Smoked Salmon Cakes with Poached Eggs, Champagne Caviar Butter and Shaved Fennel Salad
For the Salmon Cakes
1 pound Smoked Salmon, torn into large flakes
1 small Red Onion, diced small
½ large Green Pepper, ribbed and diced small
2/3 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Creole Mustard, or other coarse grain mustard
1 tsp Prepared Horseradish
1 tsp. Creole Seasoning
Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to Taste
1-1/2 cups French Bread Crumbs
3 oz. Salad Oil or Clarified Butter
Combine all ingredients except the bread crumbs in a bowl, mixing completely but being careful not to break up the salmon too much. Fold in the bread crumbs, just until mixture will form a ball. Shape the mix into 8 3oz. cakes. Place a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium high heat, add the oil or butter. Saute the cakes for two minutes on each side, or until golden brown on each side, reserve.
For the Poached Eggs
2 quarts Water
3 Tbsp. distilled White Vinegar
8 medium eggs
2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
Place the water, vinegar and salt into a large shallot pot, bring water to a simmer (165-180') carefully crack each egg into the pot, and let cook 3 to 4 minutes, until the whites are cooked but the yolks still soft.. Carefully remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, and be ready to serve.
For the Champagne Caviar Butter
4 Lemons, peeled
2 Shallots, peeled and chopped
2 Sprigs fresh Thyme
2 cups Champagne
Splash Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp. Hackleback Caviar
¾ lb softened Unsalted Butter, cut into ¼ cubes
Combine the lemons, shallots, thyme and champagne into a medium sized sauce pan, place over medium high heat, and reduce until the pan is almost dry. Add the cream, and reduce slowly until the cream is very thick. Slowly whisk in the butter, Season with salt and white pepper, Strain through a china cap, fold in the caviar and reserve warm.
For the Salad-
1 head of Fennel, shaved thin
! bunch of Pencil Asparagus, stems removed where the tender stalk begins, cut on a heavy bias into half inch pieces
1 Large Red Onion, Julienne
1 Tbsp. Salad Oil
Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper
Preheat grill to medium heat. Combine the red onions and the asparagus in a large bowl, add the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill in a perforated pan, and place on grill. (If you don't have a perforated pan, cover the grill w/ aluminum foil and cut slits into it.) Keep vegetables moving over the grill until just cooked, approximately four minutes. When ready to serve; toss in a bowl with the shaved fennel. Reserve.
Divide the cakes onto four plates, top each with a warm poached egg, drizzle with the beurre blanc, and top with the fennel salad.