Mild taste and easy assembly make this brunch recipe a winner.
Spring offers many occasions for family brunch, including Mother's Day, graduations and other weekend get-togethers.
It also can be an opportunity to bring kids into the kitchen to help with food preparations and, perhaps, a chance for them to sample something new. “Remember the act of helping make the food makes kids a little more willing to try it out,” said David Tetzloff, executive chef at G. Michael's Bistro & Bar in German Village.
Consider using a family brunch as an opening to serve seafood, the Bexley father of two recommended. Tetzloff, who went to school in Charleston, South Carolina, and worked in the city for many years, suggested Crab Cake Benedict. He's known for preparing low country cuisine and seafood. “Crab is pretty mild,” he said. “It's a good gateway seafood. And let's face it: It's fried.”
Tetzloff enlisted his 9-year-old son, Everett, to assist him in preparing the dish at the restaurant. Everett was eager for the chance to help—and thankful that his father provided kitchen gloves. Under his dad's guidance, the youngster mixed the ingredients by hand. “Don't be surprised if your gloves get really dirty,” Tetzloff cautioned.
Once everything was combined, the pair shaped the crab cakes. “You want hockey pucks—not flying saucers,” Tetzloff advised.
If parents and kids divvy up the work, with adults handling the dicing and kids doing the measuring, the dish can be assembled fairly easily, the chef said.
“While this recipe looks like it is pretty involved, it really comes together pretty quickly,” he said. “If you have middle elementary kids, it will be surprising how little time it takes. If your kids are a little older and excited about cooking, this is a great recipe to get them started on.”
Crab Cake Benedict
SERVINGS: 4 to 62 or 3 English muffins, split 4-6 ounces thin-sliced smoked ham, warmed Deviled Crab Cakes Poached Eggs Blender Hollandaise Sauce
Prepare the crab cakes, eggs and sauce using the recipes, then follow the assembly instructions.
Deviled Crab Cakes
INGREDIENTS:3 tablespoons each red, green and yellow bell peppers, diced small 4 tablespoons red onion, diced small 1 tablespoon white vinegar 7 dashes Tabasco sauce 1/4 cup cream 1 egg 1 pound canned lump crabmeat 1/3 cup cracker meal (available at most grocery stores) Cooking oil
Kid: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Adult: Dice the vegetables.
Kid: Measure the wet ingredients into a mixing bowl. Crack and add the egg. Blend with a whisk.
CHEF TIP: Use a bigger bowl than you need to give the child room to work and to help keep the ingredients contained.
Kid: Add the vegetables and crabmeat to this mixture and fold together.
CHEF TIP: I usually put disposable vinyl gloves on my son and let him fold it together gently by hand.
Kid: Fold in the cracker meal and let the mixture stand in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Portion it into 3-ounce patties.
Adult: In a skillet, heat oil on medium high. (Use enough oil so that it comes up the sides of the crab cakes while they fry.) Add crab cakes and brown on both sides. Place them in the oven to finish cooking while making the sauce, toasting the muffins, poaching the eggs and warming the ham.
INGREDIENTS:4 to 6 eggs 1/3 cup white vinegar Salt
Adult: In a medium-sized pot, heat salted water and the vinegar until the liquid is just “shimmering” (about 190 to 195 degrees).
Kid: Crack the eggs into separate small bowls.
Adult: Gently slide the eggs into the water. Cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft, maybe 2 minutes.
Blender Hollandaise Sauce
INGREDIENTS:2 egg yolks 2 tablespoons warm water 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 dashes Tabasco sauce Pinch of salt 3/4 cup hot melted butter
Kid: Place egg yolks in a blender with the water, lemon juice, Tabasco and salt.
Adult: Heat the butter in the microwave or on the stove until it is completely melted and quite hot. With the blender running, add the butter to the egg mixture.
CHEF TIP: Have a bit of warm water on hand to thin the sauce if it looks too thick.
Kid: Toast the English muffins and place them cut side up on a plate. Put a slice of ham on each.
Adult: Remove the crab cakes from the oven and place on the ham. Finish each with a poached egg.
Kid: Spoon a generous dollop of hollandaise on the top of each serving.
CHEF TIP: I like to serve this as a brunch dish with some roasted sweet potatoes and a bright mixed green salad on the plate.