Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict, Poached Egg, Hollandaise, Smoked Salmon
by Chef Michael Lam

INGREDIENTS

For Poached Egg
6 eggs (cold)
10ml white vinegar

For the Vinegar Reduction
100ml white vinegar
½ shallot, chopped
4pcs black peppercorn (whole) or 8 crack of black pepper
1 bayleaf

For the Hollandaise
4 eggs
½ lb unsalted butter
8ml lemon juice
8ml vinegar reduction (see recipe)
Salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne

Store bought
6 English muffins
½ bunch dill (washed and picked)
½ bunch chives (sliced)
30g smoked salmon or 30g bacon

DIRECTIONS

Poached Egg
Heat up a pot of water and bring to a simmer. Add in white vinegar. This will help the egg whites with some stability and help them coagulate faster. Once at a simmer, turn down the heat.

One egg at a time, crack an egg into a bowl and very gently slip the egg into the liquid. Help egg come together and not stick to the bottom or sides of the pot by using a slotted spoon to almost push the egg whites towards the yolk as the whites start to solidify. Once the yolk is covered by the whites and have started to solidify, you can now repeat the process with the rest, dropping one in at a time.

Once all eggs are in, they should take about 4 minutes. Remove them from the pot one at a time with a slotted spoon as they are ready.

If you are poaching a large amount at a time or poaching in advance for a large party, you can take the poached eggs out of the pot and place them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Once you are ready to serve, just simply place the semi poached egg back into barely simmering water for 2 minutes.

Vinegar Reduction
Add all the ingredients to a pot and reduce by 2/3. Strain liquid through a sieve or colander to remove the solids and retain the liquid. This liquid will be used as the base for your hollandaise.

For the Hollandaise
Optionally, you can either start by using whole melted butter or by clarifying your butter. To clarify your butter, melt your butter down slowly. Once the butter starts to foam at about 10 minutes, cook further for a few minutes on low making sure not to brown the milk solids. Strain the butter through some cheesecloth and set clarified butter aside in a warm area. You can do this step ahead of time and leave in your fridge or freezer and pull it as you need.

Fill a pot 1/3 with water and bring to simmer on medium heat. In a bowl larger than the circumference of the pot, combine your eggs, vinegar reduction, 2 tablespoons of cold water and whisk to create air bubbles. This will help the eggs cook evenly. Place the bowl over the pot of water and start to whisk the egg mixture. You should whisk continuously for 1 minute, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk again for 1 minute off the heat, repeating the process in order to control the temperature and not scramble the eggs.

Once the mixture starts to slowly thicken and become ribbon like, should be about 8-10 minutes, you should have a fluffy, velvety like texture. Emulsify your warm, clarified or whole, butter into the hollandaise base. Season with salt, lemon juice and cayenne. Set in a warm area or over the same pot of water with the heat very low or off.

TO SERVE

Heat up a grill. Make sure to oil the grill to prevent anything from sticking. Grill the English muffin for 2 minutes on the inside on or alternatively, place in a toaster.

Place the smoked salmon nicely on the bottom half of the toasted muffin while creating a nest/bed for poached egg to sit on. Place poached egg on top of the smoked salmon. Season the egg with salt. Cover generously with hollandaise sauce, chives and dill.

Recipe by: Chef Michael Lam
Il Covo Restaurant – Toronto 
Toronto Heat