Blue Crab Eggs Benedict Over Brioche Buns
If I had to pick my favorite category of protein, it would hands down be seafood. Crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp... I love them all! Now, if I had to pick my favorite brunch entree, it would be Eggs Bennies! Combine them together for me on a sunny weekend and I'm in heaven.
For whatever reason, I do think it's a challenge to find seafood Eggs Benedicts on brunch menus. You kind of have to go out of your way to go to a specialized brunch restaurant that serves beyond Eggs Benedicts and Eggs Florentine. While there are a handful of good spots in San Francisco that I frequent to (e.g. Zazie's), most restaurants tend to turn mix the seafood in other ingredients. Example: crab cakes. Don't get me wrong - I do enjoy a good crab cake every once in awhile. My question is - why mute the natural flavors of crab meat with breadcrumbs, mayo, and all sorts of other additions? Crab is so delicious on its own that it should be showcased as the star on your plate!
Below is a recipe I put together on a random Saturday when these thoughts were flooding through my hungry head. Eggs Benedicts do require a lot of attention because of all of the different components and multi-tasking involved - so try this one out when you're open to taking your time to experiment!
Blue Crab Eggs Benedict
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 25 min
2 tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz blue crab crabmeat (**see below for my preferred brand)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp cayenne red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 small brioche buns
Poached Eggs Ingredients:
1/4 tsp white vinegar
4 large eggs
Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients:
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Optional: Minced chives (for garnish)
Place crabmeat in a medium bowl.
Heat up a small pan on medium heat. Once warm, add butter and let melt. Use a spoon or spatula to occasionally stir until butter becomes brown butter.
Pour brown butter over crabmeat. Add lemon, cayenne, sea salt, and pepper. Toss and set aside.
Cut into halves.
Toast buns (while making poached eggs to keep the buns warm)
Boil shallow pot of water and add white vinegar. Lower heat from medium low. Once water is no longer boiling, crack in egg. Using a fork, swirl around the egg to keep whites with yolk together (or feel free to use other preferred method of poaching eggs).
Meanwhile, clump crabmeat into 4 flattened balls over each brioche half.
Note: You can start on hollandaise sauce steps while you wait for eggs to poach.
Once white layer around egg yolk is cooked (approximately 2 min for runny yolk), carefully remove from water with a large flat spoon or spatula. Transfer over crabmeat. Repeat with remaining eggs.
Cook in double boiler -or- use ceramic bowl placed within shallow pan of boiling water. Mix in egg yolks, butter, fresh lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Use whisk to keep sauce moving (otherwise it'll turn into scrambled eggs!). Add more butter or lemon juice based on your preference for level of tartness.
Once sauce has thickened, take about 1-2 spoonfuls and pour over poached eggs.
Note: Add hot water (from poached eggs pot) if sauce loses consistency and becomes too thick.
Optional: Garnish with chives. Serve!
**While I've tried a few different brands of crab meat, my favorite is Pontchartrain Blue Crab, Inc.'s Jumbo Lump Crab Meat. You can most likely find this at your local Whole Foods!