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!
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
2 English muffins
1 cup fresh spinach
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!