Monday, November 8, 2010

Poached egg, smoked salmon with crème fraîche ポーチドエッグとスモークサーモン

This can be a breakfast (for us) on weekends when it strikes our fancy or a mid-night snack after drinking (for younger fellow imbibers). I'm not sure how this got started but my wife came up with this one. It is a cross between bagels, lox and creme cheese (hold the bagel) and a variation of eggs benedict (hold the hollandaise). This variation may be (very) slightly, less deadly than the original because there is no hollandaise sauce and (hopefully) some benefit from the Omega 3 in the salmon.

The recipe starts with a base of toasted and buttered English muffin bread (homemade, my wife promised me to post her recipe soon). On top of that goes a generous smear of crème fraîche (if not available, use sour cream or cream cheese). Next comes a sprinkle of chopped chives (my wife puts the chives on at this point so they are held in place by the next layers. Otherwise they just fall off the piece on the way to your mouth.  One layer of good cold smoked salmon follows the chives and the whole thing is topped with a poached egg. We sprinkled salt on top of the egg and more chopped chives as garnish. (It doesn't matter if these fall off the chive flavor is locked in the lower layer.)

The poached egg should have a runny egg yolk so that when you cut into it, the yolk makes a wonderful sauce. The combination of all these ingredients work so well together. If you like smoked salmon, you will like this dish.

Since I mentioned several times how easy it is to make poached eggs but never really illustrated the steps, I decided to post some visual aids. We tried many methods including an egg poacher, a classic vinegar water method, Pepin's swirl-water-and-put-an-egg-in-the center-of-the-vortex method (it appears he is not advocating this silly method any longer) but our method always works, no fuss no muss.

1. Use pasteurized eggs (in the U.S., notice a red "P" in a circle).
2. Use a good non-stick frying pan with a high side wall and add enough water so that the eggs can be completely submerged. I also salt the water for subtle seasoning of the eggs (optional) but absolutely no vinegar. (We do not like vinegar tasting eggs). The water should be just barely simmering. Crack an egg into a small ramekin and slide the egg as seen here. 
3. Eggs will sink to the bottom. 
4. Eggs will stick to the bottom (Do not worry). Poach them until the surface of the yolks are opaque and set but the yolks are still runny (4-5 minutes).
5. Using a perforated (slotted) spoon, gently separate the eggs from the bottom. It should not be difficult if the pan is a good non-stick pan. If you encounter undue difficulty, use a silicon spatula to separate the eggs from the bottom of the pan, (if that happens you may want to throw out the pan and buy a new one).
6. Drain the water trapped by the spoon or dripping off the egg by touching the bottom of the perforated spoon to a paper towel and place it on the plate (Do not leave it on the paper towel. It will become very difficult to transfer without breaking the yolk). I usually keep one on the spoon as seen in the picture for easy transfer.

If you are into the looks, you could take off thin peripheral shaggy portions of the egg white to make it pretty.


tobias said...

Hi Norio,

well, I cook a lot but I never did poached eggs. With this intro I will try.


Uncle N said...

As long as you have a good non-stick pan, it should work. Let me know how it goes.

Jon said...

I thought the salmon was kalasumi until I read the title. That would be an interesting izakaya dish.

Uncle N said...

Karasumi is difficult to get here. Only time I had it in the U.S. is in Japanese restaurants like "Sushitaro". I agree this can be "shime" or late night snack in Izakaya.