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Quick & Easy Holiday Brunch: Joel Gamoran's Smoked Salmon and Avocado Benedict

Joel Gamoran is a chef, TV host and the author of "Cooking Scrappy." Now, he's also the head chef and founder of Seattle-based Homemade.

"Homemade is a livestream cooking school. It's totally for free. We are live throughout the week. People can sign up, and they can interact with us from all over the world," said Gamoran. "[We've] got incredible stuff coming up for the holidays. Unbelievable dishes all done in under 30 minutes. So, we make it really convenient and snappy."

I enlisted Gamoran's help in making an elevated yet easy-to-execute brunch dish perfect for a holiday get-together.

"During the holidays, there's nothing really going on except gathering. So, brunch is like a moment," said Gamoran of his approach to holiday brunch. "The big thing is no cereal on the menu. Let's do something that's a little elevated. At the same time, it's early. You don't want to do a lot, so you've got to find easy wins that require minimal work in the kitchen but make a big impression."

"We live in Seattle. I thought it would be really cool to make a benedict. Classic bennies, but put a little smoked salmon on there and add some avocado. The avocado is so fatty and creamy. It plays really well, I think, against the salmon. Then, we make a hollandaise from scratch, which just velvets everything and ties it all together into the perfect bite."

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Smoked Salmon & Avocado Benedict

Recipe by: Joel Gamoran / Homemade

Ingredients for the Hollandaise:

  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons clarified butter
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Chives (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Smoked Salmon & Avocado Benedict:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or distilled vinegar
  • 4 whole wheat English muffins, split
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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Directions

For the Hollandaise:

  1. Place the egg yolks in a medium stainless steel bowl, set over (not in) a pot of simmering water.
  2. Whisk the yolks until pale yellow and fluffy.
  3. Slowly whisk in the clarified butter, a few tablespoons at a time, until thickened.
  4. Add cayenne pepper, chives, salt and black pepper.
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Cover and keep in a warm spot until ready to use.

For the Benedict:

  1. Line a plate with paper towels.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with cold water and add the vinegar.
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Crack each egg into separate ramekins. Stir the water, then carefully slip a few of the eggs into the water and cook until the whites are set, and the yolk is still runny, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Repeat for the remaining eggs.
  6. Toast English muffins.
  7. Using a knife, halve the avocados and remove the pits.
  8. Using a spoon, remove the avocado flesh. Cut into smaller pieces for easier mashing if desired.
  9. In a bowl (or on your cutting board), mash the avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper until the mixture has the consistency of guacamole.
  10. Spread the avocado on each muffin half. Top with smoked salmon and a poached egg. Spoon hollandaise over the top.
  11. Eat right away!
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