Artichoke Heart, Salmon Cream, Poached Egg, Smoked Scottish Salmon, Osetra caviar

It’s Christmas morning, a snow blanket covers the city and nothing, and i mean nothing in the world could make you leave the coziness of the house. Yet, a little bit of luxury on Christmas morning would seem appropriate. A brunch item for the Gods like these artichoke hearts filled with a salmon crème fraiche, and topped with poached egg, smoked salmon, Osetra caviar and a touch of chervil would pair well with the glitters of the Christmas tree and the festive spirit. Serve it with thin slices of toasted brioche with butter on the side and a glass of Champagne with a touch of crème de cassis and you’ve got the perfect start to your holiday week.

If what i just described sounds delicious (and believe me, it is) and you don’t possess some yoda-esque powers of materialization you’re gonna have to pull up your sleeves because zenchef isn’t doing the cooking, he’ll be too busy looking up the chimney waiting for Santa, and there’s no such thing as a free breakfast on Christmas morning. The good news is that with minimal advance planning you can pull this off without breaking a sweat. Cook the artichokes the night before if you want and the rest is just assembly work that won’t take too much time away from opening gifts. You’ll have to poach a few eggs, though. Scaryyy.

No, those are not the eggs you will have to poach. Really. Don’t even try.

Osetra caviar is a bit of a luxury but you could substitute a cheaper kind of fish roe with delicious results but come on, once a year, don’t you think you deserve it?

Okay, i can think of a few people who don’t. But still.

A Merry Christmas to all of you! Thank you for reading.

  • Artichoke Heart, Salmon Cream, Poached Egg, Smoked Scottish Salmon, Osetra caviar

    (Inspired by a dish served with Gull’s eggs at “Le Gavroche” in London)
  • Serves 2 or 4
    • For your Christmas brunch :
    • 4 artichokes
    • bay leaf
    • thyme
    • lemon
    • 1/4 lb Scotch smoked salmon
    • olive oil
    • 4 eggs (the freshest you can find)
    • white wine vinegar (for poaching water)
    • 1/4 cup Crème fraiche
    • 2 scallions, finely sliced
    • salt and pepper
    • Osetra caviar
    • Chervil for garnish
    • How to :
    • Cut through the leaves at the top of the artichoke using a sharp sturdy knife. Trim the outer leaves and the stem. Once the heart is visible, cut the top of the artichoke off by locating the top of the heart (this is simply done by feeling the artichoke–starting at the bottom of the artichoke and feeling progressively upwards). Rub the heart with lemon and cook in boiling, salted, and lightly acidulated (with lemon juice) water with bay leaves and thyme until the hearts are tender when pierced at the bottom. Cool in cooking liquid until ready to use.
    • Using a 2-inch wide cookie cutter, cut 8 circles of smoked salmon, brush with olive oil and reserve on a plate. Chop the smoked salmon trimmings and mix with the creme fraiche, scallions, a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper.
    • Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a gentle simmer. Add 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar (or to taste). Break each eggs in a separate ramequin. Whisk the simmering water to give it a fast swirl and immediately place one or two eggs in the center (the movement of the water will give the egg a perfect rounded shape, it takes some practice though). Poach each eggs for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. This can be done in batches ahead of time and the eggs can be plunged in the simmering water for a few seconds before serving.
    • To assemble, place a warm artichoke heart on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Fill with the smoked salmon cream. Top with a poached egg, a spoonful of caviar and 2 rounds of smoked salmon. Garnish with chervil and serve immediately.
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  • Les Casseroles de Nawal

    Rhaaa tout ce que j’Aime, c’est Superbe et très Chic Classieux !
    Joyeux Noël Mister Zen Chef 😉

  • Anonymous

    that is the perfect artichoke heart. i know i tease and i kid with you (cause you love it) but in all seriousness– darling you must give top chef a go. i don’t know when the next tryouts are but i can find out from a friend if you like. even if you don’t make it on top chef think of all the avenues it can open up for you. you need to get your hot lil french ass discovered. lots of people, like you are getting small gigs left and right on the new cooking channel. oui? je dis la vérité

  • Oui, Chef

    Oh la la….what a gorgeous thing! Merry Christmas to you too Stephane! – S

  • Anonymous

    I think I’d come work for free if you fed me that in a staff meal;-P

  • Susan

    Terrific looking dish, so happy you posted it. We can’t wait to give it a go on Sat! We thank you so.

  • Colloquial Cool

    Ca me fait penser au bûcheron dans le salon de thé à Roebling St sous M.L.. qui faisait des “roses” (…erm) de saumon fumé avec ses grosses patounes. C’était moins élégant que ça et je parie que c’était moins bon aussi. Ah, mais le charme impérissable des bûcherons de Roebling St…

  • Anonymous

    You’re welcome! Let me know how it goes.

  • Anonymous

    Nah nah nah.. I wouldn’t qualify. I don’t have any tattoos. 😛

  • Anonymous

    Merci! Joyeux Noel a toi aussi!

  • Anonymous

    Ah oui, c’est sur. Au fond, ces cuisiniers/bucheron a chemise a carreaux et longue barbe.. ce sont des romantiques. :)

  • Matt

    wow – stunning. I just adore your food, and presentation. So clean, elegant. I thought for a minute that the caviar was French lentils in the photo! Great idea for a Christmas brunch. I could eat 5 of them.. or more!

  • Cakebrain

    wow wow wow! I am drooling over the photos! You have a way with eggs of all kinds! It is positively seductive.

  • Joan Nova

    Very elegant…I’d like someone to make that for me on Christmas morning.

    Thanks for all the beautiful posts this year and all best wishes for a great 2011.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! And a Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you too, Joan. :)

  • Joy

    This is beautiful — so decadent and delicate. Noms, I want it now :)

  • amy

    Hello, Love! I want.

  • Adetrek

    A truly exquisite website.. working as a chef of some 20 years ( years full of inspiration, frustration and gratification ), I don’t know where you find the time to do all you do. This dish alone brought a tear to my eye. One question I have is do you photograph all your own food.?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the kind words! I don’t sleep, that’s where I find the time. :) And yes, I do all my own photography. 

  • egg poacher instructions

    That is one of my favorite dishes.

  • Stockholmsara

    You have your own chambre séparée in my heart. 

  • Stockholmsara

    You have a chambre séparée in my heart… 

  • Sara Lüdtke

    You have a chambre séparée in my heart…

  • Anonymous

    haha.. sweet! Thank you. 

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  • Colette .

    Art on a plate!

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  • FlawLESS

    Just made this today—was fantastic!