Nova Lox Benedict. This has got to be the ultimate breakfast/brunch/brinner meal. I tried a version of this dish a few years ago at a hotel restaurant in New York, then rushed home to replicate it in my own kitchen. It’s a kosher alternative to traditional eggs benedict, and personally I like it even better than the Canadian bacon version. Quality smoked Nova lox are incredibly delicious. When layered on a toasted English muffin, topped with a poached egg and lemony hollandaise sauce, something magical happens… it’s like a flavor explosion.
Nova lox are thinly sliced, smoked and salt-cured salmon fillets. Smoke-curing is one of the most ancient methods of food preservation. When smoke-curing salmon, the fish is dried and salted to remove moisture. The fish is then exposed to smoke. The smoke combined with the salt creates a unique flavor that has become synonymous with Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine. The process of smoking fish was adopted centuries ago by Eastern European Ashkenazi Jews; smoked fish was stored and eaten throughout the long, harsh winter season. Nova Lox (aka Nova Scotia salmon) are a delicious form of salt cured salmon… they are cold smoked and cured with a milder brine than most smoked salmon, giving them a smoother, lighter flavor. While Nova lox used to originate in Nova Scotia, Canada, the name has evolved to describe the flavor of the mild brining and cold smoking process– and now, you can find Nova lox sourced from a number of places. You can use any type of lox with this recipe, but I really prefer good quality Nova if you can find it. The flavor is just perfect.
For this recipe, you’ll need to know how to poach eggs. It’s not difficult, promise– all it takes is a little practice. You’ll be poaching up a storm in no time. For a detailed recipe and tutorial, click here:
You’ll also need to make a batch of hollandaise sauce. I use a slightly adapted version of Julia Child’s method for making Blender Hollandaise– it’s super easy, and only takes about 3 minutes. As she puts it, the technique is “well within the capabilities of an 8 year old child.” For the recipe and tutorial, click here:
Once you learn those two methods, you’re good to go! The rest of the process takes only minutes. Impress your hubby with breakfast in bed. Host a wedding shower and serve it for brunch. Or have it for brinner… because it’s BRINNER WEEK, and I can’t imagine a more delicious brinner (breakfast for dinner) meal.
- 4 poached eggs - click here for technique
- 2 English muffins, split in half
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 oz. Nova lox (or your favorite smoked salmon)
- 1/2 cup hollandaise sauce - click here for recipe
- 4 small sprigs of fresh dill for garnish
- Poach 4 eggs to desired doneness. For instructions on how to poach eggs, click here. If you'd like, you can poach the eggs up to 1 hour in advance, then reheat them by placing them all in hot (not boiling) water for 1 minute prior to serving.
- Toast your English muffins. Butter the four toasted halves and set them onto serving plates.
- Place 1 oz. of smoked salmon lox onto each muffin.
- Place a poached egg on top of each slice of salmon.
- Make your hollandaise sauce just before serving-- it will only take about 3 minutes. Click here for recipe. Pour 2 tbsp of hollandaise onto each egg.
- Garnish each egg with a sprig of fresh dill.
- Serve. Watch everybody "ooh" and "ahh" at your gorgeous presentation.
- Note: Use caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.
- Most Jews who keep kosher consider fish neutral, meaning it can be served with dairy. Certain traditions do not mix milk and fish. Check with a trusted rabbinical authority if you're unclear on this restriction.