When most people think of Las Vegas, ideas of casinos and luxury hotels probably come to mind. However, Vegas also has an amazing array of fantastic restaurants. Though I haven't been there myself, when the folks at Vegas.com got in touch with me asking for my take on a Vegas restaurant recipe, I was extremely inspired once I visited their website. I gravitated towards Giada de Laurentiis' restaurant Giada because I've been a fan ever since her show Everyday Italian was on Food Network. When I read the description of her restaurant, her Salmon Cake Benedict stood out. I'm not sure what her interpretation of the dish is, but I thought a salmon cake would be the perfect substitute for an English muffin, since I personally avoid wheat. I made an easy blender hollandaise and layered the salmon cake with a poached egg and an herb and spinach salad to add some freshness. This recipe looks complicated, but several parts of the recipe can be made in advance. The recipe is written in the order that I used to prepare the final dish.
Salmon Cake Benedict
For the salmon cakes:
1 lb cooked and cooled salmon fillets, flaked with a fork*
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp minced fresh dill
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
4 tbsp minced shallot
8 tbsp blanched almond meal
dash cayenne, optional
salt, black pepper, and white pepper, to taste
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Blend the fish, egg, dill, parsley, shallot, 2 tbsp of the almonds, cayenne, peppers, and salt. Mix together thoroughly. Clean hands work best for this.
2. Pour the remaining almond meal on a plate. Make 4 patties, pressing both sides of each patty into the almond meal. If your salmon had more retained moisture, more almond meal may be necessary.
3. Set on a plate and refrigerate 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile, make the salad, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce.
5. To cook the salmon patties, heat the oil over medium in a large skillet. Add the patties, cooking until browned on the first side before flipping. Do not flip excessively or they will fall apart. Remove from skillet and set aside in a warm place.
*Salmon can be left over or prepared according to your favorite method. I poached skin-on salmon fillets in 1 cup each white wine and water with a pinch of salt for about 6 min or until just opaque, then allowed the salmon to cool to room temperature before skinning and flaking with a fork. This can be done a day in advance.
6 fresh eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
pinch of salt
Simmering water (amount depends on the size of the skillet)
1. Heat approximately 2 inches of water in a deep skillet over medium heat. The water should not be bubbling, only simmering. Add the vinegar and salt. Crack each egg into a ramekin or small dish and drop them in, one at a time, carefully spacing them out in the skillet. Turn off heat but leave the skillet on the burner. Immediately cover and cook 5 min. Do not stir while they are cooking.
2. Carefully, lift each egg with a slotted spoon to a plate. Gently blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture. To re-shape the eggs, use a paring knife to trim any bits of white away. Eggs can be served immediately or chilled in an ice bath up to 8 hrs and re-heated in warm water before serving. If re-heating, blot with paper towels before serving.
Herb and Spinach Salad:
4 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
4 tbsp coarsely chopped dill
2 cup shredded baby spinach
4 tbsp finely chopped red onion
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Add spinach, herbs, and onion to a small bowl. Drizzle over juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Thoroughly coat the greens with a light coating of the dressing. Divide between four serving plates. The salad can be tossed together while you are waiting for the egg poaching water to come to temperature and while the eggs cook, if you choose not to prepare them ahead of time.
2 large egg yolks (use fresh eggs)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
salt to taste
dash of cayenne
1. Recipe can be made with a blender or immersion blender. Add the egg yolk, juice, and cayenne to the pitcher of the blender or container for the immersion blender. Blend to combine.
2. Slowly, drizzle in the melted butter to form a smooth sauce. Season with salt. Season to taste and serve immediately.
Final Assembly: Place a salmon cake on top of the salad. Top with the warmed poached egg. Finish with as much hollandaise sauce as you'd like. Serve.