Sunday, May 27, 2012

English Muffins (and Crab Benedict)

My favorite brunch place in the city is a little place called Town's End Restaurant, which we've nicknamed "the muffin place" because of their complementary muffins and scones. It's my favorite restaurant for three reasons: 1) delicious complementary baked goodies 2) it's a nice walking distance from my place and 3) their crab benedict. Trust me, whenever there is a crab benedict on a brunch menu, I've ordered it, and from all the places I've been, this restaurant has the best. I think a main reason for this is that they bake their own english muffins (they bake all their baked goods there). So I decided to make a little challenge for myself and make a crab benedict with everything from scratch.







So in my absentmindedness, I added sugar into the photo. I forgot that we weren't going to do that whole yeast thing. I also forgot the cornmeal. Oops, my b, dawg, my b.

Ingredients (for muffins only):
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
2 tsp wheat germ
1/2 tbsp butter, melted
cornmeal

Condensed Version:
1. Mix everything in a bowl.
2. Knead dough for 10 minutes.
3. Cover and let rise for an hour.
4. Divide dough into 4 equal sized balls. Oil the balls of dough, separate with 1" of space, cover, and let rise another hour.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
6. On a pre-heated griddle, sprinkle corn meal and griddle the muffins for 3 minutes each side.
7. Place the muffins on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.
8. Cool on cooling rack.

Long Version:

So this recipe only makes four muffins. Why? Because who really needs 16 english muffins all in one morning, amiright? I secretly wish that I had friends so I could one day make 16 english muffins, but I haven't showered in three days, but it's okay because I haven't seen anyone except for my cats. I heard rumors that good hygiene is key to making friends. I guess I'm screwed.


I like to mix all the dry ingredients first to make sure everything is well combined. Make sure your yeast is active (not expired) since we're not going to pre-froth it. I'm pretty sure that's the wrong terminology. Try reserving a tablespoon or two of milk. Depending on the humidity and altitude, you might need more/less liquid. If it's too dry you can add in the remaining milk.


Dust your griddle (in my case, a non-stick pan) with corn meal. I just turned the heat on medium low and placed my muffins in there. You want it on a pretty low heat so you don't burn your muffins.


Once your muffins are nice and brown on the bottom, flip them over and do the same thing to the other side.


Once you've finished browning both sides, put them in the preheated (350 degree) oven for 8 minutes. The photo here shows them when I pulled them out. Place them on a cooling rack.


Here's a close up of how the muffin looks like on the inside. Sorry for the bad lighting. My kitchen has no natural light. It's all nooky and cranny, yeah? Yeeeeeeeeah.



To assemble a crab benedict:
1. Have a toasty english muffin.
2. Make a hollandaise sauce. Don't be intimidated! It not that hard and it's pretty fast. This recipe on Julia Child's hollandaise sauce has pretty thorough instructions & tips. I cut the recipe by to 1/3 for my one muffin.
3. Obtain crab! I went to Safeway and got 8 oz of lump crab meat from the seafood department. It was $13/lb (or $7/lb with a club card). 8 ozs will make two muffins (or four halves)!
4. Poach two eggs per muffin.
5. Assemble. Muffin > crab meat > poached egg > hollandaise sauce ---> Your mouth.

This was pretty good, man. I am a glutton and I ate 3 muffins along with some other pretty bad things today. I should never be left alone. ... Be my friend?!!?!

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