Monday, June 4, 2012

Eggs Jubilee with Smoked Salmon & Asparagus

A classic brunch dish, Eggs Benedict gets an elegant makeover with smoked salmon and asparagus. Better known as Eggs Royale, this updated recipe with poached eggs, asparagus and smoked salmon slathered in a rich, buttery, lemony hollandaise sauce, is served over healthy and delicious Dill and Feta Quinoa Fritters — a decadent, delicious and heart-smart dish fit for a Monarch. In honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee which marked her coronation 60 years ago on June 2nd 1953, this recipe for Eggs Royale should be crowned Eggs Jubilee! Perfect with a glass of champagne or hot cup of tea, there is no better way to 'reign' in the celebrations.

All smiles, the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee

Eggs Diamond Jubilee with Smoked Salmon & Asparagus
Serves 4 with 2 eggs per guest

4 egg yolks
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt and white pepper
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped, plus more for garnish
8 eggs
24 spears asparagus, blanched
8 oz smoked salmon

Dill & Feta Quinoa Fritters:
2/3 cup quinoa
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated feta cheese
3/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup canola oil

Place a small, dry saucepan over high heat. Add the quinoa and toast for about 5 minutes, shaking and stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Transfer to a large saucepan and add 1 1/3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, flour, cheese, and salt. Add onions, parsley, egg, and yolk. Stir thoroughly with a spoon until the mixture has the consistency of soft dough.

To cook the fritters, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using two soup spoons, press batter into egg-shaped ovals and gently slide into the hot oil or use a small ice cream scoop. Fry until the bottoms are golden and brown, less than a minute. Turn and fry the second side until golden, less than a minute. Drain on paper towels. Set aside and keep warm.

To make the Hollandaise, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a small saucepan over low heat. Continue to whisk until the egg mixture starts to thicken, and the wires of the whisk begin to leave 'tracks' on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and begin to drizzle in the melted butter whisking constantly. Incorporate all the butter, leaving the milky ressidue behind. Remove from heat, whisk in the dill and season with salt and white pepper. Cover and keep warm.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Break the eggs into 4 separate coffee cups or ramekins. Swirl the vinegared water briskly to form a vortex and slide in an egg. It will curl round and set it to a neat round shape. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and let dry on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the other eggs, one at a time, re-swirling the water as you slide in the eggs.

To serve, place the fritters on warmed plates, top with asparagus, smoked salmon and poached egg. Drizzle with the hollandaise sauce and garnish with a little extra dill.