I like cheese, which has absolutely nothing to do with this post – just thought you should know. I also enjoy deconstructing food and taking generally loved foods and pushing them over the edge.
I have a little notebook where I jot down ideas of recipes during hours that tearing my kitchen apart isn’t ideal. This version of Eggs Benedict was one of those ideas.
Sometimes I use my powers for good.
A toasty baguette with a thin schmutz of goat cheese and sprinkled with arugula and a layer of crisp pancetta. On top of that magic a thin, crispy, no-frills crab cake, perfectly poached egg and the glory that is hollandaise sauce. Finished with a dusting of cayenne pepper, all is right in the world – at least for a fleeting moment.
This indulgently serves 4 people, however it can be easily made for a larger or smaller group.
For the Crab Cakes:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
In a medium bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Fold in the crab meat and panko crumbs.
Divide into eight portions and roll the crab meat into balls and press the balls into thin cakes. Put in the oven for 7-12 minutes, depending on your oven, until lightly browned and crispy on the outside. Set aside until ready to use.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- Pinch cayenne
Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.
For the Everything Else:
- 8 slices of pancetta
- (2) 6 inch pieces of french baguette, sliced in half to make four pieces
- 4 teaspoons goat cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup loosely packed arugula, divided
- 4 poached eggs (for instructions on how to poach an egg, click here)
In a skillet or griddle, cook the pancetta until browned and crisp.
Drain on paper towels and set aside until read to use.
Toast the halves of baguette in the rendered pancetta fat until lightly toasted. Set on serving plates for assembly.
To Assemble, Top Each Baguette With (in order)
Cover the whole sexy animal with as much hollandaise sauce as you can handle and if desired, an extra pinch of cayenne pepper.