Eggs royale

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The Ingredients
olive oil
4 spring onions
½ a clove of garlic
500 g baby spinach
½ a bunch of fresh marjoram, (15g)
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
½ a lemon
butter, for greasing
4 large free-range eggs
200 g smoked salmon, from sustainable sources
fresh chervil, to serve (optional)
450 ml tepid milk
1 x 7 g sachet yeast
2 teaspoons caster sugar
700 g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
50 g semolina
200 g unsalted butter
4 large free-range egg yolks
½ a lemon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
white wine vinegar

How to:

To make the muffins, place the milk in a jug, stir in the yeast and sugar, and leave for a couple of minutes until frothy.
Place the flour and 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the milk mixture and mix well to form a dough. Shape into a ball and knead with clean hands or in a freestanding mixer until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Knock back the dough and roll out on a flour-dusted surface to about 2cm thick. Stamp out 10 level circles with an 8cm round cutter, rerolling as necessary.
Carefully place the muffins onto a large tray lined with a large sheet of semolina-dusted greaseproof paper and sprinkle over a little more semolina. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Heat a heavy non-stick pan or griddle over low heat, add the muffins and cook for 6 to 7 minutes on each side or until golden – you may need to do this in batches. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, make the hollandaise. Gently melt the butter in a small pan.
Whisk the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and the mustard in a heatproof bowl set over a shallow pan of simmering water.
Slowly pour in the melted butter, whisking constantly until well combined. Whisk in a splash of vinegar, then have a taste and season to perfection. Turn the heat off and keep warm over the pan of water, stirring occasionally. Loosen with a splash of water if needed.
Trim, wash and finely chop the spring onions. Peel and finely slice the garlic.
Place a large frying pan on medium-low heat with a little drizzle of olive oil, add the spring onions, garlic, and spinach, then pick in the marjoram. Finely grate over some nutmeg, then add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until the spinach is dark and delicious. Add lemon juice to taste and keep warm until ready to serve.
Place a large, shallow pan of water on medium heat and bring to a boil.
Grease four teacups with butter and crack an egg into each. Place the cups in the pan of water, then cover and poach for 4 to 5 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
To assemble, halve 4 warm muffins and divide the spinach and smoked salmon between each. Top with a perfectly poached egg, lightly season, then spoons a tablespoon of hollandaise over each one. Finish with a final grating of nutmeg and a few sprigs of chervil, if you like.


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