Thursday, September 25, 2008
Eggstrodinary B-Day Breakfast
This time tomorrow, I'll be celebrating my birthday! (Insert cheering here!) Celebrating might be too big of a word, though, as it's a weekday with weekday stuff on the schedule. Even so, as long as I can sleep in an extra 15 minutes, I'll be a happy birthday girl.
Another thing that will make me be a happy girl on my birthday is a great breakfast. An Eggstrodinary breakfast to be exact! I'd rather enjoy a great breakfast than eat a slice of cake. I can see your raised eyebrows. It's bizzare, I know. I like cake, but I LOVE breakfast. A couple weeks ago, I made the most amazing Crab Cake Eggs Benedict. This is seriously good. This is yummy noise worthy good. This is lick the plate clean good. You will be praising the good Lord for eggs after the first bite.
This past summer, my girls and I enjoyed a girls weekend at the coast with my girlfriends and their children. We had such a terrific time, and the girls particularly liked the special treat of "room service" for breakfast on the last morning we were there. I ordered an amazing crab cake breakfast for myself and just had to recreate it at home. This was my attempt at that, and not only did I nail it, but I think it was better than what we had at the beach.
I've got to warn you, though, that this is a labor intensive breakfast. It's all very easy to make, but it takes a lot of time and planning. It's also loaded with calories, so it really should be reserved for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries or holidays.
I made the crab cakes the day before. These are a gluten free version coated with gluten free breadcrumbs, but you could use what ever you like. I think panko would add great crunch! For these patties, I really wanted the crab to be the dominant flavor, so you won't see chopped pepper or other veggie chunks in them. Also, the crab meat I had was flaked, so the patty held together expertly. I see no reason why you couldn't use the big chunks of claw meat, though, if you have them. In that case, I'd probably just skip making the patty, and just layer the chunks of crab on the plate. For this version, I used a basic crab cake recipe, bound with eggs, and seasoned delicately with green onion and chives. The outside was coated with the breadcrumbs that were seasoned liberally with seasoned salt, pepper.
Simply mix your ingredients in a bowl, and place it back in the fridge for about a 1/2 hour to firm up a bit. Then remove the bowl, and form the crab mixture into palm sized patties of medium thickness. Using your hands, pat the seasoned breadcrumbs firmly onto the patty. In a heavy skillet, heat some canola oil until hot. Carefully place the patties into the pan without crowding them. Fry until golden brown, and carefully flip over. Fry the second side until also golden. Remove and drain on papertowels. Don't these look crispy delicious? I'm telling you,it was hard to resist not just picking one up and crunch away on it! Do you ever nibble as you cook?
The hollandaise sauce, again, was a basic recipe. I won't post it here as instructions for hollandaise can be explained on the web in much better detail than I can do! I did punch it up a little by adding just a tad of red pepper for some background heat.
I opted to make a soft scrambled egg instead of a poached egg. I like eggs prepared ALL ways ... fried, over easy, scrambled, poached, hardboiled ... it doesn't matter to me. In this case, I thought the colors of the scrambled eggs would look pretty, so that's what I did.
Assembly is a snap. Starting with the bottom layer, place one crabby patty, top with a spoonful of egg, and top with a healthy dollop of hollandaise sauce. Crumble some crisp bacon on top! I sprinkled mine with just a tad of snipped dill. Serve immediately. Take a bite. Make yummy noises.
As a side note, I think different variations of seafood would work beautifully in this application. Shrimp, for certain, would be excellent, as would smoked salmon or smoked trout. A spicy calamari would make for an exotic dish as well. The thing that is so wonderful about this dish is that no flavor overpowers the other. You can taste the eggs, sauce, and seafood independent of each other as well as savor the creamy texture of the sauce and eggs combined with the toasty crunch of the patty. And, since I used gluten free bread crumbs and since there is no english muffin in this version, it's gluten free all the way baby. It's eggstrodinary for sure!