More than just an English breakfast

Eggs Onassis: A breakfast for your inner millionaire.

More than just an English breakfast
Photo: David Basckin
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A poached egg or two, maybe a dollop of store-bought mayo and a slice of toast – well, heck man, there’s nothing too magical about that line-up for breakfast! But just say the toast was an English muffin, the sauce your very own butter-rich Hollandaise and the garnish 50g of smoked salmon. See how little it takes to rev up breakfast to a whole new level?

Ingredients to make a millionaire’s breakfast for two, you will need:

  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 100g smoked salmon
  •  2 English muffins (sold in packs of 4)

And for the Hollandaise:

  • 2 eggs
  • 100g butter
  •  ½ lemon
  • A little salt, plus white pepper on demand


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Firstly, some thoughts on English muffins. You will never find an English muffin in England. This is because English muffins are American. Bizarre, I grant you but that’s the way the muffin crumbles. For this breakfast homage to excess, an English muffin has the edge on toast, due entirely to the bigger holes created by the vigorous yeast action. Bigger holes in the muffin hold more sauce. This is a good thing.

Next, the Hollandaise sauce. This recipe is a simple, basic version, just right for the beginner cook’s first attempt at a hot, edible emulsion. Start by separating the eggs and retaining the yolks. Cut the butter into small blocks, about 10mm square.
Squeeze the half lemon and remove the seeds from the juice. Select a small saucepan, pour in the lemon juice plus 20ml cold water, add the two yolks and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Raise the heat to a slow simmer and whisk with a ball whisk. Do this until the mixture begins to thicken.

Action stations: add the butter cubes one at a time, whisking as you do. When all the butter had been added, remove from the heat and cover. Congratulations! You’ve just made your first Hollandaise sauce. Now for the poached eggs. You can use a dedicated poaching pan. Alternatively, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Lower the heat to stop the boiling motion. Crack an egg into a cup and gently pour it into the saucepan of just-off-the-boil water.

The raw egg will float, allowing you to shove the bits of cooked egg white towards the yolk, so retaining the cooking egg in one mass. When done to your liking, use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg from the water. Repeat with the second egg. While all this has been going on, someone else has cut the English muffins in half and toasted them. Place half a toasted English muffin on a warmed plate, lay the freshly poached egg on the muffin, arrange 50g of smoked salmon across the yolk, pour on a couple of spoons of hot Hollandaise sauce and serve this to roars of applause.

Were you to add a steaming mug of freshly made Ethiopian coffee either black or with a little fresh cream, your dining companions will be rendered utterly speechless with awe and delight. 


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