Thursday, January 01, 2009

Crab Cake Benedict

I really wanted to start the New Year off well, so I decided to make a fancy breakfast for my husband and me this morning. Last night I made some murmurings about eggs benedict before bed and my husband kindly reminded me this morning. I’ve made hollandaise before, but never really attempted poached eggs. Some books make it sound so complicated, but as I learned today, it’s really not that hard.

To make it a little more fancy (and also based on what I had on hand this morning), I decided to go with crab cakes benedict. One of my most favorite breakfast places in Portland is Milo’s. If you haven’t been, go now. They do delicious benedicts, including a wonderful crab cake version. I was inspired by this as well as by a recipe in one of my new cookbooks, The Fiddlehead Cookbook, which is filled with recipes from The Fiddlehead Restaurant, a delicious place that used to exist in my hometown. Their description of poached eggs is how I was finally able to figure it out.

It was a good morning. I highly recommend eggs benedicts for fancy breakfasts. It takes a little time, but it looks beautiful and tastes amazing.

Crab Cake Benedict inspired by Milo’s/Crabby Eggs from The Fiddlehead Cookbook:

Serves 2 with extra sauce

Hollandaise Sauce-
3 eggs yolks
2 tsp. lemon juice (I used closer to 4 as I, like my friend Lindsay, prefer a very lemony sauce)
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, cut into small pieces

4 eggs
1 Tb. white wine vinegar

4 small slices of bread or 4 english muffins (I used slices of no-knead bread. It was perfect.)

4 crab cakes (I used this recipe, slightly reduced to make 4)

Prepare crab cakes first. Keep them warm on the pan or in the oven. I was also making country fried potatoes and needed the stove space.

Start the hollandaise. Prepare a double boiler with gently simmering water over low heat. Place egg yolks in top of double boiler and add lemon. Whisk until egg mixture is fluffy, about 1 minute. Continue to whisk gently, adding butter about 1 teaspoon at a time. When at least 6 teaspoons have been added, begin to add butter by tablespoons. This allows it to emulsify properly. If you add too much butter too quickly, it creates too much liquid and won’t be the right consistency for the sauce. Thoroughly incorporate each addition before adding more. I generally remove the top of the double boiler about half way through the butter process to ensure that the sauce does not become too warm and separate. Cover and keep warm until ready. You may need to whisk it a couple more times just before serving.

Lightly oil a large pan and fill with water to a depth of about 1 inch. Add vinegar to pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a very low simmer. Crack each egg into a small bowl and gently slide it into the barely simmering water. Cover the pan and cook for 4 minutes. You can do it longer if you like harder yolks, but I don’t.

While the eggs are poaching, toast your bread/muffins.

Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and place on plate/tray lined with absorbent towels. Trim the ragged eggs, if you so choose.

To assemble, place a crab cake on each slice of bread/muffin and add an egg on top of the crab cake. Spoon hollandaise over the top and serve at once with your favorite breakfast side dish, like fried potatoes.

As for the extra sauce, it can be refrigerated and reheated later. To do so, place the sauce in a double boiler and reheat in the same manner it was made: slowly over simmering water. Don’t do it too quickly or it will separate. Hollandaise is great over vegetables or other, simpler breakfast meals. Try it on a breakfast sandwich! It’s just so dang tasty.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Yay Fiddlehead Cookbook!!!

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