I’ve got New Orleans on my mind.
It’s not just the sunshine and the food (THE FOOD OMG) and the great music around every corner. I’m spending most days now ironing out the details for the inaugural Sustainable Seafood Blog Conference (#SSBC15), an exciting new event for Food Bloggers which will take me (and you, I hope!) to New Orleans from June 26-28.
While I count down the days until #SSBC15, I keep myself busy by bringing a bit of NOLA flavor to my kitchen. This incredible Cajun Eggs Benedict is the latest installment in a line of “I-wish-it-was-June-and-we-were-in-New-Orleans-already” foods, and I can’t wait to tell you alllllll about how tasty it was.
BUT FIRST. THIS.
Because I (and the Sustainable Seafood Blog Project Partners & Board of Directors!) am (are) so excited about sharing #SSBC15 with you, and because we’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing (sustainable!) sponsors, and because I want you ALL to come to the conference so I can drink wine with you and give you a hug and tell you how awesome you are, WE ARE GIVING AWAY FIVE (5! COUNT ‘EM!) BLOGGER PASSES TO #SSBC15! Each ticket is valued at $375, and tickets include access to all meals, sessions, and official conference events from June 26-28, 2015.
If you follow this here blog, you’ve heard me talk a lot about how amazing this conference is going to be. But if you’re still not sure about attending, I’ve put together a handy dandy list of why #SSBC15 is going to be the BOMB.DIGGITY.
1. It is SO MUCH MORE than seafood.
The Sustainable Seafood Blog Project was developed to draw attention to sustainable seafood issues, and we’ll definitely be highlighting the incredible sustainable seafood available in New Orleans. But part of our mission has always been to create value for our super-cool Blog Partners – so there will also be plenty of sessions on building your blog, working with brands, photo styling, and more! We made sustainability a priority when choosing the venue, the menus, and the sponsors – and we made the bloggers a priority when designing our sessions, our events, and the outings!
2. The Food.
The food in New Orleans is top-notch-wonderful just about anywhere you go. We’re fortunate to have an incredible catering team taking care of all of our meals at the hotel – I’ve personally tasted some of what they’re cooking for us, and may I just say YUM. We’ll also be dining off-site at a special location one day (it’s a surprise! Stay tuned for details!) and we lucked out with amazing sponsors who will be sharing some of their delicious (sustainable!) products with us over the course of the weekend!
3. The Location.
The #SSBC15 hotel screams New Orleans. We’re staying in the French Quarter, and our hotel has a beautiful courtyard that will play host to several of our events throughout the weekend. We wanted you to step outside your room and feel like you were in New Orleans, not just another conference hotel. And, um, mission accomplished. This place is incredible and I kind of want to just live there. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to explore the city – Bourbon street and attractions like Cafe Du Monde are an easy walk from our location!
4. Incredible Speakers.
We’re announcing all of our speakers over the next few weeks – and you are SO going to want to hear these amazing bloggers, marketing gurus, photographers, seafood experts, and more! We have an incredible lineup ready for you and the conference sessions are going to be great.
5. If you win one of these 5 giveaway tickets, you get all of your meals and conference events for FREE!
Awesome, right? I think so, too. If you don’t win the giveaway but still want to come to #SSBC15, register through our Eventbrite page and enter the code LIFEASASTRAWBERRY to get 15% off! Because I like you.
Giveaway deets are at the end of this post! But NOW. Let me tell you about this Cajun Eggs Benedict. Because I’m obsessed with it.
You know I’ve been crazy obsessed with putting eggs on top of everything lately. Combine that with a strong urge for some Chive and Cheddar Beer Biscuits, some Andouille sausage in my fridge, and my 24/7 New Orleans/#SSBC15 planning, and the obvious choice is to make a Cajun Eggs Benedict.
This recipe is deceptively simple, folks – don’t let anyone tell you that homemade eggs benny is hard, because if they do they are a dirty rotten liar! I make hollandaise with this nifty immersion blender method and I love love love it. I get a perfect hollandaise every time, no whisking required. (Side note: have you ever actually tried to whisk hollandaise by hand? It takes way too many dishes and way too much attention and has way less immersion blender-ing. I’ll take my lazy version, thank-you-very-much). This particular hollandaise gets a bit of a kick from some paprika and cayenne pepper, but the real spice comes from a sizzling andouille sausage snuggled up between a toasted Chive and Cheddar Beer Biscuit (best decision ever. EVER.) and a perfectly excessive amount of buttery, rich, slightly spicy hollandaise.
Basically, this Cajun Eggs Benny needs to be your new best breakfast friend.
Annnnnd as promised: here are the giveaway deets!
Leave a comment telling me what attraction or restaurant you’d most like to visit in New Orleans! Finalize your entry (and get additional entries!) using the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway runs until 11:59pm on Monday, March 16th and is open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 and older. Winners will be selected by a random drawing and contacted via email. If you win, you’ll have 48 hours to respond to that email and claim your prize before we select a new winner. Each prize is valued at $375.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget – while there are only 5 Sustainable Seafood Blog Conference (SSBC15) tickets to give away here, you can ALL save 15% on registration with the code Life As A Strawberry! Early Bird Pricing for #SSBC15 ends March 15th, so snap up your tickets before then to save an additional $100 on the regular price!
Cajun Eggs Benedict
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 chive and cheddar beer biscuits, halved (you could also use English muffins or whatever biscuits you have on hand!)
- 2 cooked andouille sausages
- 4 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives, for garnish
- Add egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, paprika, and cayenne to a tall, narrow cup that fits the head of an immersion blender. (I use this method for foolproof hollandaise - watch the video for a tutorial!)
- Melt butter in a saucepan (or in the microwave!) until a thermometer registers the butter temperature at at least 200 degrees F.
- Begin blending the egg mixture with the immersion blender. Stream hot butter in a little at a time while you run the immersion blender, letting the hot butter cook the eggs and blending until hollandaise is light and fluffy and all butter has been incorporated. If the hollandaise gets too thick, blend in a few teaspoons of water to loosen it before serving.
- Side note: you could also make this hollandaise in a regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender. I just like the ease of the immersion blender!
- Heat sausages through in the oven or on a grill pan until they're sizzling hot. It took about 5 minutes on a hot grill pan for my andouille to get nice and toasty. Slice each sausage in half lengthwise and then slice each half again across the middle so you have biscuit-sized sausage pieces.
- Poach each egg in hot water until whites have cooked through, about 4 minutes.
- While eggs are poaching, toast your biscuit halves.
- Assemble! Place two sausage pieces cut-side down on top of each biscuit. Top each biscuit with a poached egg, followed by a sprinkle of salt and pepper (always season your eggs!) and a generous drizzle of hollandaise sauce. Top with chopped chives to garnish and serve immediately.
You can make the hollandaise in a regular blender if you don't have an immersion blender (or just don't want to use it). I just like the immersion blender because it's quick and easy with not much cleanup!
Lately I've been adding a splash of white vinegar to the water before I poach eggs - I never used to, but lately I think it's been helping them come out a little prettier. Water should be just barely simmering for best poaching results! For best results, I crack each egg into a ramekin, then gently tip the egg into the hot water and let it do its thing. Play around with different techniques to find out what works for you!