This delicious take on Eggs Benedict from Chef Melanie Cuartelon features Bird Pepper Sauce, a sauce developed by Alexander Noisette in the 1850s. The recipe for the sauce is thought to have been provided to Alexander by his mother, Celestine Noisette, the original mermaid and inspiration behind our brand.
Crab Cake Ingredients
- 1 lb picked crab meat (50/50 lump & claw meat)
- 1/2 c Panko Crumbs (unseasoned)
- 1/4 c Mayonnaise (Chef Mel loves Duke's!)
- 1/2 c Chopped Chives
- 1 t Smoked Paprika
- 1 t Salt
- 1 t Black Pepper
- 1 t Granulated Garlic
- 1/2 t Granulated Onion
- 1/2 t Cayenne
- Juice of one Lemon
- 2 T Butter
- 2 T Olive Oil (or Avocado Oil)
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 T Lemon Juice (or white vinegar)
- 1 T B&D Smoked Bird Pepper Sauce
- 1/2 t Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 oz Melted Butter (unsalted)
- Salt to taste
Poached Egg Ingredients
- 8 Whole Eggs
- 4 T White Vinegar
- Salt to Taste
- Sautéed Baby Spinach (at least 6 c raw)
Instructions (makes 8 servings)
For the crab cakes: Whisk together the mayonnaise, chives, Dijon, all spices and lemon juice in a bowl. In another bowl, place your crabmeat and panko crumbs, lightly toss together. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the crabmeat, continuing to toss lightly until just mixed. You want to keep the crabmeat intact as much as possible.
Once combined, place the mixture in a covered bowl for about 15 minutes and let rest. This allows the panko crumbs to hydrate, enabling them to help bind the crab cakes together.
Take a 2 oz ice cream scoop (a #16 portion scoop if you want to purchase one on Amazon or from your favorite retailer) and portion out the crab cakes. Pack the meat into the scoop to ensure the cakes have good structure when you cook them. As you scoop them out onto a parchment lined sheet pan, lightly press down the mound so it is about 1 inch thick. Throw the cakes back into the fridge while you heat up the butter and oil in a pan on the stovetop at medium high heat.
Once the pan is hot, sear off one side of the crab cake for about 2 minutes or until a nice golden brown. This is creating a nice crust that will keep the crab cake from falling apart. Now flip the crab cake over gently and repeat the 2 minutes until a golden brown crust has formed. You are aiming for about 141F for an internal temperature. After searing your crab cakes, set aside and start your hollandaise.
Hollaindaise: Heat butter until just melted in the microwave or on the stove top. While your butter melts, add egg yolks, lemon juice, bird pepper sauce and worcestershire to a blender (you can use an immersion or standard blender). Pulse a few times to break up your egg yolds and then turn the blender on to medium speed and slowly stream in your hot butter. Make sure you don't add the butter too fast or you will cook your eggs!
The mixture will be light yellow and thick enough so if you dip the back of a spoon in the sauce, you can draw a trail through the sauce. Add salt to taste. If the hollandaise seems too thick and won't pour, thin slightly with water one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
Poached Eggs: Bring 3 quarts of water and 2 T of vinegar to a simmer. The vinegar helps keep the egg proteins tight so you don't get stray egg white strands. Once at a steady simmer, add your cracked eggs to the water one at a time. To ensure you do not get egg shells in the water, Chef Mel cracks one egg into a small bowl and gradually adds to the simmering water. Let cook for about 3 minutes or until the egg whites are set but the yolk is still soft. Using a slotted spoon, pull your eggs out of the water and place on a plate until you are ready to assemble.
Assembling the Eggs Benedict: Place the crab cakes on a plate, leaving space between each (or plate on individual plates). Divide spinach evenly amongst the cakes, placing lightly on top. Top the spinach with a single poached egg then finish with the Bird Pepper Hollandaise and a pinch of smoked paprika and chopped chives for a pop of color. Enjoy!!