A Southern Christmas breakfast: Biltmore Estate’s fried green tomato eggs benedict with crab hollandaise

My family doesn’t have a Christmas morning breakfast tradition. My husband’s parents do cinnamon buns; my neighbors do pancakes in tree-shaped cookie cutters, but I’ve got nothing. So this year, thanks to John E. Batchelor’s Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants & Recipes from Western North Carolina, I’m making Biltmore Estate’s fried green tomato eggs benedict with crab hollandaise. (Hey, if you can’t be at the Biltmore for Christmas, this is the next best thing!)

Want to give it a try? Here you go!

Photo courtesy Biltmore Estate

Photo courtesy Biltmore Estate

Serves 4 as a brunch main course


  • 4 large green tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ pound lump crabmeat, picked


  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 8 large eggs

sliced green onions for garnish


Slice tomatoes ¼ inch thick. Reserve ends for another use. In a large bowl, beat eggs well with a wire whisk and add buttermilk. Add tomatoes to egg mixture, toss well, and reserve. In a separate bowl, combine next 6 ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle some of the dry mixture over a sheet pan. Remove tomatoes from wet mixture, allow excess to drip off, and coat well with dry mixture. Set on prepared sheet pan until all tomatoes are coated. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil to 360 degrees, using a frying thermometer as needed. Layer a second sheet pan with paper towels. Working in batches, fry tomatoes about 2 minutes per batch until golden brown. Place cooked tomatoes on sheet pan with paper towels.


In a stainless-steel bowl, whisk yolks and lemon juice vigorously until very pale and doubled in volume. Set bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and continue whisking. Be careful not to let water touch bottom of bowl or to let eggs get too hot. Once eggs are warm, add melted butter in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Add salt, cayenne, zest, and crabmeat. Cover and reserve in warm area of kitchen. Sauce can be thinned with a small amount of cold water if it becomes too thick.


Fill a 10- to 12-inch sauté pan halfway with water. Bring to a low boil, then add vinegar and salt. Using a slotted spoon, gently swirl poaching water into a slow whirlpool. Carefully add eggs 1 at a time and cook for 3 to 3½ minutes.

To present:

Set out 4 large dinner plates. Arrange 3 to 4 tomato slices on each plate. Drain poached eggs in a slotted spoon and set out 2 per plate. Cover generously with hollandaise and green onions. Serve immediately.

Find this and more recipes in Chefs of the Mountains.


A Southern holiday playlist for you

We at Blair pooled our favorite holiday songs from Southern musicians for this playlist, from classic Elvis Presley to the unconventional Squirrel Nut Zippers. You’ll need a [free] Spotify account to listen, but it’s worth it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Blair’s holiday gift guide

Blair's Holiday Gift Guide

For the holiday inspired

American Christmases
by Joanne Martell

The Angel Doll
by Jerry Bledsoe

A Gift of Angels
by Jerry Bledsoe

Mama’s Wreaths
by Julia Taylor Ebel with M. Joann Moretz

The Christmas Bus
by Robert Inman, illustrated by Lyle Baskin

For Mom

A Guide to North Carolina’s Wineries
by Joseph Mills & Danielle Tarmey

I Love You—Now Hush
by Melinda Rainey Thompson and Morgan Murphy

I’ve Had It Up to Here with Teenagers
by Melinda Rainey Thompson

In a Magnolia Minute
by Nan Graham

Losing My Sister
by Judy Goldman

by Melinda Rainey Thompson

The SWAG Life
by Melinda Rainey Thompson

For Dad

Bob Garner’s Book of Barbecue
by Bob Garner

Murder on Music Row
by Stuart Dill

The Politics of Barbecue
by Blake Fontenay

North Carolina Craft Beer & Breweries
by Erik Lars Myers

They Tore My Heart Out and Stomped That Sucker Flat

by Lewis Grizzard

Rockin’ a Hard Place
by John Jeter

For gardeners and nature lovers

Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence
edited by Emily Herring Wilson

Rain Gardening in the South
by Helen Kraus & Anne Spafford

Middlewood Journal
by Helen Scott Correll

The Successful Gardener Guide
by Leah Chester-Davis & Toby Bost

For sports fans

Chasing Moonlight
by Brett Friedlander & R. W. Reising

Hark the Sound of Tar Heel Voices
edited by Daniel W. Barefoot

Instant Replay: 365 Days of North Carolina Sports Trivia
by Jimmy Tomlin

Woody Durham: A Tar Heel Voice

by Woody Durham with Adam Lucas

For the family chef

Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants and Recipes from Western North Carolina
by John E. Batchelor

Tasia’s Table: Cooking with the Artisan Cheesemaker at Belle Chevre
by Tasia Malakasis

Well, Shut My Mouth! The Sweet Potatoes Restaurant Cookbook
by Stephanie L. Tyson

For avid readers

Binocular Vision
by Edith Pearlman

The Books That Mattered
by Frye Gaillard

by Debbie Lee Wesselmann

God Bless America: Stories

by Steve Almond

The Iguana Tree
by Michel Stone

Mercy Creek

by Matt Matthews

The Middle of the Air

by Kenneth Butcher

The Patron Saint of Dreams

by Philip Gerard

Through the Pale Door
by Brian Ray

For pet lovers

Ghost Cats of the South
by Randy Russell

Ghost Dogs of the South
by Randy Russell & Janet Barnett

Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers
edited by John Lane and Betsy Wakefield Teter

For ghost lovers

Boogers & Boo Daddies
by the Staff of John F. Blair, Publisher

Ghost Cats of the South
by Randy Russell

Ghost Dogs of the South
by Randy Russell & Janet Barnett

Haunted Halls of Ivy
by Daniel W. Barefoot

For civil war buffs

Civil War Blunders
by Clint Johnson

So You Think You Know Antietam?
by James and Suzanne Gindlesperger

Stoneman’s Raid, 1865
by Chris J. Hartley

So You Think You Know Gettysburg?
by James and Suzanne Gindlesperger

Available through www.blairpub.com and wherever books are sold.

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