Spectacular Summer Brunch | Sur la Table

If you love Brunch as much as I do, you’re going to love the latest class that we attended on Saturday at Sur la Table, Spectacular Summer Brunch. This class has been one that we’ve been eagerly waiting for since we first signed up for it earlier this month, and it was our first class taught by Chef Marketa Lucas.


We always get there a little ahead of time, so we can pick our spot, which was a good thing as this class was full to capacity.

In each of the classes you create three dishes along with your groups of 3 or 4. Our group was mum, my sister, brother-in-law and myself. Most attendees arrive with a friend or a spouse, but we’ve had several people come on their own. No matter what, you’re going to enjoy yourself.

Spectacular Summer Brunch

  • New England Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with Old Bay Hollandaise
  • Crispy Bacon, Leek and Potato Hash with Chive Creme Fraiche
  • Lemon-Blackberry Mini Bundt Cakes

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again… What I really love about these classes is that you don’t have to sit there pouring over the recipe. Everything has already been measured out and the Chef in charge will tell you what goes in when.

So… let’s get started with the first dish. New England Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with Old Bay Hollandaise. (Chef Marketa hails from the North so this was a very familiar dish for her.)

Our Ingredients
Our Ingredients
I loved getting to finely chop up the parsley. Knife skills time!
I loved getting to finely chop up the parsley. Knife skills time!
My brother-in-law mixed up the crab cakes.
My brother-in-law mixed up the crab cakes.
Brother-in-law and my sister working together to create the crab cakes.
Brother-in-law and my sister working together to create the crab cakes.
Time to 'chill' our freshly made crab cakes for awhile.
Time to ‘chill’ our freshly made crab cakes for awhile.
Get those babies cooking... I was in charge of this part.
Get those babies cooking… I was in charge of this part.


New England Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with Old Bay Hollandaise


For the Crab Cakes:

  • 1 pound lump crab meat (any type of crab meat will work)
  • 8 saltine crackers
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parlsey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, for pan-frying

For the Benedict:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • Old Bay Hollandaise sauce
  • 2 tbsp minced chives


To prepare the crab cakes: Carefully pick through the crab meat and remove any shell fragments or cartilage. Transfer the crabmeat to a bowl and set aside.

Crush the saltine crackers very finely and mix with remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Gently fold in the crab, being careful to only mix enough to combine the ingredients. ( You don’t want to break the crab into fine shreds.) Shape the mixture into 8 crab cakes and refrigerate for 40 to 45 minutes.

To pan-fry the crab cakes: Preheat the oven to 250F. To a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Season crab cakes generously with salt and pepper. Space cakes about 2 inches apart. Cook until golden brown on each side, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer cakes to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

For the poached eggs: Fill a medium bowl halfway with warm water. Fill a 4 quart saucepan halfway with water, add vinegar and bring to a gentle simmer. Break one egg into a small dish.

Slide one egg into saucepan and immediately push the white around the yolk with a slotted spoon to form an oval shape. Poach egg for 2 minutes for runny yolks, or 3 to 4 minutes for firm yolks. Immediately transfer poached egg to bowl with warm water. Repeat with remaining eggs. (Multiple eggs can be poached at the same time, however for more perfect eggs, poaching 1 to 2 eggs at a time is recommended.) To serve, lift eggs from the warm water with a slotted spoon, one egg at a time, and dab the back of the spoon onto a double layer of paper towels to drain off the excess water. Trim any rough edges, if desired.

To assemble the Eggs Benedict: Split and toast the English muffins and divide among 4 plates. Top each English muffin with a crab cake and top it with a poached egg: spoon hollandaise over and garnish with minced chives. Serve immediately.

Old Bay Hollandaise Sauce


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • Sea salt, to taste


In a medium saucepan, bring two inches of water to a simmer. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks with water and place bowl over the simmering water, whisking constantly. To avoid overcooking the mixture, be sure that the water is barely simmering with no visible signs of surface action, just steam rising. As the egg yolks warm, they increase in volume. If they become to warm and begin to coagulate around the sides and the bottom, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

When the yolks have tripled in volume and the mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 6 minutes, remove the bowl from the simmering water. Stabilize the bowl by setting on a towel or on towel inside another bowl. Stir in lemon juice and begin adding the melted butter in a slow, thin stream, whisking constantly as it is incorporated.  The sauce will begin to thicken as ore butter is added. When Hollandaise is thick, velvety and coast the back of a spoon, stir in Old Bay seasoning. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and additional lemon juice as needed. If too thick, add a little water to think the consistency.

