Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Crab Benedict

While Michael and I were on vacation in South Carolina, one of our favorite places to eat was Toast , in Charleston. His favorite dish was Eggs Meeting Street...it reminded me a lot of Eggs Benedict, only with crab cakes and fried green tomatoes. He enjoyed that so much that I planned to try to come up with something similar...minus the tomatoes.

One day I was watching Paula Dean on the Food Network...she was preparing breakfast foods and one of her recipes caught my attention...Crab Benedict. She made it look easy...even easy enough for me to attempt. The whole thought of making a hollandaise sauce and poaching eggs had me feeling a bit intimidated but she made it look so easy that I decided to give it a try. So I printed off the recipe and forgot about it for a while.

I was going to Michael's for the weekend, actually his birthday weekend, and was going to do a good bit of cooking so before leaving, I packed the Crab Benedict recipe along with my other cooking supplies. I knew I was making crab cakes and would save a few to prepare Crab Benedict.

Monday morning, I decided to attempt making this meal. I was a little nervous preparing this since I've never made or eaten hollandaise sauce or poached eggs. I had to make the hollandaise sauce twice...the first time egg yolks were scrambled...the second time, it was perfect. My first poached egg had to be tossed but the other three worked out well...one egg..the white started to separate from the yolk so I took that one and gave Michael the two nice ones...once it was covered in hollandaise, it looked pretty good.

I didn't follow her recipe, exactly...she made a crab salad (which looked very good and that I plan to prepare in the future), where I used crab cakes, but I did exactly as the recipe said for the hollandaise sauce. So after two attempts at the sauce, one poached egg in the trash and one emergency run to the grocery for more eggs (thanks to Michael), the food was plated and ready to eat. If I do say so myself, it did look yummy (sorry no pictures, but I was too stressed and didn't even think about pictures until after we had eaten). I couldn't wait to try it but was sadly disappointed after my first bite. The sauce was sour....horribly sour; I was not at all happy. Poor Michael took it like a man and ate every bite of the two that I had plated for him....not saying a word, even when I said something about the sour taste. He eventually admitted that it was a bit tart but not bad...the man must have a cast iron stomach.

The next day, I posted a question on BakeSpace about my hollandaise sauce, asking if it was supposed to taste sour and telling them that I had used the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 T of white vinegar in the sauce as the ingredients and directions said. Both DD and Karen wrote back and said it shouldn't taste sour and that they had never heard of putting vinegar in hollandaise. So we came to the conclusion that this had been a misprint.

I will attempt making Crab Benedict again and use the same recipe, omitting the 1 T vinegar...I may even make the crab salad instead of crab cakes. I think it's definitely worth a second try. I promise pictures next time too...

Here is the recipe...as I said before, I substituted crab cakes for the salad and used toasted English Muffins instead of the cheesy biscuits and as you can see, I've removed the offensive vinegar from the sauce ingredients and directions.

Crab Benedict

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen, 2008

Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: hr min Cook Time: 15 min Level:
Easy Serves:
4 servings

Crab Salad:
1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lump crab meat, picked free of shells

Hollandaise Sauce:
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons cream
4 large tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 lemon, juiced
Dash cayenne
Pinch salt
Pinch sugar

Poached Eggs:
3 cups water
1 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Parsley, for garnish
Cheesy biscuits, to serve

For the Crab Salad:
In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the crab and red peppers. Gently fold in the crab and peppers. Reserve.

*Cook's Note: When mixing the crab and peppers, be careful not to break up the crab too much.

For the Hollandaise Sauce:
Combine all ingredients, except the vinegar, in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Whisk until thick, approximately 3 minutes; set aside until ready to use. Do not reheat or cover the pot. Thin, if needed with a little chicken broth.

Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a low simmer in a medium saucepan.

Crack an egg into a small ramekin and gently slide the egg into the water. Crack another egg into the same cup and while the water returns to a low simmer, slide the second egg into the water. Repeat. Let lowly simmer until the eggs are set. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes for soft runny yolks. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate.

To Plate:
Top a cheesy biscuit with a poached egg. Add a small scoop of crab salad on top of the egg. Spoon the hollandaise over the egg and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

I really want to try the sauce.

Pamela said...

Im in need of a good wooden cutting board and I see that Paula Deen has several at Walmart...I think Im going to have to go check them out. I hope her products are as good as her recipes

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