Have you been to Alex Boake’s blog yet? It’s pretty awesome. She complements each of her unique recipes with beautiful illustrations in place of photos, and each illustration carries a great sense of motion and impeccable placement. After a bit of gushing about her work, she offered to do a recipe swap – wherein she makes one of my dishes and draws it, and I make one of her dishes and take pictures of it. I thought it was a great idea.
I decided to try and tackle her Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict recipe (also known as Eggs Atlantic, Eggs Hemingway, and Eggs Royale). I thought it was a fun gourmet dish to try for a weekend brunch, and I liked the idea of using a portabella mushroom cap to replace the standard english muffin typically found in this dish. The red bell pepper also adds a hint of sweetness not normally found in the dish, which was great. I only made one adjustment to her original recipe, and that was to add a little white vinegar to the water I used to poach my eggs – a trick I learned while working at a breakfast restaurant many years ago – the acidity helps to make sure the eggs don’t break apart during the poaching process.
image courtesy of alexboake.com
You’ll Need (serves four):
4 portabella mushroom caps
2 red bell peppers
12 thin slices smoked salmon
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 small handful fresh dill, coarsely chopped
2 egg yolks
juice of one half lemon (1 tbsp)
1/2 tsp ground mustard powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
Rinse your mushroom caps, and pat dry. Rinse the bell peppers, cut off the tops, and cut into four slices each (removing the seeds).
Preheat your grill to high, and then grill the mushrooms and peppers over direct heat, a few minutes per side. Preheat your oven to 200, then plate the mushrooms, topping them with the pepper slices on four oven-safe dishes. Keep them warm in the oven while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
To poach your eggs, bring a pot of water to a gentle boil. Add the vinegar and allow it to resume boiling. Add the eggs, allowing them to gently boil for a little over three minutes.
While the eggs are being poached, prepare the sauce. In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard powder, and salt. Using a glass measuring container, microwave the butter on high for about a minute, until it is very hot and bubbling. With an immersion blender (or electric beaters) slowly pour the hot butter into the egg yolk mixture, blending until it is creamy and thick.
Remove the plates from the oven, being careful of the hot dishes! Top each mushroom with 3 slices of salmon, and 1 egg. Pour the sauce over each, dividing it equally among the 4 plates. Top with the dill and fresh cracked pepper.