If the sauce does start to break, try adding a small amount of water and whisking until the sauce is smooth before adding more butter. If that doesn’t work try cooking another egg yolk over simmering water until thickened, then adding the broken hollandaise gradually into the new egg yolk.

Serve sauce immediately or hold sauce in warm place for up to two hours.

Next up… Crispy Bacon, Leek and Potato Hash with Chive Creme Fraiche

Our yummy ingredients...
Our yummy ingredients…
Fresh lemon and chives.
Fresh lemon and chives.
Getting a work out shredding all the potatoes...
Getting a work out shredding all the potatoes…
Ready to mix up.
Ready to mix up.
Mike (brother-in-law) at work.
Mike (brother-in-law) at work.
Chive Creme Fraiche
Chive Creme Fraiche

Crispy Bacon, Leek and Potato Hash with Chive Creme Fraiche


Chive Creme Fraiche:

  • 3/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Leek and Potato Hash:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 3 medium leeks, white and green parts sliced into 1/4 inch rings and rinsed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the chive creme fraiche: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pper; set aside.

For the hash: To a medium saucepan, add the cut potatoes, cover with water and generously season with salt; bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until almost tender about 10 minutes; drain well and spread potatoes out on a baking sheet, then pat dry with paper towels. When cool enough to handle, using a box grater, shred the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.

Meanwhile, to a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the bacon and cook until crispy and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer bacon along with the fat drippings to the bowl with shredded potatoes, return the skillet to the heat and reduce the heat to medium.

Add butter to the skillet. When foam subsides, add the leeks and sauté until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the leeks to the potato mixture, season with salt and pepper and fold to incorporate all the ingredients with the potato.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add oil. When the oil is shimmering, add potato mixture to the skillet. Using a silicone spatula, press the mixture down into a thick cake covering the bottom of the pan, gently shaking the pan to make sure the mixture does not stick; cook until golden brown, rotating pan and flipping hash in sections for even browning, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the hash to warmed plates and serve immediately topped with a dollop of chive creme fraiche.

Last but not least… Lemon-Blackberry Mini Bundt Cakes…

Our ingredients...
Our ingredients…
Our mini-bundt pan...
Our mini-bundt pan…
Time to scoop into our pans...
Time to scoop into our pans…
Working it out...
Working it out…
Final touches before getting those babies in the oven.
Final touches before getting those babies in the oven.

Lemon-Blackerry Mini Bundt Cakes


Lemon-blackberry Bundt Cakes:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries or blueberries

Lemon glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, plus more as needed
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt


Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease 2 (6 cup) mini bundt or mini loaf pans with butter.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at time, mixing on medium speed until well combined before adding the second egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed with a silicone spatula.

With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix until just combined and stop. (Over mixing will toughen the batter.) Repeat procedure with half the buttermilk, then again with the remaining flour and then buttermilk, mixing just until batter is well combined.

Slice large blackberries in half with a paring knife. Remove the bowl from the mister and gently fold in the berries with the spatula just until combined, 2 to 3 folds.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans, filling each well half-way, and spread batter out evenly in the wells with a spoon. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the pans to a cooling rack. Once cool, carefully flip upside down and unfold cakes. Place cakes, flat sides down, on a wire rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet.

To make the lemon glaze: Whisk glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl. Glaze should be thick enough to completely coat the top of the cakes and slowly drip down sides. If the glaze looks translucent or runs of the cakes quickly, adjust the consistency with additional confectioners sugar. Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over cooled cakes and allow glaze to dry at room temperature to set, about 30 minutes.

Time to enjoy…

Eggs Benedict sans Hollandaise.
Eggs Benedict sans Hollandaise.
Ooh. Yummy!
Ooh. Yummy!

Our next class we’re attending is French Bakery Favorites at the end of September. We’ll be learning how to make Madeleine’s and a few other delicious sweet treats.


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