Smoked Salmon Benedict on a Potato Pancake
Call in your favorite sous chef when you prepare this recipe. It’s much simpler when one person is preparing the Hollandaise and another is making the poached eggs. Plating also becomes a less complicated affair. The potato pancakes can be made ahead, and the spinach kept warm while you prepare the sauce and eggs.
• 2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled (8 ounces)
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 4 cups water
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 8 pasteurized eggs
• 3 pasteurized egg yolks, lightly beaten
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into thirds, softened
• Salt and ground white or black pepper
• 1 (4-ounce) piece smoked salmon, flaked, with skin and bones removed
• 2 tablespoons capers, drained
• 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
• 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill weed
• 8 slices crisp cooked pancetta*
In large skillet cook half the spinach in 1 tablespoon hot oil over medium high heat 1 to 3 minutes or until just wilted. Remove from
skillet; repeat with remaining spinach and oil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover; keep warm until ready to serve.
For potato pancakes, using large box grater coarsely shred peeled potato into large bowl filled with water (you should have about 2 cups shredded potatoes). Drain potatoes. Rinse with cold water; drain very well. Using paper towels, squeeze out any excess liquid in potatoes. Meanwhile, place egg in medium bowl. Stir in flour, Parmesan cheese, green onions, salt and pepper. Stir in potatoes.
Heat large griddle or heavy nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Drop potato mixture by well-rounded measure tablespoonfuls onto griddle, leaving about 1 inch between pancakes. Press to flatten slightly (about 2-1/2 to 3-inch rounds). Reduce heat to medium. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, turning once. Place cooked pancakes on wire rack set in shallow baking pan; place in 200°F oven to keep warm while remaining pancakes cook. Repeat with remaining potato mixture and oil.
For poached eggs, add water to large saucepan; add lemon juice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to simmering (bubbles should begin to break surface of water). Starting with four eggs, break eggs, one at a time, into cup; slip egg into simmering water, allowing each egg equal amount of space in water-lemon juice mixture. Simmer eggs, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken, but are not hard. Remove eggs with slotted spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining four eggs.
For Hollandaise Sauce, in top of double boiler combine egg yolks, lemon juice, and water. Add one piece butter. Place over gently boiling water (upper pan should not touch water). Cook, stirring rapidly with whisk, until butter melts and sauce begins to thicken. (Sauce may appear to curdle at this point but will smooth out when remaining butter is added). Add remaining butter, one piece at a time, stirring constantly until melted. Continue to cook and stir 2 to 2-1/2 minutes more or until sauce thickens. Immediately remove from heat. If sauce is too thick or curdles, immediately whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, arrange one potato pancake on plate. Add some sautéed spinach next to potato pancake. Add few pieces of smoked salmon to the spinach. Place poached egg on top of smoked salmon and drizzle Hollandaise Sauce over egg. Garnish Smoked Salmon Benedict with capers, red onion, dill, and pancetta. Makes 8 servings.
*Tip: To crisp cook pancetta, place half the pancetta in single layer in extra-large skillet. Cook over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Place on baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining pancetta.