Is there any meal more indulgent than brunch?
I don’t think so. It’s an excuse to drink hard liquor before noon, an excuse to fry pancakes and eggs in bacon grease and eat too many bagels. Do I need to say it? I love brunch.
My favorite brunch meal is Eggs Benedict. I order it at restaurants whenever I can, but for me there’s nothing quite like the homemade version. Because at home, even despite the famous fussiness of Hollandaise sauce, I can make it the way I like it.
And that is with salmon cakes. Not Canadian bacon, not smoked salmon, but salmon cakes. You know–like crab cakes, but… with salmon. It has the richness of a crab cake but not the overwhelming saltiness of smoked salmon. The recipe I used is based on Ina Garten’s salmon cake recipe here. This recipe makes four gargantuan servings.
Eggs Benedict with Salmon Cakes
– 2 4.5 oz tins canned salmon
– 1 small red bell pepper, diced
– 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
– 1 cup diced celery
– 1 cup diced red onion
– 1 bunch minced Italian parsley
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
– 2 tbsp mayonnaise
– 1 tbsp dijon mustard
– 1 tsp cayenne pepper (2 if you like it extra spicy)
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp Tobasco sauce
– 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
– Lemon juice
– Salt and pepper
– 4 English muffins, split
– 12 eggs (4 for Hollandaise sauce)
– 6 tbsp melted butter
– 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
– Hot sauce
– Salt and pepper
To make the salmon cakes, melt down the bell peppers, celery, onion, parsley, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, Tobasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce with olive oil in a sautee pan over medium heat. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine canned salmon, eggs, bread crumbs, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Once the vegetables are cool, combine with the salmon mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then form the salmon mixture into 2-ounce balls.
Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook the salmon cakes in batches of three or four, flattening them in the pan with a spatula. To keep them warm, stick them in the oven at 250 degrees.
To make the Hollandaise sauce, beat four eggs yolks with an electric mixer for 30 seconds, then slowly pour in warm melted butter until combined. Add lemon juice, a dash of hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. To keep the sauce warm, keep it submerged in a large bowl of warm water weighted down with a plate until it is time to serve.
To poach the eggs, crack one egg at a time into a small bowl. Bring water to a simmer in a medium-sized pot. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, stir the water until a “whirlpool” forms, then drop the egg into the water. Cook for 1 minute until egg is fully cooked but the yolk is runny.
To assemble, place one salmon cake on each half of a toasted English muffin. Place the poached egg on top, and cover with Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and cayenne pepper or paprika. Serve with sliced tomatoes or salad. Enjoy!