

fresh parsley

To make hollandaise sauce: Put the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, whisking constantly until light and frothy and slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Return to heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick. Add lemon juice and cayenne, taste and adjust seasoning.

To poach eggs: Bring an inch of water to a boil in a small skillet, add teaspoon of salt and vinegar, and lower the heat so it barely bubbles. Crack the eggs in a bowl and gently slip them into the water. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Assembly: Saute spinach in a  little olive oil until wilted. Toast English muffins. Top each muffin with a little spinach, a piece of smoked salmon, an egg, and a spoonful of hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

FULL DISCLOSURE: This recipe was not all sunshine and rainbows, as you can probably imagine. My beautiful silky hollandaise sauce started to separate at one point and I freaked out. After some quick googling, I read that placing an ice cube in the sauce and whisking furiously can often do the trick. And it worked!

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