Surf and Turf Benedict
(this one goes out to Liz)
I have been longing to do crab cakes Benedict ever since I saw the lump crab meat gloriously displayed at Whole Foods. Crab cakes Benedict is truly one of my favorite brunch dishes. It is as fresh as the sea but as satisfying as a large farmer’s breakfast. Now after brunch at Garage (part of the Valentine’s Day Liz extravaganza) I was inspired to go even further. Why not use the rest of the massive steak from my Valentine’s Day dinner and truly make this into the ultimate bruncher’s delight. So for your pleasure. Here is surf and turf Benedict!
Serves 2 GENEROUSLY (this is brunch :))
1 tablespoon vinegar (for poached eggs)
10 eggs, divided (plus more if you are aiming for perfection in your poaching)
1 stick of butter (4 ounces)- melted (clarified butter is ideal but melted butter works)
salt and freshly ground pepper- to taste
2 teaspoon Tabasco/favorite hot sauce, divided (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh minced basil
2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided (or more to taste)
6 ounces lump crab meat (or claw meat which is often cheaper)
1 teaspoon minced chives
1/2 teaspoon minced horseradish
1/4 cup bread crumbs/matzo meal
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
4 ounces top round steak (this is fine with leftovers too–use 1/2 of a leftover serving of steak)
canola oil for cooking
1 cup boiled small red potatoes, cut in 1/4s
1 cup steamed asparagus stems, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
spices (1/4 tsp of each): garlic powder, onion powder, chili pepper, cayenne, oregano, dried basil
2 English muffins (each cut in half to make 4 halves), toasted
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add vinegar and salt for poaching eggs. Bring another medium pot of water to a simmer (steam should be coming off the top but water should not be boiling).
To make hollandaise sauce: in a small bowl crack 4 eggs, saving only the yolk. In a medium metal bowl atop simmering water bath (bowl cannot touch water’s surface) add your egg yolks and whisk fervently until the yolks double in size. Slowly begin to drizzle in clarified butter (or melted, skimmed butter) whisking as you go. Once your mixture begins to hold shape it should be thick like a rich cheese sauce, season with salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon Tabasco, minced basil, and 1 teaspoon lemon. Whisk to fully incorporate. Keep on the stove (off but near heat) to keep warm and blended.
Trick: if your hollandaise breaks (it separates and oil spots are visible) simply remove from heat and in a small bowl combine another egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of cold water. Whisk the yolk and the water and add to the broken hollandaise. Return to water bath and begin whisking again and slowly, slowly incorporate more clarified butter.
In a medium bowl mix lump crab meat with one egg, remaining lemon juice, remaining Tabasco, chives, horseradish, and bread crumbs/matzo meal. Season with salt and pepper. Separate the mixture in half and form two round cakes. Coat in flour then egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water) then finish in panko. Set aside to pan fry. Season your steak with salt and pepper.
In a large saute pan (or cast iron skillet if you have it) over high heat add canola and once heated begin cooking your steak (about 3-4 minutes per side–pressing down with a spatula as you go). Once you flip your steak, begin frying your crab cakes in the same pan (this saves you from dirtying extra dishes). Fry your crab cakes to golden brown and finish your steak to medium-rare.
In a medium saute pan over high heat add canola then add your red potatoes and asparagus. Once potatoes begin to turn golden brown, add dried herb mixture and season with salt and pepper. saute 3-4 minutes to finish.
Begin poaching your eggs in your large pot of salted water mixed with vinegar. Crack one egg into a small bowl and gently pour into boiling water. Once egg whites collect over yolk and the egg has poached remove with a slotted spoon and blot with a paper towel. You can tell if the egg is finished by wobbling it in the spoon–if it jiggles give it another minute–you want the egg to break easily once served but you want your whites fully cooked) Poaching eggs can be tricky so don’t expect your first to be perfect.
To assemble: put two toasted English muffin halves on each plate and top each with a spoonful of hollandaise. Cut your steak into thin slices and divide in two. Serve half onto one plate and the other half onto one English muffin of the other plate. Top one half English muffin with a crab cake on each plate and top all English muffins with a poached egg. Finish with the remaining hollandaise and serve with fried red potatoes and asparagus. This dish goes great with classic brunch drinks: Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers, or Mimosas. Enjoy!