Mother’s Day Madness
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I decided to forgo the usual long wait in a crowded restaurant for a mass-produced, overpriced meal. Instead, I opted to make my own brunch for the family (because that’s the kind of mother I am). Well, at least I planned on it being brunch. It ended up being our dinner, but it was good nonetheless. Luckily, I didn’t choose to make something like pancakes or waffles. I haven’t eaten things like that for dinner since my college days. I’m sure the kids wouldn’t have minded, but I had already baked some cupcakes for dessert and didn’t want the whole meal to cost me a trip to the dentist.
The eventual brunch-dinner was a resounding success! Eating the cupcakes first probably didn’t hurt the dinner rating from the kids, but hey, they were done and just sitting there (the cupcakes, not the kids), beckoning us! Besides, I still had to try my hand at the Hollandaise Sauce and everybody knows I suck at tricky sauces. If only I had taken the time to refresh my memory on the finicky details of preparing it, I wouldn’t have ended up having to create my own sauce at the last minute. That’s right—another sauce gone awry! My version actually turned out quite well and now I have a new, versatile condiment recipe to cherish forever (providing Bobby Flay still makes one of the ingredients essential to my concoction).
The original recipe links over to a "Caribbean" version of Hollandaise Sauce. What does that mean? Use Key lime juice instead of the customary lemon juice. And by the way, I have now concluded (after viewing the link above) that the reason my Hollandaise Sauce failed was not because of something I did incorrectly. It was the amount of lime juice the recipe called for (way too much!). So I won’t waste time printing the sauce recipe they suggested. Instead, I’ll give you my simple solution and you can improvise to your heart’s content.
Another cooking note…I use a six-cup egg poacher instead of messing around with the water & vinegar method. It works perfectly and gives you uniform-looking eggs every time. The only problem is that they look like white hockey pucks—remember that when you look at the photo of the finished recipe.
WI wine recommendation: Champagne, of course! We enjoyed this on Mother’s Day and Mom likes Champagne on special occasions. Any full-bodied white would also be nice.
Caribbean Crab Cakes Benedict
3 saltine crackers
3 (1-ounce) slices French bread, torn
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 egg white
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sauce & garnish:
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
6 large eggs, poached
Easy-Peasy Hollandaise Sauce* (or use your own Hollandaise sauce)
Finely-diced red bell pepper
Place crackers in a blender or food processor; process until finely ground. Place bread in blender or food processor; process until finely ground.
Combine crabmeat, mayonnaise, cracker crumbs, breadcrumbs, egg white, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Shape crab mixture into 6 (4-inch) patties. Cook crab cakes, in batches, in hot oil and melted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until golden.
Place avocado slices and poached eggs on crab cakes, and top with Hollandaise Sauce and diced red bell pepper.
Makes 6 servings.
*You only need two ingredients for this sauce: Real mayonnaise and Bobby Flay’s Yellow Pepper Sauce. You could substitute any flavor bottled sauce. It all depends on what flavor you’re trying to emphasize with your crab cakes. Since the crab cakes called for diced red bell pepper (and I happen to have a variety of opened bottles of flavored sauces in the fridge), I thought the yellow pepper sauce would work well (and it did). Just mix in enough of your chosen sauce so that the mayonnaise takes on the flavor of the sauce and no longer tastes too much like mayonnaise. No need to heat it up (but you could, if you want). After all, mayonnaise contains ingredients similar to the Hollandaise and the best part is, you don’t have to cook it and run the risk of ruining it.