Life in a Northern Town

Jennifer's Eggs, Hollandaise & Crab Cakes

When Jennifer showed up in my kitchen with fresh eggs, not only was it a good day at the Dougherty's, it meant hollandaise which also meant crab cakes. I have to admit, we've become egg connoisseurs around here. The kids will ask if we have any 'fresh eggs' because they don't like the way grocery store eggs taste. I remember when they wouldn't eat eggs, let alone have high standards for said eggs— I've made a lot of progress in the past five years. One thing I haven't made much progress with, until now, is poached eggs. For some reason, it was an utter disaster every time I tried to make a proper poached egg. The yolks were rock hard, assuming they were still intact. Most of the time, the egg decided to give up and flop into a heap of white and yolk. I read if I swirled the water while dropping the egg into the water it would keep the whites together. No dice, it created watery scrambled eggs.

Imagine my joy when another friend, Chris, told me about the Poach Pods at Sweet Sailing. My poach-less egg days were over. These things work like a charm, every time without fail. As long as you oil the inside before you drop an egg into it and keep the water at a simmer, you can have perfectly poached eggs whenever your heart desires. I can't get over the things I've checked off my to-do list in the past year: mandarin pancakes, pie crust, naan, pork pot stickers and now, poached eggs. What's next? A timpano from The Big Night?? I think so, I'll let you know how it goes.

Crab Cakes

1/4 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard (I used Coleman's)
1 1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over and rinsed
1 1/2 cups fine bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preparation
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, Old Bay and cayenne. Fold in the crabmeat and 1 cup of the bread crumbs. If the mixture seems too wet to mold into cakes, add more bread crumbs in 1/4 cup increments— it should hold its shape after it's molded but not be too dry. Shape the mixture into 12 cakes about 1 inch thick. Coat the crab cakes with the remaining bread crumbs and transfer to a platter, lined with parchment if the cakes seem sticky.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the crab cakes to the pan, being careful not to crowd them, and cook over medium heat until golden and crisp (about 3 minutes per side). Drain the crab cakes on paper towels, place in a warm oven and cook the remaining crab cakes. Add 1 tablespoon and 2 tablespoons of oil for each new batch of crab cakes. Serve with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce (recipe here).