Hello, welcome to Djalali Cooks! I know brunch is a thing all year long but, to me, the best brunches are those dined al fresco. So naturally, spring feels like brunch season. Today, I am sharing a recipe for Crab Cake Eggs Benedict – perfect for making any brunch a special one, al fresco or not. This recipe might seem intimidating but I have written it step by step – what to do when – so everything will come out together without frazzling your nerves. Let’s get right to it!
Crab Cake Mixture
Make this part easy on yourself and buy canned lump crab. I cracked and peeled Dungeness Crab legs and claws and it took forever. Plus, some of the meat can be stringy, which makes it more difficult to form a cohesive crab cake. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix together the mayo, lemon juice and zest, breadcrumbs, crab and chives (reserve some chives for garnish), until well combined. Then, cover and refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes to let the breadcrumbs hydrate. Hydrated breadcrumbs will help bind the crab cake together. While we wait for that, let’s make the Hollandaise sauce.
Begin the sauce by gently melting butter in a saucepan on the stove. We don’t want it to get too hot, so once it’s mostly melted, swirl the pan the off the heat to melt it completely and pour the butter in a light weight measuring cup that has a pour spout. Set it aside to cool down.
Next, based on the size of your mixing bowl, get a medium or large pot with about an inch and a half of water simmering. Juice the lemon and separate the yolks. Once simmering, reduce the heat on the water to get a very low simmer. Now we’re ready to make the sauce.
Add the yolks to a large stainless steel or glass bowl. I like to use my stand mixer bowl because it has a handle and it’s quite large. Then add the lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper.
Do a few shoulder rolls, forward and back. Do a few arm stretches and psych yourself up to whisk until your arm falls off. Now let’s do it! Whisk the lemon juice and eggs until they lighten in color a little and nearly double in volume.
Make sure the simmering water for the double boiler set up is only lightly simmering. We don’t want to heat the yolks too fast or they will scramble. Low and slow is the way to go.
Set the bowl with the yolk mixture in/on the saucepan with the simmering water. Be sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Vigorously whisk with one hand and very very slowly begin to drizzle in the cooled, melted butter. It’s easier to whisk back and forth than it is to whisk in a circle, it’s also more effective in getting light, airy Hollandaise. DO NOT STOP WHISKING.
When the sauce is lighter in color, doubled in volume, with a light and creamy texture, you’re done! Pour the sauce into a small container and set it someplace warm, next to, or on the stove. It will thicken a bit while we get the rest of the meal together, but you can stir in a little warm water right before service and it will loosen up again. You can add as many drops of water as necessary to get your desired consistency, just go a little at a time. Wipe the sweat from your brow because the hard part is over.
Shallow Fry the Crab Cakes
This mixture will make 8 or so 2.5-inch crab cakes or 4 big ones. I did four big ones and I just eyeballed the size of each crab cake. I put the formed crab cakes on a sheet of parchment.
I am using an 11-inch skillet, so all four will fit together. Heat 3 tablespoons unsalted butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, foamy and hot, carefully lay the crab cakes in the pan.
While they are frying, get a pot of water boiling for the poached eggs. Crack each egg into a ramekin or cup. You can get my method for poaching eggs from my How to Make: Eggs post.
These crab cakes will go about 2 minutes on the first side and 1.5 minutes or so on the other side. You want them to be golden brown. Then, place the whole pan in the oven for about 10 minutes, just to warm through the crab. Make the poached eggs while the crab cakes are finishing in the oven.
Crab Cake Eggs Benedict!
If your Hollandaise thickened, add a few drops of warm water and stir, it should smooth out perfectly. Plate a crab cake, then top with a poached egg. Pour on some Hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with chives and a little Old Bay, if you like.
Crab Cake Eggs Benedict is so special! This is not something you have every week, so it’s worth every bit of effort (and arm soreness) to make this gorgeously rich brunch dish.
Pin this recipe for upcoming spring holidays like Easter and Mother’s Day brunch, or any other weekend calling for a special brunch. Give me a follow on Pinterest so you can easily reference all of the recipes on the blog, in one convenient spot! Take care and be well! xo Kelly
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Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict
Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict is gorgeously rich and luscious. Cloud-like Hollandaise drapes over perfectly poached eggs, which give way to crispy, crunchy, perfectly seasoned, pan-fried crab cakes.
- Crab Cakes
- 1.5-2 lbs. Lump Crabmeat (go for canned, it's easier)
- 1.5 cups Panko
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Chopped Chives (plus some for garnish)
- 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 2 tsp. Old Bay (plus some for garnish)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
- Hollandaise Sauce
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1 tbsp. Freshly Lemon Juice
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled to room temp.
- Pinch Cayenne Pepper
- Pinch Kosher Salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix together the mayo, lemon juice and zest, breadcrumbs, crab and chives (reserve some chives for garnish), until well combined.
Cover and refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes.
This mixture will make 8 or so 2.5-inch crab cakes or 4 big ones.
If doing 4, evenly divide the mixture into four portions. If doing 8, use a 1/2 cup measuring cup as a scoop to portion the crab cakes.
Form the crab cakes into patties and place the patties on a sheet of parchment.
In a large oven-safe skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Once butter is melted and foamy, carefully add crab cakes to the skillet.
Cook until golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes on each side).
Place skillet in the oven for 10 minutes to warm the crab through.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, do not let the butter boil. Let the butter cool off to room temperature and pour into a lightweigh measuring cup with a pour spout.
Set up a double boiler with a saucepan of lightly simmering water.
Whisk the lemon juice, salt, cayenne and eggs until they lighten in color a little and nearly double in volume.
Set the bowl with the eggs over the saucepan of lightly simmering water. Be sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
Vigorously whisk with one hand and very very slowly begin to drizzle in the cooled, melted butter. It's easier to whisk back and forth than it is to whisk in a circle, it's also more effective in getting light, airy Hollandaise. DO NOT STOP WHISKING.
Hollandaise is done when the sauce is lighter in color, doubled in volume, with a light and creamy texture.
Pour the sauce in a smaller container and set it in a warm spot.
If sauce thickens before service, add a few drops of warm water and stir to loosen the sauce. Add as many drops of water as necessary to get desired consistency.
Place poached egg on top of crab cake and drizzle with Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning and chopped chives.