- Serves: 2
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Effort: medium
For the hollandaise
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 6 peppercorns
- 1/2 banana shallot, finely chopped
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks
For the eggs benedict
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 knob butter
- 300 g spinach, washed
- dash white wine vinegar
- 4 eggs
- 2 English muffins
- 4 long slices smoked salmon
- sprigs basil, and lemon wedges to serve
Tips and Suggestions
You can watch Allegra make her hollandaise here.
When poaching eggs following the vortex theory, the idea is that you have to create a whirlpool in your pan of boiling water by whisking it around which helps the egg hold its shape when it first enters the water.
The most important word when it comes to poaching eggs seems to be "fresh". If your eggs are too old, then the whites won't coagulate properly. The best way to test the freshness of your egg is to put it into a bowl of water. The more they float the older they are, as the egg pocket at the top expands as the egg ages.
Adding vinegar helps coagulate the egg whites to stop them thinning in the pans.
1. For the hollandaise: put the vinegar in a saucepan with the peppercorns, shallot and bay leaf, then boil over a high heat to reduce by half. Strain the reduction into a jug. Gently melt the butter so that the butter solids fall to the bottom of the saucepan, then pour into a jug and let settle so you have clarified butter left behind.
2. Put the egg yolks and a little water into a small pyrex bowl and rest it over a pan of barely simmering water, bain marie style. Whisk constantly with a balloon whisk until light and frothy, then remove from the heat, still whisking. Start to trickle the butter in, whisking all the time until you have a thick, smooth consistency. Pour in a splash of the reduction about 1 tsp to keep it loose. If the sauce is too thick, thin down with a little hot water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. For the eggs benedict: heat a large dry saucepan to a medium-high heat. Put in the garlic with a little butter, then the washed spinach. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, remove the spinach from the pan, then drain and squeeze out the excess water.
4. Heat a saucepan of water to a gentle simmer you should see tiny bubbles along the base of the pan then pour in the vinegar. Using a wooden spoon swirl the water around the pan gently, then break the eggs one by one into the pan. Leave on a gentle simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
5. Halve and toast the English muffins until lightly golden. Place 2 muffin halves on each plate, top each half with a slice of smoked salmon, some spinach and then a poached egg. Coat with the hollandaise and serve garnished with basil sprigs and lemon wedges.
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