The original version of this classic brunch dish includes a toasted English muffin, Canadian bacon, a poached egg and creamy hollandaise sauce. For my recipe this week, I’m going to substitute crab cakes for the Canadian bacon. Don’t be intimidated by the process of poaching the eggs and making the hollandaise sauce. With a little practice, you’ll get the hang of both very quickly. This recipe will make four individual servings.
Plan ahead when preparing this recipe and give yourself plenty of time. You’ll need to mix up the ingredients for the crab cakes, form the cakes and chill in the refrigerator before pan-frying them. This will allow the crab cakes to hold together in the hot butter. You’ll enjoy the flavor and texture of the crab meat instead of bread crumbs.
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 1 to 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
• 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
• Few grinds of black pepper
• 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
• 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
• 8 ounces lump crab meat
In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Gently fold in crab meat. Divide mixture into four parts and shape into crab cakes. Place on a plate and refrigerate for 45 minutes or so.
To make the hollandaise sauce, I use Ina Garten’s foolproof method:
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 stick butter, melted
Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne in a blender. Cover and pulse 5 or 6 times to blend. Remove the top portion of the blender (the plastic or glass part that’s removable, not the entire lid). With the blender set to the low setting, SLOWLY pour in the melted butter. The sauce will begin to thicken. Stop blender, scrape down sides with a spatula and pulse a few more times to blend. Place the sauce into a glass or metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water while you poach the eggs. If the sauce thickens too much, whisk in a teaspoon or so of water.
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Remove four eggs from the refrigerator and bring a small saucepan filled with water (2⁄3 full) to a gentle simmer over low heat.
Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to the simmering water. Break 1 egg into a small ramekin or bowl. With a spoon, gently stir the water and when you have it swirling, very carefully let the egg slip from the ramekin or bowl into the “whirlpool.” The white of the egg will form around the yolk. Let the egg poach for about 3 minutes and remove it from the water with a slotted spoon, and let the egg drain on a paper towel. Repeat the process with the remaining three eggs, one at a time.
Remove the crab cakes from the refrigerator and melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, carefully place crab cakes into the melted butter using a metal spatula. Let crab cakes cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Toast four English muffin halves in a toaster until golden brown. Add a crab cake on top of each muffin half, carefully place a poached egg on top of each crab cake and drizzle with a generous portion of the hollandaise sauce. Garnish with paprika and serve immediately.