Crab Cakes Benedict with Avocado and Asparagus

My contribution to our family’s Christmas morning is breakfast. Well, I call it “brunch,” but by that all I mean is that mimosas are required. It’s still technically early enough to be considered breakfast. 

I make the “staples” each year: a quiche (my sister’s very favorite thing that I make) and roasted potatoes. This year, though, while pushing my cart around the grocery store, a profoundly insatiable craving for fresh crab took hold of me. I frantically texted my family to ask if crab cakes would be fine with everyone for breakfast. I waited about two minutes for a response, then decided that I would just make all three dishes: crab cakes, quiche, and potatoes. 

The result was a delicious plate of crab cakes benedict, after an “appetizer” of quiche and potatoes. We really do Christmas right at my house! My sister and her boyfriend used their juicer to make divine mimosas: 

And I got to work with this slightly-altered iteration of a Paula Deen crab cake recipe. I will warn you that these crab cakes don’t stick together as well as some versions. This didn’t matter at all in the way that I used them (as part of an eggs benedict dish), because you can still layer them on an English muffin with no difficulty, but just as a note to future crab cake makers. 

I wrote up my method for these crab cakes below, then also added how I made my eggs benedict complete. I toasted English muffins lightly with a bit of olive oil on top, then topped half of one with a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce. I topped the other half with a layer of mashed avocado, then a crab cake, then more Hollandaise. A few pieces of perfectly roasted asparagus (one of my very favorite things, I have to say) on the side, and we have ourselves a delicious little brunch!

Crab Cakes
Recipe adapted from Paula Deen
Serves 6

You will need:
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • 1/3 cup crushed crackers
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. Worcesteshire sauce
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Flour (no more than 1/8 cup, to dust over crab cakes)
  • Canola or peanut oil for frying
  • In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except flour and peanut oil. Stir until consistency is even.
  • Form into patties and dust lightly with flour. 
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-high. 
  • When oil is hot, drop crab cakes in and pan fry until browned, about five minutes on each side. Flip each crab cake and cook for an additional four minutes, until the other side is hot. 
  • Remove crab cakes from oil and place on paper towels to cool. 
  • Serve warm,
For Crab Cakes Benedict
You will need:
  • One batch crab cakes (see recipe above)
  • One English muffin per serving
  • One poached egg per serving
  • One bunch asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • Hollandaise sauce (see recipe here, peri-peri optional)
  • Mashed avocado (optional; approximately 1/4 avocado per serving)
  • Prepare the asparagus by heating oven to 350. Toss trimmed, washed asparagus in olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. 
  • Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Top with minced fresh garlic. 
  • Bake until asparagus is cooked and starting to brown (to get a bit of crunch), approximately 30 minutes. Remove asparagus from heat and set aside to cool. 
  • Toast English muffins just prior to serving. 
  • Top one half of the toasted English muffin with a poached egg and Hollandaise. 
  • Top the other half with a layer of mashed avocado, then add crab bake and additional Hollandaise. 
  • Serve with asparagus on the side. 
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