Scrambled Eggs in Baby Brioches with Smoked Salmon and Asparagus


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Wolfgang PuckFor a special occasion, I like to take the recipe one step further and present the eggs inside individual brioches, the classic French egg-and-butter bread, which you can find in many good bakeries. Before you start getting fancy, however, try scrambling eggs this way with just some butter, salt and pepper, to get comfortable with the technique. I promise, after one taste, you'll never go back to making breakfast like a short-order cook!

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  • 4 small bakery-bought brioches
  • 4 asparagus spears
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbs. minced shallots
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 C. heavy cream
  • Freshly ground white pepper

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. With a small serrated knife, cut off enough of the top of each brioche to enable you easily to scoop out most of the crumb inside, using a tsp. and your fingertips, leaving a shell about 1/3 inch thick. Set aside the hollowed out brioches and their tops on a baking sheet. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil.

Fill a mixing bowl with ice cubes and water. Snap off and discard the tough stem ends of the asparagus spears. With a sharp knife, cut off the tip of each spear and reserve. Cut the remainder of each spear at a 45-degree angle into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Boil the asparagus tips and pieces until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes; then, drain them and immediately plunge the pieces into the ice water. Drain and set aside.

In a saute pan over medium-low heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the shallots and saute them until translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. With a sharp knife, cut the smoked salmon slices into thin strips. Set them aside. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl. With a whisk, beat them until the whites and yolks are well mixed. Whisking continuously, pour in the cream. Season with a little pepper and stir in the sauteed shallots. In a heavy saute pan over low heat, melt 4 tsp. of the remaining butter. Add the egg mixture and cook, stirring and scraping constantly with a whisk or a rubber spatula, until the eggs begin to thicken to a custard-like consistency, about 5 minutes.

Put the brioches in the oven to warm. Stir the salmon and the asparagus into the eggs, reserving the 4 asparagus tips. Continue to cook the eggs, stirring constantly, until they are thick but still soft and creamy, about 3 minutes more. Remove the brioches from the oven and place each one on a warm serving plate. Divide up the egg mixture among the brioches, filling up each one. Garnish the top of the eggs with the asparagus tips and place the lids at a slight angle on top of each brioche. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

(Chef Wolfgang Puck's TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays and Wednesdays on the Food Network. Also, chef Wolfgang Puck's latest cookbook, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy, is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY. 14207.)



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