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Recipe: Crabcakes Benedict
Crabcakes replace Canadian bacon in this classic dish, and there’s no need for hollandaise sauce.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup mixed diced red, yellow and green bell peppers
½ cup diced red onions
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon minced jalapeño chili or red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
1 cup ground almonds, divided
1¼ pounds fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage and shell fragments
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
6 English muffins, split
12 extra large eggs
Chopped chives for garnish
1. You will need to make the crab mixture and shape the cakes at least one hour before you are ready to cook them. In a 10-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and onions and saute, stirring frequently, until tender, seven to nine minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and let cool.
2. While the pepper mixture is cooling, return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the cream and jalapeño and simmer briskly, stirring frequently, until the cream is reduced by half, about five minutes. Add to the pepper mixture and let cool for about 15 minutes.
3. Add the chives, dill, parsley, thyme, salt and cayenne to the cooled mixture and stir well. Stir in the egg and half each of the breadcrumbs and almonds. Gently fold in the crabmeat; the mixture should be lumpy.
4. On a plate, stir together the remaining breadcrumbs and almonds. Have ready a baking sheet.
5. With clean hands, divide the crab mixture into 12 equal portions, then shape each portion into a cake the diameter of an English muffin. As you form each cake, gently press both sides of it into the crumb-almond mixture to coat well, then place on the baking sheet. When all of the cakes are ready, cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or up to three hours.
6. To cook and serve the crabcakes, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Have ready a large baking dish. In a large skillet, combine 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add half of the crabcakes and saute, carefully turning them once with a spatula, until they are golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about four minutes on each side. Transfer to the baking dish and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining crabcakes the same way, adding more oil to the pan if needed to prevent sticking.
7. When the crabcakes are almost done cooking, toast the English muffins and spread them lightly with a little of the remaining butter. Place one or two muffin halves, cut side up, on each individual serving plate, or place them all on one or two large platters.
8. As soon as all of the crabcakes are cooked and in the oven, wipe out the skillet, return it to medium-high heat, and melt enough of the remaining butter in it to coat the bottom evenly when you swirl the pan. Carefully crack just enough eggs into the pan to fit without crowding and sprinkle them with salt. Fry until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your or your guests’ liking, spooning a little of the butter from the pan over the whites and yolks to help them set, three to five minutes.
9. Transfer the same number of crabcakes to muffin halves as eggs you cooked, and top each crabcake with a fried egg. Repeat with the remaining butter, eggs, and crabcakes. Garnish the eggs with the chives and serve right away.
From Wolfgang Puck in “The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving Holiday Cookbook.”