Recipe: Irish Smoked Salmon with Fresh Goat Cheese, Poached Eggs and Tarragon

Serve this creamy, smoky dish as an appetizer or a light lunch.

You could use any smoked salmon for this dish, as long as it's high-quality and sliced thin. But of all the major smoked salmons, the Irish ones usually offer the smokiest quality, which goes down beautifully with fresh, subtle goat cheese.

1 ¼ lbs. Irish smoked salmon, sliced thin and broad
9 ounces fresh goat cheese, very cold
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon, plus extra leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
12 extra-large eggs

1. Place 2 large sauté pans, each  2/3 filled with water over medium-high heat. Allow water to come to a simmer.

2. Select 6 dinner plates that measure about 7" across inside their rims. On each plate, fill up that 7" area with thin slices of smoked salmon in a single layer, arranging the salmon so that no glimpses of the plate below the salmon are visible.

3. Divide the goat cheese, as best you can, into thin slices that cover the smoked salmon in each of the six plates. Divide the chopped tarragon evenly over all the goat cheese slices.

4. When the water is simmering in the pans, divide the vinegar among the two pans, stirring. Carefully break 6 eggs into 6 teacups, and spill the contents of each teacup into the simmering water in one pan. Try to keep the swirling white of each egg around its own yolk, and make sure each egg is not sticking to the bottom. As the eggs in the first pan are poaching, repeat the process with 6 eggs in the other pan. Eggs take about 2 minutes to poach; when done, the whites will have hardened into a foamy mass, the yolks will still be runny. Remove poached eggs from the water, and rest them on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

5. When ready to serve, nestle two poached eggs over the goat cheese on each of the 6 plates. Stand up a few sprigs of tarragon between the eggs, and serve immediately.

Makes 6 main-course servings for a light lunch.










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