Louisiana Crabcakes Benedict
City Grocery, Oxford, MS
"I’m going to go ahead and say it: New Orleans doesn’t do a very good version of the crabcake (for the most part). We make them, however, nonetheless. In New Orleans, we lean too much on bread crumbs as a binder and bell pepper and onion as filler, so the crab part of the cake frequently gets lost. In my best estimation, it’s a version of the stuffed crab, just without a shell. The Big Bad Breakfast crabcakes are unapologetically more in the bready, New Orleans style. My justification is that cooking them this way makes a fantastic base for a Benedict, with the cake becoming a crabby English muffin substitute, topped with a poached egg."—John Currence
Hollandaise (makes 1 1/4 cups):
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
4 dashes of Tabasco hot sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup clarified butter
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Creole mustard or whole-grain Dijon mustard, divided
3 tablespoons diced green bell pepper
3 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
2 1⁄2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon diced and seeded jalapeño
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, plus more for coating
Salt and black pepper
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 poached eggs, warmed
1 cup Hollandaise, warmed
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Make the hollandaise: fill a large saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk together the egg yolks, water, lemon juice, salt, white pepper, Tabasco, and cayenne in a stainless steel bowl. Set the bowl over the simmering water (but not touching it) and whisk constantly until the eggs thicken to the consistency of thickened heavy cream (it should barely leave a trail when the whisk is dragged through it), 7 to 10 minutes. Drizzle in the clarified butter, whisking vigorously, until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Season with salt and set aside in a warm place but not over direct heat (on the stove top, with the oven on). Be very careful because the hollandaise will separate if it gets too hot or too cold.
Make the crabcakes: in a bowl, whisk together 1⁄4 cup mustard, bell peppers, cream, lemon juice, yolks, shallot, and jalapeño. Fold in the crabmeat gently but thoroughly, followed by the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before forming into cakes.
Divide into 8 portions. Form each portion into 2 1⁄2–inch patties that are about 3⁄4 inch–thick. Place the bread crumbs on a plate and coat each cake with the bread crumbs. Warm the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Place the crab cakes in the pan and cook, turning regularly, until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Divide among 4 plates.
Top each crabcake with a poached egg. Stir together the hollandaise and remaining 3 tablespoons mustard and spoon over the cakes. Dust lightly with cayenne pepper and sprinkle with chives for garnish. Serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from Big Bad Breakfast by John Currence, copyright © 2016. Photography by Ed Anderson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.