Monday, December 17, 2012

Mom's Diner: Cajun Eggs Benedict

For our final culinary collaboration, my mom wanted to show we are a family with a little class and not just one that ate chili cheese fries and the food that helped lead Elvis to XXL jumpsuits and an early grave. Nothing says fancy like brunch, so we decided on the classic brunch staple- Eggs Benedict. However, on the way to making one of the most typical brunches out there, something magical happened. We Cajuned it up to create one of the most mouthwateringly delicious meals I have ever had.

Cajun Eggs Benedict
Servings: 4
Time: 30 minutes

Veggies in oil always smell awesome
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery heart, deveined and chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
Tabasco to taste
Tony Chachere's to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 can Rotel
1 lb alligator and pork sausage, quartered (halved lengthwise then halved)
1 lb crawfish, peeled and seasoned (we used frozen)
Butter
4 English muffins, toasted
4 eggs


Is it pork? Is it alligator? Who cares? It's delightful.
New Orleans is all about decadence, so naturally we had to top things with buttered crawfish.
This felt like cheating.
  1. Brown the sausage in 3 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Start a piquant sauce. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery in several tbsp of olive oil until tender. 
  3. Add the tabasco, Tony Chachere's, cayenne and rotel to the veggies and cook uncovered until well mixed (~10 minutes).
  4. Mix in the sausage and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  5. Melt butter in the pan you used to brown the sausage then cook the crawfish in it for about 5 minutes (season with tabasco and Tony Chachere's).
  6. Poach your eggs (you can find a tutorial here).
  7. Toast the English muffins.
  8. Top half of an English muffin with the sausage then the poached egg, crawfish and excess piquant sauce.
It was important to load up on all the fatty goodness after taking a pretty pic.
We truly saved the best for last. Everything about this take on Eggs Benedict worked flawlessly. The alligator sausage was perfectly browned and added nice spice and heartiness to everything, but it especially blended perfectly with that poached egg (the world's fanciest and best tasting egg). The piquant sauce added some nice onion and peppers to the mix without overpowering that gooey egg like a thick sauce would have. Meanwhile the buttery crawfish helped up the savory quotient to practically unsafe levels. All of these aspects served as truly fitting toppings for that fantastic crispy toasted English muffin it sat on. This wasn't just my favorite dish I've ever made, it was one of my favorite meals I have ever eaten.

It was a truly amazing day (Yeah 4 major recipes in under 24 hours. That's just how my mom rolls.) of cooking with my mom, and I can't wait for my next visit to her diner for more delicious eats and quality culinary lessons.

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