Eggs Careme

Impress your guests with an elegant starter with Michel Roux Junior's version of a classic French haute cuisine dish.
By Michel Roux Jr
Eggs Careme
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus cooling time
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main:

  • 4 globe artichokes, preferably Breton
  • juice of half a lemons
  • 6 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices smoked salmon
  • 500 ml half-set fish aspic (optional)
  • 1 small truffle
  • 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise, preferably home-made
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp cognac
  • black pepper

Method

1. Snap off the stalks of the artichokes. Using a sharp knife, trim off the leaves until only the neatly-shaped hearts are left. Toss the hearts in the lemon juice to prevent discolouring.

2. Bring a large pan of salted water with 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar added to it to the boil. Add the artichoke hearts and boil for 20-35 minutes, depending on their size. Set aside to cool in the cooking liquid.

3. Bring a shallow saucepan of water to the boil and add the remaining vinegar. Break in the eggs and poach them until cooked to taste. Using a slotted spoon transfer the eggs from the saucepan to a deep bowl of ice-cold water. Remove the cooled poached eggs, place on a tea-towel and trim the ragged edges of the egg whites.

4. Use an 8cm circular pastry cutter to cut a neat circle from each slice of smoked salmon. Lay the smoked salmon circles on a wire rack and coat each circle with half-set fish aspic, if using.

5. Cut four slices from the truffle and top each smoked salmon circle with a truffle slice. Refrigerate the smoked salmon until needed.

6. Cut the smoked salmon trimmings into small dice. Roughly chop the remaining truffle and mix with the smoked salmon. Stir in the mayonnaise, ketchup and Cognac. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, bearing in mind the saltiness of the smoked salmon.

7. To serve, remove the cooled artichokes from their cooking liquid. Cut out the prickly chokes from the artichoke hearts and pat the hearts dry.

8. Fill each artichoke heart with the diced smoked salmon mixture. Top each artichoke heart with a poached egg, then one of the garnished smoked salmon rounds. Serve the dish on a cold (but not chilled) plate.

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