- Hollandaise Sauce:
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 small pinches white pepper
- Fine sea salt
- Poached Eggs:
- Unsalted butter or nonstick spray, for greasing cups
- 8 eggs
- 4 English muffins, split and toasted
- 8 ounces Irish smoked salmon, sliced, or 8 slices prosciutto
- 1/2 small red pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 small yellow pepper, finely diced
- 2 chives, finely chopped
For the hollandaise sauce: Fill a medium saucepan (or the bottom half of a double boiler) with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. In a medium bowl that fits snugly into the saucepan without touching the bottom (or in the top half of a double boiler), whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water.
Set the bowl over the simmering water and cook over very low heat, whisking constantly, until the egg yolk mixture is very pale and thick, about 3 minutes; if it begins to heat too quickly and threatens to get lumpy, remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk for a while before setting it back over the simmering water. When ready, you should be able to see the bottom of the bowl with every whisk stroke. Continue whisking while adding the softened butter a little at a time. When all of the butter has been incorporated, add the white pepper and salt to taste. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and set it into a warm bowl of hot water to keep the sauce warm; stir occasionally while you are poaching the eggs.
For the poached eggs: Fill an egg poaching pan with 1 inch of water. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lightly grease the poaching cups with butter. Crack the eggs into the cups and set the cups into the poaching pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook to your desired doneness3 minutes for perfect runny poached eggs.
To serve: Set two toasted muffins halves on each plate. Top each with smoked salmon and a poached egg. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of hollandaise sauce over each egg. Garnish with red and yellow peppers and a sprinkling of chives. Serve immediately.