The best meal of the day

Breakfast. I love breakfast. It tops my second favourite of lunch and exceeds by far the confusion that is dinner/supper/tea. There is an old saying that goes, “Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and supper like a pauper.” and although I don’t necessarily eat scantily for supper, I certainly eat breakfast like a King (well, a Queen anyway).

My favourite breakfast of all time is eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. I am a sucker for hollandaise sauce, I like it on eggs, on fish, on its own…though until recently I have believed it to be a recipe in the realm only of professional cooks and deemed it far too complicated for the likes of me, an enthusiastic bombshell in the kitchen.

In the realm of professionals - my birthday lunch at The Fisherman's Rest, Lymington

In the realm of professionals, trio of griddled fish with Hollandaise Sauce at The Fisherman’s Rest, Lymington

It is actually fairly simple, though you do need to exercise a little patience. As long as you have a nice cup of tea, all will be well. I have not just been to England solely to restock on tea (honest!), I went to see my dog as well, oh and my family…

Eggs Benedict (The King, or Queen, of breakfasts)

Eggs (obviously), Benedict (only joking), English muffin or thickly sliced toast, smoked salmon, butter

For the Hollandaise: 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, white peppercorns, 4 egg yolks, 250g clarified butter, pinch salt, juice of ½ a lemon.

To make the hollandaise sauce. In a saucepan, over a low heat, mix the vinegar, 4 tbsp of cold water and crushed peppercorns. Allow to bubble and reduce slightly, leave it to cool. Add the egg yolks and whisk. Set the pan over the heat and keep whisking, gradually increase the heat. The mixture should become smooth and creamy. Take the pan off the heat and pour the clarified butter in, as a trickle at first but then flowing in a stronger stream as you go. Whisk all the time, whisk hard for 30 seconds more once the butter is all added. The sauce should be thick and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste, mix in the lemon juice just before serving.

For the eggs benedict the eggs should be poached; something that seems a little daunting but is actually fairly easy as there are silicone widgets that you can buy to make it really simple. If doing the traditional way, boil some water in a small saucepan, stir with a wooden spoon to get a whirlpool and then crack the egg into the middle of the vortex. Don’t touch it, it should take about three minutes to cook then scoop it out with a slotted spoon. Have your muffins or toast ready and buttered, a layer of smoked salmon on top, ready for the eggs to be served onto. When ready, pour over plenty of hollandaise sauce.

This breakfast is my idea of heaven. I love it on a lazy Sunday morning, preferably cooked for me by someone else (ahem…)

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