Crab and radicchio benedict

Sunday Brunch in San Francisco.

They’re here! San Francisco Bay Area crab season has launched in earnest and everyone who loves seafood couldn’t be happier. Dungeness crab is a wintertime staple in San Francisco and their seasonal arrival inspires an impressive array of extraordinary uses for the sweet, delicate meat. In addition to eating steamed crab with butter and lemon – the most delicious and simple way to enjoy them – there are countless savory concoctions that might include this wonderful crustacean. We can’t wait to start experimenting.

Our craving for eggs benedict this morning evolved into a hankering for fresh crabmeat. The inspiration came not from crab season’s start, although it has been on our minds, but from our local bakery, Arizmendi, and their fresh rustic English muffins. We’ve seen them in the case several times but today was the day we decided to give them a try, toasted as a base to buttery eggs benedict. We picked a couple of them up after hitting the Inner Sunset farmers’ market where we put the finishing touches on the Thanksgiving shopping. As we made our way home, we stopped at Andronico’s to pick up the turkey for Thursday’s feast and that’s where we spied the season’s crab bounty sitting on ice looking great. The store was running through them quickly, so we decided to grab one before today’s haul disappeared. At a reasonable $4.99 a pound we pick one out and had them crack and clean it for us (no extra charge).

Once home, we (Jason) went to work separating the crabmeat from the shell while the poaching water heated and the hollandaise butter melted on the stove. We sautéed a chopped head of Radicchio de Traviso in a bit of butter with garlic and toasted the split English muffins. We then warmed the cleaned crabmeat in a bit of butter while we poached the eggs and finished the hollandaise. The toasted muffins were plated then topped with the sautéed Radicchio followed by crabmeat, poached egg and finally, a drizzle of lemony hollandaise. The finished dish was a delicious mix of sweet (the crabmeat) and bitter (the Radicchio), made fine with creamy hollandaise and rich egg yolks. With just a sprinkle of cayenne and/or a dash of Tabasco, this has to be the ultimate San Francisco brunch dish.

Local nooks and crannies.

Quick and Easy Blender Hollandaise

6 tbsp butter

2 large egg yolks

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and white pepper

Dash of cayenne

Begin by melting the butter in a small sauce pan, warming it until the solids begin to sizzle.

Separate eggs and add the yolks to the blender. Refrigerate the egg whites for another use.  While blending the yolks, squeeze the lemon juice into the blender and then drizzle the hot butter into the mixture until fully incorporated. Add salt and white pepper and cayenne, blend for a few more seconds. Pour over the assembled