This recipe came about several summers ago when we found ourselves with an abundance of fresh crab meat as well as beautiful garden ripe tomatoes.
We love doing poached eggs, so we set out to make a unique poached egg dish featuring fresh local ingredients. The obvious choice would be a variation of the ever popular Eggs Benedict, but we are not fans of Hollandaise sauce so we used a white cream sauce instead. That was ok, but our basic recipe needed a little spicing up to make it more interesting. Ok, a little sherry, shallots and coriander and dash or two Sriracha. Oh, and lets add a little bacon to the sauce. Yes, bacon makes everything better! We then tried mixing it up as far as what kind of bread to put it on. Split English muffins are the standard, but we wanted something out of the ordinary so we tried fresh baked southern style buttermilk biscuits. The recipe using biscuits was actually pretty good, but could be a little doughy and seemed to require much more sauce so ended up pretty rich overall. The English muffin version was more subtle and to our liking. We used fresh local eggs, vine ripe tomatoes, fresh lump crabmeat straight from our creek, a dash of Old Bay seasoning and all the sudden we had a new guest favorite. Oh, and if you’re not a seafood fan or have a hard time finding some fresh crab, this dish is pretty darn good with just the eggs and sauce. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!
Sherry Cream Sauce:
2 Strips Bacon
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Shallot, finely minced
¾ Cup Dry Sherry
2 Cups half and half
2-3 Dashes Sriracha or other pepper sauce
- In a 10” skillet, fry bacon until just crispy, remove from pan; reserve.
- Melt butter in pan with bacon fat, careful not to burn
- Whisk in flour a little at a time and stir over low heat for 5 minutes until thick. (This is called a “roux” and should be the consistency of wet sand). Allow this roux to cool for 10 minutes or so.
- In separate skillet, Heat shallots and ground coriander until soft and fragrant.
- Add sherry and heat until reduced by 2/3‘s
- Add Half and Half and heat until simmering.
- Whisk roux slowly into half and half mixture until combined.
- Season with salt, pepper and Sriracha, adjust consistency with half and half or a little extra sherry as needed.
- Finely crumble bacon into bits and mix into cream sauce.
We poach our eggs in an egg poacher since we make them often and for several people but it is not too difficult to do poached eggs the old fashioned way. Here’s how:
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Adjust heat down until water is at a steady simmer with bubbles floating to top but not boiling.
- Stir in a small amount of white vinegar into the water, (just a splash or up to a teaspoon if you have to measure)
- Use the freshest eggs possible and crack each individually into a measuring cup or small ramekin
- Stir the simmering water into a little whirlpool with a spoon handle and then slowly pour egg into center of whirlpool trying to let white part go into water first. This method works best for 1-2 eggs at a time, but if you want to cook more eggs all at once use a large deep skillet.
- Poach egg(s) for 3-5 minutes. 3 minutes will give you a pretty runny yolk and 5 a more firm center. We find @4 minutes to be ideal when poaching one or two eggs and if doing more add on a little extra time.
- If poaching several eggs one or two at a time, you can put eggs that are done in warm water to hold before serving or keep at room temperature.
- Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain excess water.
Eggs a la Chesapeake:
- Split and toast English muffins, (one half per poached egg)
- Top English muffin with ripened sliced tomato
- Carefully place poached egg on top of tomato slice
- Cover with several spoonful’s of Sherry Cream Sauce
- Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning, (or paprika if you don’t have Old Bay. But you should really get you some Old Bay if you don’t have any!)
- Top with lump back fin crabmeat. Ours is made with fresh local Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab.
- Finish off with snipped chives if desired