My four year old, James, and I are in the midst of an intense, ongoing biblical debate regarding the book of Genesis, more specifically the story of creation.
James was taught in school that God created everything. And in four-year-old speak, everything means EVERYTHING.
“Mommy,” he said to me, as we were walking through the Target parking lot, “Did you know that God created everything?”
“That’s right,” I replied,”Isn’t that amazing?”
“He made the trees and the grass and the sky,” he continued.
“Yup, and beautiful flowers and animals too,” I added.
“And He made the shopping carts and the cars and Target,” he further elaborated.
I paused for a moment to consider my reply, then said, “Well, not exactly. But He did give us smart brains and strong bodies to be able to create things like shopping carts, cars, and Target.”
James simply replied, “No.”
“No” as in, “No, Mother! You are unequivocally incorrect. God most certainly did create shopping carts, cars, and Target.” (Side note: He might be right about the Target thing.)
This theological back and forth has become a part of our daily conversations over the past few weeks, with God’s personal creations ranging from kindles to Paw Patrol hoodies to Marvel movies.
In James’ version of the creation story, God clearly went right back to work after his rest on the 7th day.
Perhaps then, it was on the eighth day that God created Crab Cake Eggs Benedict??
If pressed to answer the age old question of, “If you were stranded on an desert island and had to live on only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” there’s a pretty decent chance that Crab Cake Eggs Benedict would be my reply.
This is traditional Eggs Benedict, with a simple (and quite elegant) twist. In lieu of the standard Canadian bacon, I substitute one of my spectacular broiled crab cakes, loaded with decadent jumbo lump crab meat. A perfectly poached egg is nestled on top of the crab cake, then drizzled with a generous spoonful of homemade hollandaise sauce. A sprinkling of fresh chives completes the dish.
Not too long ago, I felt strongly that a hollandaise sauce should always be made using the classic culinary technique involving the whisking of egg yolks with fresh lemon juice, as they gently cook, over a bain marie, while carefully adding precisely the right amount of clarified butter for the mixture to emulsify into a luscious and creamy sauce. It’s a finicky process, but one I was proud to have learned.
Then, I had a life-changing moment.
Out of a desire to minimize the number of messy pots and pans I was juggling during my Easter brunch, I decided to try the blender method. I’m not sure I’ll ever mess with bain-marie hollandaise again. The blender preparation is so incredibly simple, and as far as I can tell, produces a perfect, delicious hollandaise every time, which seems miraculously resistant to the common fussiness of hollandaise.
God may not have created Paw Patrol hoodies or shopping carts, but I’m pretty sure he created Crab Cake Eggs Benedict made with blender hollandaise sauce.
And He was pleased with what he tasted.
Crab Cake Eggs Benedict
- 4 English muffins, halved and toasted
- A few chives, finely chopped
For the Crab Cakes:
- 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs or cracker crumbs)
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp Old Bay or Creole seasoning
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
For the Hollandaise:
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 sticks salted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Poached Eggs:
- 8 eggs
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
To Make the Crab Cakes:
Preheat broiler. Combine all ingredients, except the crab meat, in a bowl. Mix until well blended. Gently fold the crab meat into the other ingredients, taking care not to break up the chunks too much. Use your hands to form eight equal sized balls of the crab mixture. Place the balls on a baking sheet and gently flatten into patties, approximately the same size as the English muffins. Place under the broiler and cook for about 10 minutes until completely heated through.
To Prepare the Hollandaise Sauce:
Add the egg yolks, warm water, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper to a blender. Blend at medium speed for about 30 seconds or so, until frothy and slightly lightened in color. Meanwhile, melt the butter in the microwave until completely melted and hot. Turn the blender speed to low, and begin drizzling in the hot melted butter, in a slow steady stream. Blend for a few more seconds once all of the butter has been added. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and/or cayenne pepper, as desired. Set prepared sauce in a warm location (near the stove, for example) until ready to use.
To Poach the Eggs:
Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the vinegar. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Carefully crack each of the eggs into separate ramekins, small dishes, or cups, being careful not to break the yolks. Carefully place each egg in the water, by lowering the ramekin to the edge of the water and letting the egg slip in. Use a spoon to gently nudge the whites closer to the yolk. Allow the eggs to cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on desired doneness. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.
TIPS: Poach eggs in small batches (four at a time) to make it easier to keep track of cooking time. Eggs can be poached a few hours ahead of time, then stored in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator, until ready to use. To reheat, slip the eggs into a pot of simmering water for about 30 seconds up to 1 minute to reheat.
To Compose the Dish:
Place a crab cake onto each toasted English muffin half. Set a poached egg on top of each crab cake. Drizzle with a generous spoonful of the hollandaise sauce. Garnish with chopped chives.
Makes 4 Servings (2-each)
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