Dungeness Crab Benedict

Egg Dishes and Breakfast Entrees

Dungeness Crab Benedict

Dungeness crab is plentiful in Tomales Bay and nearby Bodega Bay, so it makes perfect sense to add fresh crabmeat to a decadent Benedict. As a result, it is one of the most ordered dishes on our menu. If you decide to crack the crab and pick the crabmeat on your own for this recipe, be sure to choose a crab with a deep-colored shell, and give one of the legs a quick squeeze to make sure it’s hardy rather than flimsy. — From the , Table With a View: The History & Recipes of Nick’s Cove


Servings: Makes 4 Servings

For the hollandaise:

  • 2⁄3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash of hot sauce

For the poached eggs:

  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 8 large eggs

For the Benedicts:

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb fresh-cooked Dungeness crab meat, picked over for shell fragments
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika


To make the hollandaise, in a small saucepan, combine the wine, bay leaf, peppercorns, and vinegar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl and set aside.

Return the saucepan to the stove top, add the butter, and melt over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the milk solids to settle to the bottom of the pan. Carefully pour the clear yellow liquid—this is the clarified butter—into a measuring cup, leaving behind only the milk solids in the pan; discard the milk solids.

Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Rest a heatproof medium bowl on top of the saucepan over (not touching) the water. Add the egg yolks, wine reduction, and salt to the bowl and whisk until blended, then continue to whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually add the clarified butter, about 2 tablespoons at a time, while whisking constantly. The sauce should be smooth and thick; if it is too thick, whisk in 1 tablespoon warm water. Whisk in the hot sauce. Return the bowl to over the saucepan off the heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

To poach the eggs, line a large, flat plate with a few paper towels and place the plate near the stove top. Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a large,
wide pot or a large, deep sauté pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the vinegar. Working in batches of four eggs, crack each egg into a small bowl or ramekin. Holding a bowl so the lip just touches the water, gently tip the bowl to slide the egg into the water. Quickly repeat with three more eggs. Cook, using a slotted spoon to keep them separated if necessary, until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny (medium), about 31/2 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

While the eggs are cooking, preheat the broiler. Cut each avocado in half lengthwise, discard the pit, and then, using a metal spoon, carefully scoop out each half from the skin. Place the avocado halves, cut side down, on a cutting board and thinly slice lengthwise, keeping the shape of each half intact.

When the broiler is ready, arrange the English muffins, cut side up, on a sheet pan, slide under the broiler, and toast until light brown, about 3 minutes.

To assemble the eggs Benedict, place two toasted muffin halves, cut side up, on each of four individual plates. Top each muffin half with one-fourth of an avocado, fanning the slices neatly.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the crab and heat, stirring occasionally, just until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Top each muffin half with about 3 tablespoons of the warm crab, spooning the crab on top of the avocado. Next, place a poached egg on top of each mound of crab and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the warm hollandaise over each egg. Dust each serving with about 1/2 teaspoon of the paprika. Serve at once.