Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ugly Duckling Tasted Like the Perfect Swan: Homemade English Muffins for Crab Benedict

Okay, I had better tell you up front what the heck this is. I started out making homemade English muffins, which are very easy to make, and finished with Crab Benedict "but" put all 4 servings on the plate, not thinking of course. Then, one of the poached eggs broke and I had a mess. Nothing pretty to look at but what great flavor. I shucked 2 Dungeness crab so the crab meat was fresh, the English muffins are a must make, having a subtle buttery flavor and a slight chewy texture, and the hollandaise sauce was a little to lemony this time. I am writing notes on recipes as I type.

Seafood and I go wayyy back. The internal love of a really well made eggs Benedict is hard to match. Paula Deen, I know, I was perusing the Food Network site for ideas on pulled pork BBQ sauces, and came across Paula's recipe for Crab Benedict. The thought of giving the recipe a try crossed my mind several times, then I decided why not? When you can't quit thinking about something, jump in and start the burners. Paula made her first mistake with me when she asked for all the layers of eggs, crab mixture, and hollandaise sauce go over cheesy biscuits. Cheesy biscuits? Really? Nope. I want English muffins but homemade. That is my twist to the recipe.

English muffins are so easy, I had no idea. We start with a yeast dough that is soft and soupy, let this rise until the dough collapses on itself, add another 2 cups flour and 3 T. soft butter, knead the dough a little, cut with muffin rings "or" use empty and clean cans cut into thirds. Just be careful of the edges. I bought my English muffin rings at a local kitchen store but the tin circles can be easily purchased online at King Arthur Flour. You let the dough rise in the rings and bake on a hot griddle until golden brown on both sides.

Next time I make Crab Benedict, I will not make crab salad but, instead, use flaked crab meat mixed into the hollandaise sauce and drizzle large amounts of this over the poached egg. Then I will top the hollandaise sauce with whole sections of crab meat. I can not wait until the weekend to give this another try!

English Muffin Recipe:
(Makes approximately 12 to 15 muffins)

2 T. 105 - 115 degree water
1 package active dry yeast
1 c. water
1/2 c. scalded milk
2 t. sugar
1 t. salt
4 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. butter, softened

Dissolve 2 Tablespoons water and yeast for 3 minutes. Combine water, milk, sugar, salt and yeast together, gradually beat in 2 cups flour. Cover with cloth. Let rise in warm area, 85 degrees F., for about 1 1/2 hours or until dough collapses back into the bowl. (The oven with oven light on would be the perfect place to let the dough rise.)

Beat in butter. Knead in remaining flour. Press dough to a thickness of 1/2" and cut out with muffin rings. Let stand on lightly greased baking sheet (or silicon mat) until dough has doubled in size. Transfer muffins onto a fairly hot, well buttered griddle. Remove muffin rings. Cook until light brown. Turn once. Cool on rack. Serve with butter and marmalade.

Crab Benedict
(adapted from Paula Deen)

Crab Salad:
1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lump crab meat, picked free of shells

Hollandaise Sauce:
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons cream
4 large tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 T. fresh lemon juice
Dash cayenne
Pinch salt
Pinch sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Poached Eggs:
3 cups water
1 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Parsley, for garnish

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the crab and red peppers. Gently fold in the crab and peppers. Reserve.
*Cook's Note: When mixing the crab and peppers, be careful not to break up the crab too much.

For the Hollandaise Sauce:
Combine all ingredients, except the vinegar, in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Whisk until thick, approximately 3 minutes; set aside until ready to use. Do not reheat or cover the pot. Thin, if needed with a little chicken broth. Stir in the vinegar.

Poaching the Eggs:
Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a low simmer in a medium saucepan.
Crack an egg into a small ramekin and gently slide the egg into the water. Crack another egg into the same cup and while the water returns to a low simmer, slide the second egg into the water. Repeat. Let lowly simmer until the eggs are set. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes for soft runny yolks. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate.

To Plate:
Top an English muffin with a poached egg. Add a small scoop of crab salad on top of the egg. Spoon the hollandaise over the egg and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.


Emile Zola@life said...

I made English muffin before, but it is totally difference with your way of doing it, your steps are similar like making bread, very interesting, I gonna to give a try soon.

Flourchild said...

I love the english muffins and the way you made them so perfectly. The little round holders are to cool.

karl's sweet child said...

hmmmm..the english muffin looks so yummy! crab bennedict? im going to try that!