One of the most important aspects of Inspiration are ingredients; especially when an ingredient is in season and at its peak. Pick up and smell a tomato when it is ripe and at its peak or almost any other seasonal ingredient and let the fragrance, appearance and taste give you inspiration. Currently here on the coast it is Dungeness crab season and my neighbor gave me some of his extras. My initial thought was to make crab cakes and then inspiration led me to create a benedict that showcases the northwest. The base has to be that great northwest bread, sourdough; then a great lump crab cake, a poached egg and some sort of a sauce. To make things simple I decided to make a simple sauce, mayo, lemon juice and avocado; both that go great with crab.
1 pound fresh cooked lump Dungeness Crab meat
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon cranberry mustard (or substitute Dijon)
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 large egg
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. butter
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ripe avocado
4 large eggs
4 slices sourdough bread
Mix the wet ingredients together then gently fold in the crab then the bread crumbs. Divide into four equal portions and form into cakes. I like to use a ring mold. Melt the butter in a medium heat skillet and fry until crispy on one side, then gently flip and brown the second side. Keep warm.
Mix ½ cup of mayonnaise with the juice of ½ lemon then mash in one half of a ripe avocado. Whip until smooth. Poach the eggs until the desired doneness and reserve warm.
Toast the bread and butter. Place the bread on a plate and add a crab cake on top. Place a poached egg on top, season with salt and pepper and top with the avocado mayonnaise mixture. Repeat for the three remaining benedict and serve immediately. Serves four.
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How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.