This luxurious breakfast dish is an adaptation of the American brunch classic known as Eggs Benedict. Poached eggs may seem like an advanced skill, but with the simple set of instructions below you’ll find it quite easy. The key is to use very fresh eggs as the white will set closely around the yolk. Older eggs, which are approaching their ‘use by’ date, have whites with a much thinner texture that disperses in the cooking liquid.
Poached egg and smoked salmon muffins
Prep: 20 mins
- A small pinch of saffron (or yellow food colouring, see cheat’s tip)
- 2 tablespoons skimmed milk
- 100g (3 ½ oz) low fat soft cheese
- 1 tablespoon half fat crème fraiche
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- 100g (3 ½ oz) smoked salmon
- 2 English muffins halved
- 4 very fresh eggs
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Get everything ready before you start to poach the eggs. First, make the sauce. Place the saffron (or food colouring) and milk in a small saucepan. Warm gently and stir to start releasing the colour from the saffron. Add the soft cheese, crème fraiche and mustard and mix until smooth. Season with pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste then set aside.
- Roughly tear the smoked salmon and divide into four portions, ready to serve, and get the English muffins ready to toast.
- Bring a deep lidded frying pan (about 4cm/1 ½ inches deep) of water to the boil, then reduce the heat until the water is barely simmering. The small bubbles that form on the base of the pan should no longer be rising to the surface. Break each egg in turn into a cup or ramekin and gently tip it into water, evenly spacing them around the pan. If the eggs aren’t completely covered by water, spoon a little over the top of each one. Cover with a lid and cook for 4 minutes on a low heat.
- Meanwhile, return the sauce to the hob and heat gently, stirring, but do not allow to boil. Lightly toast the muffins and place half a muffin on each warmed serving plate then top with the smoked salmon.
- When the poached eggs are ready, lift each one out with a slotted spoon, resting the spoon briefly on kitchen paper to absorb any excess water. Place each egg on top of a muffin and spoon the sauce over the egg. Serve immediately.