6 Fresh whole eggs in their shell at room temperature
1 Small shallot, very finely diced
1/3 Cup dry white wine
1 Cup creme fraiche
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
European style lox salmon, cut into small pieces
Slow poach the eggs. Heat a large pot of water to 140 degrees F. The larger the pot the better because it will maintain the accurate heat better. Use a thermometer in the water to ensure it stays at 140 to no more than 145 F, adding cold water or ice cubes or turning up the heat as needed. I had 3 thermometers going, all reading different temps... hmmm... need to sort that one out. But I basically averaged the 3 to hopefully achieve the 140 F. If you have a pasta boiling pot that has a strainer insert, that would be best. If not, place something in the bottom of the pot to keep the eggs from sitting at the bottom, like an inverted cake pan or rack. The bottom of the pot is where it will be the hottest. Poach the eggs in the water for 45 minutes. Place immediately into a cold ice water bath to chill. Place dried eggs into the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the sauce:
Saute the shallots in 1 tbsp butter until soft and translucent. Add the white wine and sugar and simmer until reduced, leaving maybe only 3 tbsp of liquid. Add the creme fraiche and let boil lightly for about 5 minutes to thicken. Keep warm until ready to use, or let cool and gently reheat when ready to use.
Fry the eggs. Heat a large pot of canola oil to 375 F. Carefully break the egg open into a large spoon, pouring out any loose watery white. The egg will be quite soft. Working very gently, coat the egg with panko. Do this for each egg. I find it easiest to place the panko into a large rimmed pan coat the eggs and leave them sitting in the panko until ready to fry. Use a slotted spoon to lower each egg gently into the oil. Fry until golden grown, about 20 seconds. You may find it easier to do this in batches of 2. Drain on paper towels.
In each plate, ladle a little sauce, just enough to coat the dish evenly. Place an egg in the middle of the plate. Surround the egg with small mounds of caviar. Place several pieces of salmon around plate.
Yes, I think it was divine. But so was everything else we ate tonight. I have nothing left to do, but roll myself into bed and hope for sweet dreams. Happy New Year!