One of the downsides (there are few) to going to Greece is that lobster prices are astronomical. If you find live lobster at the market it will go for 60 Euros a kilo and at a seafood taverna you will likely pay 80 Euros a kilo for this delicacy. Fast forward to Canada, back from vacation and yes…I can once again afford lobster from Nova Scotia (Atlantic Canada). Live lobster here in Toronto can be had for about $7.99/lb.
Another Canadian ritual I missed while I was in Greece was my Saturday morning fry-up…eggs, bacon, toast, OJ, coffee but in Greece I don’t have the urge as it’s too hot and I prefer a Greek breakfast with country bread, fresh churned butter from the Laiki (farmer’s market), local jams, coffee and Greek yogurt with honey and nuts.
So, upon my return to Canada I found myself craving both lobster and a big breakfast and today’s decadence combines both these urges. I’ve swapped out the ham/bacon for lobster, switched English muffins with crispy potato pancakes and instead used cubed pieces of bread to replace the home fries.
So, imagine having a plate of Lobster Eggs Benedict arrive before on the table…crispy potato pancake followed by succulent lobster meat, topped by poached eggs with an oozing yolk and topped with a rich Bearnaise sauce (Hollandaise with tarragon) and garnished with chives and lobster roe. Don’t forget the side of toasted home fry bread that you can use to mop-up the sauce.
Making classic Eggs Benedict or any one of the riffs on this brunch classic takes some organization but it can be done at home. Here’s some tips I shared when I originally shared an Eggs Benedict recipe:
- A shallow saucepan with large surface area is best for poaching eggs.
- For poached eggs with a compact oval shape, use the freshest eggs available. Rapid boiling will cause egg to break up as it cooks.
- A few drops of vinegar will keep poached eggs compact.
- Poached eggs can be made ahead of time and held for up to two days. Undercook them slightly so that the yolks remain runny when reheated.
- Refrigerate, covered, or store in ice water, deep enough to cover eggs, until ready to use. To complete cooking, immerse in barely simmering water for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Eggs can be poached in dry white wine, chicken broth or tomato juice.
- Melt the butter until bubbly but not browned and remove from the heat. Place yolks, lemon juice, salt and Tabasco in a blender container and start blending on high. Remove the lid and start pouring the melted butter in a slow but steady stream.
- Blend for another 30 seconds and serve warm over your poached eggs.
- Want to make your Hollandaise ahead of time? Once made pour into a Thermos and store until ready to use!
Lobster Eggs Benedict With Crispy Potato Pancakes & Bearnaise Sauce
the meat of 1 cooked/steamed lobster (I boil mine for 10 minutes)
For the Crispy Potato Pancakes
4 medium potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)
1/2 cup diced onions
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. corn starch
oil for frying
For the Home Fry Croutons
2-3 slices of cubed country bread (crusts removed)
olive oil for frying
1 clove of minced garlic
salt and pepper
fresh thyme leaves
4 large eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs yolks
1 Tbsp. white wine
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
pinch of salt
dash of Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
chopped fresh chives
sweet paprika or lobster roe
fresh ground pepper
- Boil your lobster for about 10 minutes then drain and place in an ice water bath to halt the cooking. Remove the meat from the shells, reserve.
- Peel your potatoes and with the side of the box grater with the largest hole, grate the potatoes into a sieve. Sprinkle some course salt and toss then allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, drizzle some olive oil into a skillet over medium heat and add the cubed bread and garlic and stir until browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Back to the potatoes, use your hands to squeeze excess water from the potatoes and add into a bowl along with the diced onions, salt, pepper and corn starch and toss. Pour about 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and place a handful of grated potato in the pan and press down with a spatula to flatten. Fill the skillet for 2-3 more potato pancakes and fry for about 3-4 minutes a side (flip the pancakes when golden-brown).
- Blot excess oil with paper towel and place your potato pancakes on your serving plates along with the reserved Home Fry Croutons in a warm oven (250F). Place your lobster on the stove to warm up using the residual heat of the oven.
- Add about two inches of water into a large skillet and bring up to a boil over medium-high heat. Crack your eggs and place each one in a ramekin. Add a few drops of vinegar and swirl the hot water with a spoon. Now gently drop each egg into the water, turn off the heat and cover. Allow the eggs to poach for 3-5 minutes (as soon as the whites have cooked you’re safe to remove the eggs).
- In the meantime, prepare your Bearnaise by adding the yolks, lemon juice, wine, tabasco into a blender/food processor and whiz until well almalgmated. Heat your butter on your stovetop over medium heat.
- Back to your poached eggs: carefully remove with a slotted spoon and ensure excess water has drained from the eggs.
- Cut up your lobster meat, remove t he potato pancakes from the oven and place on top of your potato pancakes and then carefully place a poached egg on top of the lobster.
- Time to finish the Bearnaise, s-l-o-w-l-y pour hot butter into your running blender/food processor until the sauce has thickened and turned to a soft yellow colour. Add a pinch of salt, adjust seasoning and spoon over the eggs.
- Garnish with chopped fresh chives, sweet paprika or lobster roe and fresh ground pepper.
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