Smoked Salmon Benedict for Easter – A Poaching Primer

my perfect poached eggs atop a smoked salmon benedict
After all the excitement leading up to easter sunday, I was disappointed when a big family brunch at my place fell through. Still, even if I had to set the table for Tickle-Me-Elmo and my stuffed hippo Happie, dammit!, I was going to make brunch! Thank goodness for Jenn and John, guests who came though at the end, else no one would have appreciated what I couldn’t believe turned out to be picture-perfect poached eggs my first time. (All my stuffed animals are on Weight Watchers, so they wouldn’t have touched the stuff.)

cheers to easter with a cranberry champagne cocktail

I’ve watched many a celebrity chef poach eggs on tv, and with all the detailed instructions, “be careful to do this” and “make sure you do that,” I thought my first few amateur attempts would understandably leave me with watery scrambled eggs. Ha! First one out of the gate and it came out a winner. You see, although there is a technique, there’s no talent for making poached eggs. Those silly chefs just purposely make it look hard so that they look like culinary geniuses when their eggs poach perfectly. bua ha ha ha! I’m onto them now. Next thing you know, I’ll determine souffles are nothing more than a piece of cake! Literally.

bring on the bacon

roasted potatoes, pre-hollandaise

What screams sunday brunch more than Eggs Benedict? Cranberry and champagne cocktails, and well, for us, an entire package of extra thick smoked bacon! Apparently, the replacement of Canadian bacon on the Benedict with smoked salmon dropped us too far below the fat/calorie floor, so we added back its choleterol-laden american cousin on the side. And as if that weren’t enough to get the cardiologist’s beeper hopping, everything, including the garlic and herb roasted potatoes and asparagus that could have saved our hearts, was drenched in hollandaise sauce. Yes, I cheated and made the holladaise from a *gasp!* package, but I didn’t think I could handle poaching eggs for the first time and making holladaise from scratch. Now I know, next time, I could do both and probably lay the eggs myself.

How to Make Perfectly Poached Eggs

sarah’s notes: a large pot with low sides makes it easier to take the poached eggs out, and i think you can do as many as will fit into the pot at one time, but i am a wimp, and did one egg at a time. and who cares about a slotted spoon?! just use whatever you have to fish those slippery little suckers out of the water.

1. bring a pot of water with about 3 inches of water to a simmer
2. add ~ 3 tbsp white vinegar – this apparently helps the eggs to “set”
3. crack an egg into a little bowl, cup or a large ladle, then slip the egg into the simmering water.
4. you can herd the little egg white flyaways back together, but it’s not really going to do anything
5. after about 3 minutes, remove the egg. for the rest, lather, rinse, repeat.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous March 29, 2005 at 9:39 am

that smoked salmon benedict looks AMAZING! you should have invited me over!!!


2 Anonymous March 29, 2005 at 6:23 pm

They were amazing! -Figi.


3 sarah j. gim March 29, 2005 at 7:41 pm

hee hee! thanks, guys! my next eggs-periment will be CRABCAKES BENEDICT – and you are all invited for SURE!


4 James March 30, 2005 at 7:35 am

I have an egg poaching thing that has these little cups w/ holes in the bottom for each egg that come out of the pan, it was only like 30 bucks at William Sonoma and you can do four eggs ata time in it.

Where’s the recipe for the hollandaise? I don’t like it super lemony…how’s yours taste?



5 sarah j. gim March 30, 2005 at 7:57 am

yeah, not so lemony…more like, buttery, creamy, FATTY – haha! and you have called me out – i used a *gasp!* package to make the hollandaise. i cheated.


6 James March 30, 2005 at 11:52 pm

I admitedly glossed over the end where it says that…’doh!
What brand package then?


7 sarah j. gim March 31, 2005 at 12:00 am

a chef can’t reveal all her secrets, now can she?!?!

okay, this is how cheap i am – i think it was actually the in-store generic brand! ralph’s, brown package. $1.99 :)


8 Anonymous December 21, 2007 at 7:29 am

so why is your picture the same as the one on this website?

can you say copyright infringement and intellectual dishonesty?!


9 sarah December 21, 2007 at 7:42 am

anonymous: don’t worry. they checked with me before they used it.

oh yeah, and sarah j gim? that’s me.



10 d* March 20, 2008 at 9:25 pm

next time, i could probably lay the eggs myself.


the egg benedict looks SO good!


11 sarah March 21, 2008 at 12:06 am

donut: that’s right. one step beyond martha keeping her own chickens and laying those darn eggs myself. :)


12 Anonymous May 9, 2010 at 11:42 am

the eggs benedict is amazing i made it for mothers day 2010! happy mothers day everybody!



13 frenchiefries July 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I am going to poach something if it kills me.


14 TheDelicious July 1, 2013 at 9:48 pm

TKell’s Poached Salmon recipe from the Ad Hoc cookbook is on TasteSpotting:


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