My eldest turns 12 today. Crazy.
He’s always angling for that next seafood meal, so I made him crab cakes, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce for breakfast. A worthy birthday breakfast for my favourite little foodie.
But kids always have that knack of keeping you humble, right?
“It’s okay that you didn’t make the English muffins from scratch this time, you’re still a good mum.”
Despite the glaring failure of store bough English muffins, the rest was seriously good. And because all the components came from a range of sources, I’m collating them here for next time. Something tells me there will be a next time. Probably 365 days from now.
I’m not even thinking about calories here. It’s not an everyday kind of breakfast, so let’s just leave it “many”.
Aside from resting the crab cakes for 30 minutes, this only takes about 15 minutes of active cooking time, and can easily be coordinated together (even for me… and I usually hate cooking breakfast because I freak about the timing). Might I suggest:
- Prepare the crabcakes and rest in the fridge
- After 30 minutes, heat the pans for crabcakes, eggs and hollandaise – remember, you want the crab cakes pan hot and the other two just at a simmer.
- Steps 1-3 of Hollandaise
- Fry the crab cakes, while still stirring the hollandaise
- Pop the crab cakes in the oven
- Step 4 of the hollandaise
- Between stirs of the hollandaise, poach your eggs
- Remove sauce from heat – steps 5-6 – and toast your muffins
450g crab meat (from a can is fine, if like me, you didn’t win the lotto last night)
1 egg, beaten
4tbs dried breadcrumbs
1tbs sweet chilli sauce
2tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
2tsp olive oil
2 egg yolks
1.5tsp cold water
1.5tsp lemon juice
100g butter, melted
salt and pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
Water, to come up a few inches in a wide pan
2tbs white vinegar
2 English muffins, split, toasted and buttered, to serve
Method – Crab Cakes
- Drain crab meat (if canned), and place in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix all other ingredients except for oil. Gently fold into the crab meat, being careful not to overmix.
- Shape into four flat patties. Mixture will be a little wet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up a bit.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- On the stove, heat oil in an oven-safe frypan over medium-high heat. While you’re at it, start simmering the water for the eggs and the water in the double boiler for the hollandaise.
- Carefully transfer crab cakes to pan and fry for 2 minutes, until the underside is golden. Very gently (honestly, they’re a bit fragile) turn and cook for a further two minutes. Should one break a little when you turn it, you will be able to reshape it.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, while you make the rest of the components.
Method- Hollandaise Sauce
- In the top bowl of a double boiler (off the heat), whisk the yolks, water and lemon juice until pale and frothy. Actually, I use a rubber spatula, rather than a whisk because I hate the sound of metal on metal, so pick your weapon.
- Set the bowl over the base, with 2.5 inches of water simmering (definitely not boiling!) over low heat.
- Stir constantly and vigorously over this low heat for two minutes. (If the eggs start to scramble, immediately place them over a bowl of very cold water and continue to whisk the lumps out. Strain the eggs, pour back into the double boiler, and continue with the method. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to restart.)
- Whisk in the butter very slowly – a bit at a time. Continue to whisk vigorously for another minute or two, until thick and glossy.
- Remove the entire double boiler from the heat and separate the two pans while you cook the eggs (otherwise the eggs will continue to cook and will scramble). Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.
- You can leave for a short while, but once the water is no longer simmering hot, placing the sauce back over the water pan will keep the sauce warm and smooth while you finish up.
Method – Poached Eggs
- Add vinegar to a wide pan with enough water to reach a few inches up the side, and bring to a simmer.
- Crack each egg into a deep saucer or teacup/espresso demi-tasse, taking care not to break the yolk. One egg at a time, create a small whirlpool in the water – just large enough for one egg – and gently slide the egg into the vortex.
- Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Bringing it all together
Butter your toasted muffins, top with crab cake, egg and sauce. Season with salt and pepper.