The Hedonist's New Year's Brunch

See Also
The Feasts: Holiday Banquets to the Nth Degree
  Scrambled Eggs With Smoked Nova Scotia Salmon, Chives, and Crème Fraîche, Topped With a Healthy Heap of Osetra Caviar, on a Buckwheat Blini

The Chef
Anthony Bourdain of Brasserie Les Halles

8 people

Scrambled Eggs
12 large eggs
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
½ stick butter
¼ cup chopped chives
8 ounces smoked Nova Scotia salmon, sliced 1/4-inch thick and diced
1/3 cup crème fraîche
8 buckwheat blinis (see recipe)
Generous amount of Osetra caviar

Buckwheat Blinis (from 'The Joy of Cooking')
1 ½ cups milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Cooking Instructions
Scrambled Eggs
Beat the eggs together in a bowl until the whites and yolks are completely combined, and season with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large nonstick pan over low to medium-low heat. When hot, add the eggs and stir carefully with a heat-proof spatula until the eggs have started to thicken but are still soft. Stir in the chives. When the eggs are still slightly undercooked, add the diced salmon and swirl through a little crème fraîche, creating a visible ripple.
To serve, set a buckwheat blini on each of 8 plates and pile some scrambled eggs on top while the eggs are still slightly underdone, as they will continue to cook and firm up. Dump a big spoonful of caviar on top of the eggs, and serve immediately.

Buckwheat Blinis
Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan and heat until the butter is melted, then let cool to between 105 degrees and 115 degrees. Sprinkle with the yeast, and let it stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
When the batter has risen, the blinis can be made immediately or refrigerate the covered bowl for up to 24 hours. If the batter is refrigerated, let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before stirring the batter to deflate, then whisk in the eggs. Preheat the griddle. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each blini, leaving room between each for spreading, and cook until the top of each blini is speckled with bubbles and some bubbles have popped. Turn and cook until the underside is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Best With
Suggested Menu: scrambled eggs with smoked nova scotia salmon, chives, and crème fraîche, topped with a healthy heap of osetra caviar, on a buckwheat blini; blood-orange mimosa; strawberries tossed with balsamic vinegar and a chiffonnade of mint

Photograph by Reinhard Hunger