Scrambled Eggs & Smoked Salmon in Baked Potato Boats   Recipe
Scrambled Eggs & Smoked Salmon in Baked Potato Boats

By Wolfgang Puck

With the weather getting colder and the evenings drawing in, late on a weekend morning seems an ideal time to have friends over and feed them a warm, satisfying meal. It's almost as if the climate is helping us to start getting in the mood for all the holiday entertaining soon to come.

The beauty of brunch is that it's all about ease -- dishes you can make quickly, or in advance, or with very little effort; and casual styles of serving food, encouraging guests to help themselves. In fact, unless you really want to go all out and do lots of cooking, some of the best brunches revolve around a single main dish, which you can accompany with other items you buy from your supermarket's deli or dairy departments, the bakery, and the produce aisle.

My recipe for Baked Potatoes with Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon is just that sort of star for your brunch table -- a neat one-dish combination of morning eggs and potatoes. It takes just a few minutes to get the potatoes in the oven, where they bake for about an hour, giving you plenty of time to set the table and arrange other pre-purchased items in bowls or on platters. In fact, you can even bake the potatoes the night before, halve and scoop them out as directed in the recipe, and then let them cool and refrigerate them, covered with plastic wrap. The next morning, just unwrap them, arrange them on a baking sheet, and reheat them in a 400 degrees F. oven until they're hot and crispy, about 15 minutes.

Making the scrambled eggs that fill them takes just a few minutes before serving time. Feel free to change or embellish the eggs, replacing the smoked salmon with smoked ham or chopped corned beef, adding some shredded Swiss cheese or sharp Cheddar or some creamy goat cheese, or stirring in some sauteed onions or mushrooms, roasted bell pepper strips, or slivers of sun-dried tomato.

Add a side dish such as a simple green salad or some fresh seasonal fruit and some good toast with butter and jam, and your brunch is complete. Or almost: Don't forget coffee or tea or, better yet, a glass of Champagne or a mimosa!

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon in Baked Potato Boats Recipe

Serves 8

Recipe Ingredients

8 medium-sized baking potatoes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

16 large or extra-large cage-free eggs

1 cup whole milk or half-and-half

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

8 ounces very thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into long, thin strips

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons salmon roe (optional)

Recipe Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, rinse the potatoes under cold running water and scrub them well with a kitchen brush to remove any dirt. Dry the potatoes thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

With your hands, lightly rub the potatoes all over with the olive oil and put them on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake the potatoes until they are tender enough to be pierced easily with a metal skewer, about 1 hour. Carefully remove them from the oven and set aside.

Break the eggs into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat lightly with a whisk to break up the yolks and combine them with the whites. Add the milk or half-and-half and whisk thoroughly, until the eggs are lightly frothy. Whisk in a little salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the eggs and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet occasionally with a wooden spoon, until they are softly set, forming moist curds. Take care not to overcook the eggs.

As soon as the eggs are done to your liking, scatter and stir in the smoked salmon strips and the chives. Remove from the heat.

Holding the potatoes with an oven glove or clean folded kitchen towel to protect your hand, cut them lengthwise in half with a sharp knife. With a teaspoon, carefully scrape out some of the potato from each half to form a boat, and then lightly loosen the remaining potato by mashing it with the tines of a fork.

Evenly spoon the eggs into the potato halves, mounding the eggs slightly. Spoon some salmon roe on top of the eggs and serve immediately, placing 2 potato halves on each serving plate.

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Recipes: "Scrambled Eggs & Smoked Salmon in Baked Potato Boats "

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