Crabcake Benedicts with Bacon Hollandaise

Once again we are just a few weeks from the Holidays, here in the US. With both Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner many of us will be hosting family, sometimes for multiple day stays. Usually I like to keep breakfast an easy affair when hosting family, whether it is bagels from the local bagel shop, overnight breakfast casseroles, or quick, and simple, breakfast breads such as coffeecake or muffins. But occasionally, I like to pull out all the stops and do something that will "wow" them, and this recipe fits the bill perfectly.

This dish is a showstopper, and heart-stopper if consumed too often, that's perfect for a decadent, all-out holiday brunch and if you do some of the work, like making the crabcakes and cooking the bacon, the night before, you won't have to spend all morning slaving away in the kitchen. Which means more time spent with your guests, sipping Mimosas or Bloody Marys.

Don't let making the Hollandaise scare you off from making this recipe. Hollandaise is actually a pretty simple sauce to make, it just takes some patience and constant monitoring while making it. The main trick is to not add your butter too quickly. Just a very slow drizzle into the yolks while whisking constantly. Go too fast and your sauce will break. Don't worry though, even if you break you Hollandaise it can be fixed. I walk you through how to fix a hollandaise sauce in another article, here on Chef Talk, [article="6759"]When Things Go Wrong A Guide To Fixing Kitchen Disasters [/article] .

Crabcake Benedicts with Bacon Hollandaise
serves 4

12oz crabmeat, picked over to remove any stray shell pieces
1/4 cup mayonnaise
30 Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 Onion, small, finely diced
1/2 stalk Celery, finely diced
1/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (optional)

3 slices Bacon, thick cut, diced
8 Tbl. Butter, clarified
2 each Egg yolks
2 Tbl. White wine
pinch cayenne pepper
lemon juice, freshly squeezed

8 each Eggs
Vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, combine the crabmeat with the mayonnaise, crackers, onion, celery and seasonings. Mix well and allow to chill for 1/2 hour.

To make start making the Hollandaise sauce render the bacon until brown and crispy. Remove from heat and drain off the bacon fat, combining it with the clarified butter. In a medium sized pot bring about 1″ of water to a simmer. Place the yolks in medium sized mixing bowl along with the wine. Place the bowl over the simmering water and cook the eggs, whisking constantly, until the eggs are thick enough to hold a line drawn through them. This is known as the ribbon stage. Remove from the heat and very slowly, a bit at a time, drizzle in the butter-bacon grease mixture, whisking constantly so that the fat is emulsified into the egg yolks. Add the cayenne and squeeze of lemon juice and taste for salt, adding a bit, if necessary. Place in a warm, but not too hot spot as you finish the dish.

Divided the crab mixture into 8 equal patties. Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat and cook the crabcakes, in 2-3 batches depending on the size of your skillet, about 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile poach your eggs, again in batches if necessary.

As everything finishes up stir the crispy bacon into the Hollandaise sauce. Place two crabcakes on each of 4 plates. Top each with a poached egg and spoon some of the Bacon Hollandaise over top. Enjoy and then make an appointment with your cardiologist!

Crabcake Benedict with Bacon Hollandaise