Monday, April 12, 2010

Eggs "Stepha-dict"

This is one of my favorite breakfasts, which I, in fact, ate today. I love pretty much anything involving eggs, particularly Eggs Benedict. Unfortunately, hollandaise sauce (which is essential for Eggs Benedict) is horribly rife with saturated fat. Even with my new plan of eating larger, fattier breakfasts, I just can't justify senseless overindulgence. At the same time, I hate to have to give up something that is truly delicious. So, a few months ago, I created a variation on Eggs Benedict which is much healthier and is quite easy to make. It is now one of my favorite meals! Here's the recipe:

Eggs "Stepha-dict"
4 eggs
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lime juice
3/4 cup fat free cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fat free milk
Two slices of turkey bacon, each cut in half
1 english muffin, cut into two halves OR two crumpets (Duffy makes good fat-free crumpets; you can find them at Kroger in the refrigerated section)

1. Fill a pot about half full with water (you want about 4-5 cups worth of water) and stir in the apple cider vinegar. Heat it on the stove at medium heat (number 6 on the dial works best for me).
2. Crack 2 of the eggs into two separate bowls. When the water reaches a low boil (not hot enough to produce big bubbles), gently pour each egg in, taking care that they remain separate. Set a timer for 6 minutes. If you like your eggs firmer, you can give them longer; if you like your eggs runnier, give them about 4 minutes instead of 6.
3. While the eggs poach, put the turkey bacon on to cook at medium heat.
4. For the sauce, take the yolks from the remaining 2 eggs and mix them over medium heat (number 5 on the dial is best) in a small saucepan with the lime juice, milk, butter, and cayenne pepper. Once the butter melts, add the cheese. Stir thoroughly. When the cheese is fully melted and integrated with the other ingredients, the sauce is ready.
5. When the timer for the poached eggs has about one minute left, put the english muffin halves or the crumpets into the toaster to lightly toast. I have found that crumpets taste the best in this recipe. If you use an english muffin, be sure to get the whole wheat variety with extra fiber.
6. As soon as the english muffin halves or crumpets are done toasting, place them on your plate. Stick two pieces of turkey bacon on top of each one, then place one poached egg on top of each. Spoon the sauce over top of this.
7. Bon appetite!

This recipe makes one large breakfast for one, or you could add a nice side dish like fruit and yogurt and have breakfast for two. It is very filling and makes a great "comfort food" on cold mornings. Eggs are one of the healthiest foods in the world to eat, and high-protein breakfasts like this one have repeatedly been proven to be the best choices for students (or anyone who needs to be able to concentrate during the day). Don't let the cayenne pepper scare you off - it does not make the dish spicy at all. The cayenne just adds a very slight nip to the flavor (the heat from it is absorbed by the cheese and milk). Don't throw out the egg whites from the two eggs that you only use the yolks from - save them and use them for an omelette later.

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Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
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Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
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~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"