Hello, there. I’ve missed you! April came, I blinked, and now it’s gone. While in Shut Up & Cook land I have nothing to show for the past thirty days, in my “real life” I’ve had a month bursting at the seams with:
- House guests
- Foster puppies
- Delicious dinners
- Too much wine
- Lots and lots of laundry
If you have a heart and a soul, which you must since you’re reading this blog, I imagine you’re most curious about the foster puppies…because let’s be honest…who wouldn’t be. Yes, in a moment of sheer genius I decided that a month with 20 days of house guests was really lacking something…a certain je ne sais quoi. That something quickly became not one foster puppy, but two. Crazy? Yes. Worth every minute of insanity? Absolutely.
Our two little foster puppies, Kaya and Deacon (formerly Kyan and Raisin), came from the Clayton County Animal Shelter in Georgia, a rescue that due to extreme crowding and over population has one of the highest kill rates in the country; literally thousands of dogs are put down there each year. The group I’m partnering with, Georgia Peaches, works to bring puppies out and place them into Seattle homes where they are loved and flourish. Both these puppies got placed within a week into utterly enviable homes and have literally transformed in front of our eyes, turning from scared, sick, malnourished little creatures into thriving, happy, squeezably cute, puppies.
When not standing in the back yard and cheerfully willing the puppies to “Go pee. Go pee. Go pee.”, there has also been quite a bit of cooking, made oh so much better for the visit of some college friends, one of whom is a tremendous chef and food stylist. Chelsey quickly put me to shame in the kitchen, and I was positively giddy at being relegated to sous chef/dishwasher. She is a delight to watch, creating delicious meals that are seemingly effortless, utterly intuitive, and absolutely satisfying.
Saturday morning she decided to whip up some Crab Cake Eggs Benedict for myself, Matt, Julia, and Kate (because be honest…who doesn’t just whip that up?).
It was….to die for. Decadent. Over the top. Amazing. It also helped me conquer my fear of making Hollandaise sauce (although if I’m being honest I did have a brief moment of panic when it didn’t emulsify correctly at first). Make this on a Saturday morning when life is bursting with activity, and nothing sounds better than slowing down and indulging.
Crab Cake Eggs Benedict
- Place on warmed plates 4 English Muffins, split, toasted, and buttered
- Arrange still warm crab cakes on the muffins , recipe follows
- Top each muffin with one poached egg, recipe follows
- Coat with 1/4 cup Hollandaise Sauce, recipe follows
A good crab cake should be decidedly crabby in my opinion. I’m not a fan of adding vegetables, such as red peppers or scallions, though you’re certainly welcome to and people to. I prefer to keep it simple.
- 1 lb lump crabmeat
- 1 Egg lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 TB Dijon Mustard
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 2 TB butter, melted
- Combine the crab, egg, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper, and bread crumbs.
- Shape into 8 small cakes.
- Chill in refrigerator if you have the time, though not required
- In a non-stick pan, grill in melted butter until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Put in oven to keep warm.
- In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring 2 to 3 inches of water nearly until boiling.
- Add 1 TB vinegar (any type, I used cider vinegar)
- Gently swirl the water, and while swirling crack each egg into a small cup and then gently slide into the simmering water. (you can probably do 2-4 eggs at a time, pending on the size of your pan)
- Cook until the whites are set and the centers are still soft.
- Remove with a large slotted spoon and set in second pot of warmed water to 150 degrees.
- Cover and let stand for 15 minutes, reheating to 150 degrees if necessary.
- Drain each egg with a slotted spoon and hold against a clean, dry dish towel to absorb as much water as possible.
- Place in the top of a double broiler 3 large egg yolks and 1 1/2 TB cold water
- Off the heat, whisk the egg mixture until it becomes light and frothy.
- Place the top of the double broiler over, not in, barely simmering water and continue to whisk until eggs are thickened, 2 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the eggs get too hot.
- Remove from heat and whisking constantly slowly add in 1/2 cup warm butter.
- Whisk is 1 – 3 tsp lemon juice, a dash of hot pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.
Note: The trick with making Hollandaise is the emulsion, or adding the butter to the egg, you must do it slowly and whisk like your life depends on it. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water. Sauce may be kept warm for up to 30 minutes on a very low simmer.