Friday, May 28, 2010

65. Eggs Benedictive - Not Duck Eggs!

Raw eggs were not always the health threat that they seem to have become today. In fact, I remember that my mother would put a raw egg in a glassful of juice and drink it was some kind of protein drink...I cannot remember why she thought she needed it, but I knew I could not have swallowed a raw egg no matter how great it was supposed to be.Too bad she did not have the internet...Mother could have found out that the protein in cooked eggs is nearly twice as absorbable as the protein from raw eggs.

One of life's little pleasures for kids during my childhood, on the other hand, was to eat raw cookie dough and also to fight over who got to lick the bowl after the cake batter was poured out. We had no concern for the raw egg residue inherent in the one I knew ever became ill after eating those little treats but, times have changed. The production of eggs has ramped up to accommodate population growth and egg demand; salmonella is certainly a viable concern. Fortunately, no one actually needs to eat raw cookie dough or raw cake batter...too bad, is a very fond memory.

As far as tasting cooked eggs, I have eaten ones that are so fresh that they were still warm from the hen...eggs that were fertilized and those that were free range. I have had store-bought eggs, date-expired eggs and even some eggs that an unscrupulous farm woman told me were jumbo chicken eggs when they were really duck eggs. The flavor of all the above mentioned eggs were quite similar except for the duck eggs. Besides the taste difference, I just could not get past the sight of the huge yolks surrounded by very little egg was visually unappealing and every bite was a true test to see if I could swallow it.

I guess if you are to ever have a first taste of something, it is better to have it at a place that has made it famous. Lucky for me, the first time I ever ordered Eggs Benedict, I was at Brennan's in New Orleans. As expected, the eggs were fabulous! Since then, my history with Eggs Benedict, unless I made them for myself, has waivered from mediocre to good. Besides the inconsitency of flavor, there is a definite downside to eggs Benedict...all the fat and cholesterol connected with the ham, eggs and hollandaise sauce ingredients.

Today's recipe is my own variation of one I found for a mock-Eggs Benedict dish. It eliminates many of the offending calories and fat...and it is amazingly simple compared to the traditional Hollandaise sauce preparation.

Diane's Eggs Benedictive

(This recipe is for one serving; it may be doubled)


2 T Hellmann's mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Grey Poupon
2 tsp Greek yogurt (thick)*
1/4 lemon, juice from

1 multi-grain bagel (to cut calories, 1/2 bagel may be used)
Smart Balance Margarine
1 1/2 slices extra lean ham, chopped (If using 1/2 bagel, use 1 slice ham, chopped)

1 large egg

Paprika (optional)

Combine sauce ingredients well in a microwave safe bowl; set aside.

Heat a med. pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil and lower temperature until it has a slow, steady boil. Break the egg into a small dish and slip the egg into the pot of water. Cook for 3-5 minutes (3=runny, 5=firm).

Meanwhile, toast bagel. Put the cut ham in a small dish, cover and heat for 20 seconds in the microwave on HIGH. Remove, set aside. Heat the sauce, covered,  for 20 seconds in the microwave on HIGH, stir.

Put toasted bagel on a plate, spread well with Smart Balance. Layer bagel halves with warm ham pieces. Remove egg from water with a slotted spoon and set on bagel half. Ladle sauce over egg and second bagel half. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Serve immediately.

*Note: Greek yogurt is available at Trader Joe's, Super Walmart and other grocery stores. It is a very thick yogurt. I often substitute this yogurt for sour cream in some recipes.

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