I love a fry-up as much as the next gal. I got quite enthused about English breakfasts for one post that looked into their full history. And of course there was the special brekkie at Adam’s in Birmingham, where we had the breakfast of all breakfasts thanks to Birmingham Breakfast Club’s brill organisational skills.
However, as much as I love a good old full English, it’s trumped every time if someone offers me anything that involves eggs and hollandaise sauce for breakfast. Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, Eggs Royale. As long as there’s runny yolks and buttery rich sauce, I’m sold.
My favourite is Eggs Royale – basically Eggs Benedict with salmon instead of ham. It just feels so indulgent and decadent, not to mention delicious. Mr M and I love smoked salmon and can easily eat it straight out of the pack. But it might have been replaced in our affections by a new favourite – smoked trout.
I was lucky enough to recently be sent some by Scottish fish pros RR Spink and Sons. Based in Arbroath, these guys have been sourcing and smoking salmon and trout for something like 300 years, and since they’ve got themselves a Royal Warrant, must be doing something right.
As tempted as Mr M and I were to tear open our ‘ready to eat’ Loch Etive smoked trout and eat it straight out of the pack, we decided we should do something a bit more creative so embarked on our own twist on Eggs Benedict or Eggs Royale.
Hollandaise isn’t the easiest thing to make but isn’t quite as hard as you might imagine. You just need a bit of patience. Mr M found a simple step-by-step guide on the Jamie Oliver website, courtesy of the fab blogger and cooking queen Izy Hossack which made it all seem far less daunting than it might otherwise have been.
Start by separating two eggs into yolks and whites. Put the yolks in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk in a tablespoon of lemon juice and, according to this recipe, a teaspoon of mustard.
Keep whisking as you gradually add 100g of melted butter. This is where you’ve got to be patient. Add the butter a bit at a time, whisking after each bit. Now, I genuinely did do a bit of this part, but handed responsibility back to Mr M so I could capture the moments (not because I have a short attention span and my wrist was tired).
Once it’s all added you should have a nice, thick, satin-like sauce. Then it’s just a case of poaching the eggs and assembling your special breakfast.
We usually go for toasted muffins for this, but since it was a bit of a spur of the moment brekkie we settled for granary toast, cut up and stacked high, with smoked trout piled on it, topped with a poached egg then drenched in hollandaise.
Kids, this isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you want a low-calorie, refreshing breakfast then you should have some fruit. But if you want some form of carbs, topped with well-balanced smoky salty fish, a perfectly-poached egg that oozes golden runniness when cut into, all covered in a rich, buttery emulsion of hollandaise with a slight hint of mustard, then this is for you. It’s probably up there with James Martin’s heart attack-inducing dishes when it comes to calories, fat and cholesterol, but for a special treat it’s oh-so-worth it.
RR.Spink & Sons sent me some smoked trout to try. I wasn’t obliged to make anything or to write about it. They also sent me some hot smoked trout, which was pretty awesome too. Check out my Instagram to see some of the lunches I used it with.
The hollandaise recipe is taken from Izy Hossack’s step-by-step guide that we found on the Jamie Oliver website. Check out all her other great recipes on her Top with Cinnamon blog.