Little bit of Big Easy before Christmas

I just returned for a nice long weekend away in New Orleans.  New Orleans is such a fun place to get away to.  The streets of the French Quarter are unlike any you will find in any other city.  The food in the city is great as well.  Lots of seafood!

For breakfast one morning in the French Quarter I ordered crab cake eggs benedict.  Unfortunately it was not as tasty as I wanted it to be, honestly the only disappointing meal of the trip though, but I jumped at making my own crab cake eggs benny when I returned and found crab on sale for such a great deal… $1.15??!! is that right?  YES it was!!

To make the crab cakes I first sauted bell pepper and red onion a few minutes with some chili powder, paprika and cayenne pepper.

I let that cool and mixed with my crab meat, roughly chopped, an egg, mayonnaise, Dijon, lime juice, salt, pepper, and another pinch of chili powder, paprika and cayenne pepper.  I mixed in bread crumbs.

Then I formed into cakes.  My trick for making the cakes is I take a measuring cup, rinse with water and place half the mixture into the cup. I invert upside down and place on a plate lined with parchment. 

I refrigerated then when ready to cook I dredged the cakes in additional breadcrumbs and placed in a hot skillet with oil.  I cooked each side for 5 minutes.

Now the key to making any eggs benedict is ORGANIZATION!!  I found a new cool way to poach eggs, and actually cook them ahead of time.  You can watch a video on this easy poaching egg technique here.  And to store the poached eggs place them in water in the refrigerator.  Before using drop them into simmering water to warm them back up again!

I also made my hollandaise sauce ahead of time by using the “blender” method from eggs.ca.  I warmed my sauce over the simmering water I used to poach my eggs in right before serving.

Also for my benny I wanted some sauted spinach.  For my spinach I heated some chili oil a skillet, added a couple of handfuls of spinach, seasoned with salt and tossed until wilted.

To assemble my crab cake eggs benedict I placed crab cake on a plate then topped with the spinach, poached egg, hollandaise and a sprinkle of hot sauce and cayenne pepper.

Yum!  Now that’s one delicious breakfast! 

Southern Style Crab Cakes
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 TB olive oil
  2. 1 TB red onion, finely diced
  3. 1 TB green bell pepper, finely diced
  4. a few pinches of chili powder
  5. a few pinches of paprika
  6. a few pinches of cayenne pepper
  7. 1 cup lump crab meat, roughly chopped
  8. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  9. 1 TB mayonnaise
  10. 1 tsp dijon
  11. a few dashes of hot sauce, Louisiana preferably
  12. juice of half a lime
  13. 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, divided
  14. Salt and Pepper
  15. 1 TB vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add red onion and green pepper with a few dashes of chili powder, paprika and cayenne pepper. Saute stirring occasional for a few minutes when the veggies begin to soften a bit. Remove from heat, place in a large bowl and let cool about 15 minutes.
  2. Add crab meat, the egg, mayo, dijon, hot sauce and lime juice to the bowl. Mix and add a TB of breadcrumbs at a time until the contents begin to hold together. Season with salt and pepper. Season with an addition pinch of chili powder, paprika and cayenne pepper. Mix and form into cakes. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or up to 24.
  3. Mix additional bread crumbs with salt, pepper, a pinch of chili powder, paprika and cayenne. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge cakes in the breadcrumbs and then place in the skillet. Cook each side 4-5 minutes.
Notes
  1. Makes 2 large crab cakes
  2. Feel free to sub another type of pepper, red bell, poblano, etc for the bell pepper.
Cooking with Rosemary http://www.cookingwithrosemary.com/
And now some pictures from my trip to New Orleans!

French Quarter
Cutie Pie House

French Quarter Rosemary
A yummy lunch
At the end of that lunch…
Walking back to the hotel after the lunch…