December 25, 2011

  • Crab cakes eggs Benedict

    Crab cakes take the place of Canadian bacon in this version of the popular brunch dish

    The formed crab cakes need to chill 1 hour before frying.

    The poached eggs can be made in advance (see Method)

    Quantities are easily doubled or tripled

    For the crab cakes
    1 lb Maryland lump crabmeat
    1 eggs
    1 generous tablespoon mayonnaise
    1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, minced
    1/4 cup crushed saltines
    Vegetable oil

    For the hollandaise
    4 egg yolks
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon house salt
    Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
    1/2 cup hot melted butter

    For the poached eggs
    4 large eggs
    1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    Pinch of house salt

    For the muffins and final assembly
    2 English muffins, split
    4 tablespoons butter
    Fresh parsley or celery leaves

    For the crab cakes

    Discard any cartilage or shell from crabmeat. Mix together eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and parsley in a mixing bowl.

    Add crab, taking care not to break up crabmeat. Add cracker meal, and then shape mixture into 4 cakes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

    Pour vegetable oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1⁄4″ and heat over medium-high heat. Fry the cakes until golden brown, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.

    For the hollandaise sauce
    Add the yolks, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and blitz together 10 to 15 seconds. Keep the motor running and add the hot melted butter drop by drop. As the mixture thickens add butter in a slow steady stream. When about half the butter is in you can pour a little faster. Continue blending until thick and satiny. Pour the hollandaise into a small serving container.

    For the poached eggs
    Fill a large skillet with 3 inches of water and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the vinegar and the salt and stir to combine. Break the eggs onto 4 small plates and move them to near the skillet of simmering water. Lower the lip of each plate half an inch BELOW the surface of the water and let the eggs flow out. Cover the pan with a lid and turn off the heat and set a timer for 3 minutes. Remove the poached eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and let them drain a bit before moving to a plate lined with paper towels. Poached eggs can be made in advance: poach the eggs as directed. When they are finished, remove them to a large bowl of cold water. Refrigerate, uncovered, until you need them (up to 3 days). Simmer the eggs in boiling water for 30 seconds to warm them through

    For the muffins and final assembly
    Toast the split English muffins until lightly golden brown. Butter each half with 1 tablespoon butter. Arrange two buttered English muffins on two plates

    Top each English muffin half with a crab cake and each crab cake with a poached egg. Pour hollandaise sauce over each egg. Sprinkle the hollandaise with paprika and garnish the plate with fresh parsley.

    Makes 2 servings

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