Friday, May 7, 2010

Salmon Benedict

I thought it would be nice to cook up something special for Mother's Day.  Unfortunately I live to far from my mom to cook this dish for her but maybe you have the opportunity to cook for your mom.  I was thinking of a Sunday morning brunch, some salmon or a frittata.  Then my thoughts took off from there. One of my favorite brunches is eggs benedict, especially crab benedict made with a crab cake.  I have always thought that it would be to much work to make eggs benedict and have saved it for eating out.  But I have been looking at recipes and if you break it down into steps and plan ahead, it really isn't that bad especially when you find the easiest hollandaise sauce on the planet.     
So staying with the salmon theme and my favorite breakfast, I decided to try a salmon benedict.  How bad could it be? A moist, well flavored salmon cake on top of a toasted English muffin.  All topped off with a perfectly poached egg and hollandaise sauce dripping down over the top.  I think any mother would enjoy this one and if not, just the fact that you cooked for her would probably make it a very special day.

Salmon Benedict

2 6oz cans of salmon or 12 oz. fresh salmon (I used canned)
1 large egg
24 saltine crackers, crushed into small crumbs
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter

In a medium size bowl, add the canned salmon and flake it a bit with a fork.  Add the egg, 12 crushed saltine crackers, the Old Bay, Dijon, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Mix gently until incorporated.   I wouldn't add any salt to this mixture.  Pepper is okay but you are getting quite a bit of salt from the Saltines so you really don't need it.  Form the mixture into your desired size, 2.5 - 3 inch diameter, about 3/4 thick.  If the mixture won't stay together, add another tablespoon of mayonnaise.  Coat each patty in the remaining Saltine crumbs.  Refrigerate for an hour.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat.  Add the patties and cook about 5-8 minutes on each side or until golden.  Drain on paper towels.  
This has to be the easiest hollandaise ever.  Now remember that this is not diet food but it is Mother's Day so you have a free pass as the cook and/or as a mother.  Think about the fact that it is good, wholesome, homemade food without any preservatives.  That counts for a lot in my book. Not to mention how good it tastes.  This is all done in the blender. The hardest part is melting the butter.

The Easiest Lemony Hollandaise
Adapted from Tyler Florence

3 egg yolks
1/2 lemon, zested
1 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
3 tablespoons water
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted

Add everything but the butter to a blender.  Blend this together and then start slowly adding your melted butter in as the blender is going.  Do this slowly.  Once it's incorporated, turn off the blender, check for seasoning.  You will probably need to add some salt to balance the lemon flavor.  If it's to thick, add a tablespoon of water to thin until you get the desired consistency. 

Poached Eggs

6-8 large eggs
White vinegar

Place a large saute pan over medium heat and fill with a few inches of water.  Heat until just below a simmer.  Add a splash of white vinegar and using a wooden spoon, stir the water in one direction to create a small whirlpool.  Crack the eggs and add one at a time to the spinning water.  This keeps them contained.  Make sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pan while cooking.  Cook until desired doneness.  Remove with a slotted spoon.

Assembling Salmon Benedict

On a plate, layout a toasted English muffin.  Place a salmon cake on each half and then top with a poached egg.  Drizzle the hollandaise on top of each.  Sprinkle some chives on top for a garnish.


Post a Comment