This is an extremely indulgent twist on eggs benedict. Perfect for a celebratory breakfast or brunch with a glass or two of bubbly. My home smoked salmon which is available in Selfridges food hall and all of the restaurants but you can just use good quality smoked salmon. Hollandaise can be a bit tricky if you haven’t made it before so you may want to practice on yourself before your guests.
For the Hollandaise sauce
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
A few sprigs of tarragon
1 bay leaf
2 Clarence Court Burford Brown egg yolks
250g unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground white pepper
A handful of spinach leaves, blanched
4 slices (100-120g) smoked salmon
2 English muffins, halved
4 Clarence Court Burford Brown Eggs
30g salmon eggs
First make the hollandaise sauce. Put the vinegar, water, shallots, herbs and peppercorns in a saucepan and reduce the liquid to about a dessertspoonful. Strain it and put to one aside.
Melt the butter and simmer gently it for 5–10 minutes until it begins to separate. Remove it from heat, leave to cool a little, then pour off the pure butter where it has separated from the whey and discard the whey. This helps to keep the sauce thick.
Put the egg yolks into a small stainless-steel bowl with half of the vinegar reduction, and whisk over a pan of gently simmering water until the mixture begins to thicken and become frothy. Slowly trickle in the butter, whisking continuously – an electric hand whisk will help. If the butter is added too quickly the sauce will separate.
When you have added two-thirds of the butter, taste the sauce and add a little more or all of the reduction and season with salt and pepper. Then add the rest of the butter. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary, lay some clingfilm directly on the sauce to stop it forming a skin and leave in a warm (not hot) place until needed. The sauce can be reheated briefly over a bowl of hot water and lightly whisked again, but try to avoid if possible.
To serve, lightly toast the muffins and soft-poach the eggs. Reheat the spinach, lay it on the muffins, then place a slice of smoked salmon on the muffin with the poached egg on top and coat it with a couple of generous spoonfuls of the Hollandaise sauce and as much of the salmon eggs as you want.