Sunday, September 15, 2013

Eastern Shore Crab Lump & Fried Green Tomato Benedict

What do you get when you take classic Southern Fried Green Tomatoes and combine them with beautiful, sweet, white lump crab from the Eastern Shore of Maryland? Just one of the most delicious brunch dishes ever to grace a morning plate, that's what!

Instead of a plain old boring English muffin for the base of Eggs Benedict, how about a nice big slab of green tomato, simply crusted with cornmeal, seasoned and fried crisp? Top that with a gently poached egg (complete with a lovely runny yolk), grace that with spoonsful of thick, yellow, lemony hollandaise and finally crown it with giant Maryland blue crab lumps?! Did I hear a chorus of enthusiastic yeses?! I thought I might.

Somehow this combo Deep South and Maryland Eastern shore inspiration came together for the best brunch dish I've ever made. I just wish I could send you all samples to taste to inspire to to MAKE THIS for someone you love. Yourself even!

There are a few steps to get this on the table, but each step is simple...even the hollandaise is an easy blender version that needs no cooking. The crab lumps? Just pick them from the plastic tub and put as many as you wish on the top of the finished dish...again, no cooking. The fried green tomatoes are a simple version and poached eggs are a snap. If you're poached egg-challenged, feel free to use a fried egg - I won't tell.

Oh. One more thing. be SURE to serve a great Bloody Mary there any better brunch combination? Really.

What goes better with brunch than a doggone good Bloody Mary? Nothing!

Eastern Shore Crab Lump & 
Fried Green Tomato Benedict

  • 2 large green tomatoes, sliced into thick slabs
  • cornmeal, enough to dredge the tomatoes
  • Jane's Crazy Salt
  • canola oil, or use BACON personal fave! - enough to skim the bottom of the skillet & more for the 2nd batch

  • 2 large eggs, poached how you like them - I like mine runny!

  • 1/2 cup hollandaise sauce (see recipe below)

  • 1 cup Maryland blue crab, (or VA, LA or TX...just make sure it's REAL American crab and fresh in the plastic tubs, not pasteurized in cans (even if it's on ice and it's canned, it is NOT fresh crab!), nice BIG lumps! (Here in Pittsburgh, you can find FRESH, real blue crab right at Penn Avenue Fish Company on Penn Avenue in the Strip District. I'm a HUGE fan!)

These were simply too pretty not to share...made me think of watermelon!

Prepare hollandaise: This is the easy blender hollandaise...if it gets too thick, thin it with more lemon juice until it's the consistency you like. 

  • 3 egg yolks
  • pinch Kosher salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 T. heavy cream
  • 2 sticks melted butter
  • juice of 1 lemon, more if you need it

In the jar of your blender, combine the yolks, Kosher salt, cayenne and heavy cream and buzz on high until well blended. While the blender is running, add the butter and finally the lemon juice. If it's too thick, add more lemon juice. That's it...easy!

Tomatoes: Heat canola oil in a big cast iron skillet - enough to skim the bottom. In the meantime, pour the cornmeal onto a paper plate and dredge the tomato slices on both sides. Season one side liberally with Jane's Crazy Salt.

When the oil is hot, add the tomatoes to the skillet. Brown on one side then turn them over and season the other side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and do the next batch. Set aside.

To plate: set a big fried green tomato slice on a plate, top with the poached egg, slather with hollandaise, top with crab lumps and enjoy!

P. S. You may have noticed only two of the fried green tomatoes were used for the eggs benedict, but I made lots more. Why? So you have extra fried green tomatoes to snack on! Yum.

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