April 16th, 2011

Eggs Benedict: a brunch specialty of an English muffin half topped with a slice of Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and a drizzle of Hollandaise sauce. How did this lovely combination come to be? Now that’s a mystery. While there are several myths about the origin of eggs Benedict, the most popular myth claims that the idea came from a hungover Wall Street broker named Lemuel Benedict, who was desperately looking for a cure to his hangover in 1894 at the Waldorf Hotel. After Benedict piled bacon and poached eggs on top of buttered toast and topped it with Hollandaise sauce, Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel, altered Benedict’s concoction and replaced the toast with a toasted English muffin and the bacon with Canadian bacon.

A little over a century later, I am altering the eggs Benedict recipe yet again. So why did I choose Eggs benedict for my Easter recipe? Well, it was always something I have wanted to try (yes, I admit, I have never actually had eggs Benedict before!), and I decided to challenge my cooking skills by creating a healthier version since eggs Benedict is notoriously known as being far from healthy. Instead of Canadian bacon, which has lots of sodium, fat and cholesterol, my eggs Benedict recipe uses Trader Joe’s uncured black forest ham, which is lower in calories, sodium, and saturated fat (the bad kind of fat linked to heart disease). Rather than dousing my poached egg in a fatty Hollandaise sauce made of butter and heavy cream, I am drizzling mine with a sauce made from nonfat Greek yogurt. To learn about the Greek yogurt’s healthy benefits, you can read my previous post about creamy avocado dip. