Baked eggs with hot-smoked salmon, preserved lemon and herbs
- Prepare the preserved lemon (see note below).
- Turn oven to 160⁰C (fan)
- Place 2 ovenproof dishes for baking the eggs into a large roasting tin and fill the tin with enough boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ovenproof dishes – this is called a ‘bain-marie’, and will ensure the eggs and cream do not bake too fast.
- Remove the ovenproof dishes from the roasting tin, and put the water-filled roasting tin in the oven.
- Cut lengthwise along each preserved lemon peel, then finely slice crossways to make fine short strips.
- Flake the hot-smoked salmon into small chunks and share between the two ovenproof dishes.
- Sprinkle the preserved lemon strips and chopped tarragon evenly over the salmon in each dish.
- Pour 50ml of cream over the food in each dish.
- Gently break two eggs into each dish – it helps to make two indentations in the salmon mixture with a spoon first where you want the yolks to sit.
- Lower the two ovenproof dishes into the ‘bain marie’ in the oven (a fish slice is handy here), and cook for about 10 minutes.
- When the egg whites are just set (but still soft) remove the whole roasting tin from the oven. Use the fish slice to remove the ovenproof dishes from the hot water.
- Snip the chives over the baked eggs and serve immediately in the ovenproof dishes – on wooden boards as the dishes are hot.
- To prepare a preserved lemon quarter - first remove all the lemon segment flesh. Then put it (rind side down) on a chopping board and use a small sharp knife (pointing the blade away from you) to carefully slice/scrape all the whiter pith off, repeating this until you are left with very thin, almost translucent, layer of preserved peel. Rinse, and leave in a small dish of cold water for 5 minutes so some of the salt seeps out.
- I sometimes substitute half the cream for crème fraiche for a different flavour combination.
- If you are making this dish for more people you may need 2 ‘bain maries’ in the oven to fit all the ovenproof dishes in.
- You could halve the quantity for a lighter breakfast or brunch dish – so this recipe would make 4 ‘starter’ size serves.
- Serve with sourdough or gluten-free toast.