While sweet breakfasts can be a nice treat from time to time, savory breakfasts tend to be my staple morning meal. Dishes like Eggs Benedict are one of my favorites, with an exquisite mélange of tastes, textures and colors. Actually, Eggs Benedict is probably my favorite western breakfast of all time (with Huevos Rancheros coming in a close second).
There are just two problems. The first, is that the level of effort needed to make the Hollandaise sauce, makes it more of a weekend brunch than a weekday breakfast. The second issue, is that after having a plate of Eggs Benny a few weekends in a row, I’ve grown a little bored with the combination. This weekend I decided to mix things up a bit and turn it into something new.
When I first made this, I didn’t know it actually had a name, but after some Googling, it turns out I wasn’t the first to come up with the concept (or even the second or the third). With enough aliases to be a bandit on the lam this dish is also known as Eggs Royal, Eggs Atlantic, Eggs Hemingway, Eggs Montreal, or Eggs Copenhagen. I ended up going with “royale” with an extra “e” because it not only sounds better, my version isn’t just a run of the mill Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, it’s topped with salmon caviar!
Eggs with an egg and butter sauce with salmon eggs on top may sound a bit excessive, but trust me, it’s the caviar that makes this dish both literally and figuratively pop. With a nutty layer of crusty bread, a savory layer of smoked salmon, a creamy layer of eggs, a rich tangy layer of lemon infused hollandaise and the salty salmon caviar on top, you end up with alternating layers of texture and salt, making this far better balanced than a traditional Eggs Benedict.
The assembled dish is a visually stunning golden tower of goodness studded with emerald chives and crowned by a mound of fire opal caviar. Regal appearance, along with a refined balance of contrasting tastes and textures makes this dish more than live up to its name.
To speed the hollandaise up, I tried making the hollandaise in the blender. To be honest, it’s not quite as rich and creamy as a traditional hollandaise made on a double boiler, but it’s much less work and tastes a little lighter. If you want to make this with a traditional Hollandaise, just hop over to my Eggs Benedict recipe to get the recipe for that. Also, if you haven’t mastered the art of poaching eggs yet, head over to my step-by-step guide on making perfect poached eggs.
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 a lemon zested
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoon boiling water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 English muffins
- 4 poached eggs
- 100 grams smoked salmon
- chives, for garnish
- salmon caviar, for garnish
- To make the hollandaise, microwave the butter on low power until it's melted and hot, but don't let it boil. You may need to start and stop it a few times.
- Add the egg yolk and use an immersion blender to emulsify it with the melted butter.
- With the immersion blender running, drizzle in the boiling water in a steady stream. Blend in the lemon zest, lemon juice and salt to finish.
- Make the poached eggs, and split and toast the English muffins.
- Split the smoked salmon between the 4 pieces of English muffin. Top with one poached egg each, and then drizzle the hollandaise sauce on top.
- Garnish with chives and salmon caviar and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 eggs
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.