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Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

SERVES 4 SUPER EASY

Overview

This elegant dish makes a brilliant brunch centrepiece.

Ingredient list

250 g (9 oz) puff pastry
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
25 g (1 oz) butter
250g (9 oz) spinach. washed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
150 g (5 oz) sliced smoked salmon
8 large. very fresh free–range eggs
Chives and tarragon leaves to garnish

Butter Sauce

100 ml  ½ fI oz) whipping cream
100 g ( ½ fl oz) unsalted butter
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Roll the pastry to 0.5 cm (¼ in) thickness, cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Method

Pre–heat the oven to 200°C/400o/Gas 6. Cut 8 × 8 cm (3 in) circles from the pastry, put them on a baking sheet and carefully brush the top of each with the egg yolk wash. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3 and bake for a further 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Heat 25 g (1 oz) butter in a large frying pan over moderate heat and, when it foams, add the spinach and a little salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until the leaves are tender and bright green. Drain off any excess liquid and keep warm. Cut the smoked salmon into broad strips, discarding any dark pieces.

Bring a shallow saucepan of water to the boil and poach the eggs. Lift them out with a slotted spoon, trim the ragged edges and drain on clean tea towel.

To make the sauce, bring the cream to the boil in a small pan, whisk in the butter, remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, lemon juice, herbs and seasoning.

To serve, put a little spinach on top of each pastry circle and arrange smoked salmon on top. Put them in the oven for a minute, then put  on each plate, top each with a poached egg and pour the sauce over. Garnish with chives and tarragon.

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