I know that I have posted this before but on reflection I feel that the previous post left a lot to be desired and did not do this justice; I also just cooked this again today and made some improvements on last time that I wanted to share. This time I will actually go through the process a little more, especially in relation to the pancakes as I think I got these right this time round. So I will now take you through each stage starting with the pancakes.
To start with I peeled and boiled three good sized potatoes in salted water, once boiled I drained and left to cool in the pan, the hot pan should also help any moisture evaporate. Once cooled mash the potato and then add in the pancake ingredients. On this occasion I used a mix of white and wholemeal plain flour, two eggs, milk and a teaspoon of baking powder. The inclusion of wholemeal flour in this really made the difference as it added that lovely sweet earthy flavour that you get from this type of flour. This worked really well for this recipe as there is a lot of richness from the hollandaise and smoked salmon. The consistency you are looking for is that of a slightly wet mash, this means that the pancakes will hold their shape in the pan and you will get a lovely thick pancake rather than a flat one (like I did the first time round). I left the mixture to sit for a while whilst I made the hollandaise before frying in a pan with a little oil. Each pancake will take about 3-5 minutes to cook, you will be able to tell when they are done as they will firm up and any wetness will have gone, they will also have a fantastic colour to them. You can keep them warm in the oven while preparing the other elements of the dish.
I will quickly run you through how I make the hollandaise which I think took from a recipe from the BBC food website, although had to do differently today as the Pyrex bowl I normally use had a cake in it. First off I reduce some white wine vinegar in a saucepan with some peppercorns. Once reduced by about half I then pass through a sieve to remove the peppercorns into a pyrex bowl, I then add three egg yolks to this. Normally I then place the bowl over a saucepan of not quite boiling water and gradually stir in cubes of butter until you have the correct consistency. You have to control the heat when doing this otherwise you will end up with scrambled egg yolks and vinegary butter. As I could not use the Pyrex bowl I placed the vinegar and eggs in a small mixing bowl and poured over melted butter while whisking until I ended up with hollandaise. In then stir in some lemon juice, cracked black pepper and chopped dill and there you have it. Easy.
To poach the eggs I boil some water in a sauce pan with some more white wine vinegar. Once the water is not quite boiling I then crack an egg into a ramekin before adding it to the pan. I do two eggs at a time and once cooked place into some kitchen roll before plating up so that any additional liquid is soaked up.
To plate up place two pancakes on each plate and top with smoked salmon and then an egg. Spoon a healthy dollop of hollandaise over each egg and finally garnish with a little more chopped dill. I was really pleased with how this came out today and the pancakes were particularly fantastic. Looking at it I thought that I would not be able to finish the whole plate of food as it looked a lot but the pancakes were surprisingly light and so tasty that I just couldn’t leave a morsel. The classic combination of poached egg, hollandaise and salmon was as beautiful as it always is and I am fairly confident in saying that I think potato pancakes are the perfect foundation.