This twist on one of my favorite brunch meals pairs Crab Cakes Benedict with the crisp 2013 Oak Knoll Chardonnay sent to me this month from Cultivar Wine.
We were at least a year into our time living in the Bay Area before I discovered Crab Cakes Benedict. To be honest, I’d probably only started eating regular Eggs Benedict not long before that.
The crab cake version, though? Well, it blew the old standby away. In all honesty, I can’t say that I was a super huge fan of the original anyway. The Canadian bacon on the English muffin didn’t do much for me, nor did the sauce.
But Crab Cakes Benedict is a whole different story.
Your meat and bread are combined into one tasty crab cake. I decided to go a completely different direction with the sauce. I’ve been making a lot of buttermilk based sauces lately and they are delicious when loaded with fresh herbs. So that is what I did here.
I received my blogger wine club shipment from Cultivar Wine a few weeks back and with thoughts of spring brunch on my mind, I knew their 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll Chardonnay would be a perfect match for this meal. There is something about spring and chardonnay that makes me want brunch and seafood so this brings it all together.
This wine is described with the aromas of baked apples, pears, and melon. It’s balanced on the palate with a bit of richness that isn’t over powering due to its fermentation in neutral oak barrels. This creates an excellent match for the richness of the crab and poached egg.
I will admit that both poached egg and crab cake purest may not be able to fully get behind this recipe. First, I hate to say it, but I’ve lost a bit of my runny egg mojo. I used to be such a huge fan, but I’ve turned picky. I like a runny yolk, but I want every part of the white to be solid. So I aim for more of the creamy egg yolk. But you can use whatever method and timing for poached eggs that you’d like.
Second, while the crab cakes are loaded with crab, its a simple recipe made to my preferences. No Old Bay Seasoning here. The crab is kept relatively plain and straightforward so that every component of the dish has a chance to shine with flavor.
From the crisp wine to the tangy sauce, it’s an elegant, but fuss-free meal. Not to mention exactly what I needed to get me into the spirit of spring!
Crab Cakes Benedict with Buttermilk Herb Sauce
Makes 3 to 6 servings
What you’ll need:
12 oz. crab meat, drained and squeezed dry if thawed from frozen
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo these days)
1 large egg white
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
6 poached eggs
Cracked black pepper and dill for garnish
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 spring onion, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir together the crab, mayo, egg white, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Form the mix into 6 patties. Roll each patty in the panko to coat it evenly. Place on a baking sheet covered with a silicone baking mat or parchment. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, until firm and light golden brown. Let the crab cakes sit for at least 5 minutes before disturbing.
While the crab cakes bake, make the sauce by placing all sauce ingredients in the cup of a single serving blender or a small food processor. Pulse in 5 second intervals until all ingredients are blended and sauce turns a mint green color. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve, spread a small amount of sauce over the plate. Top with a crab cake (or two) and top each crab cake with a poached egg. Garnish with cracked black pepper and dill before serving.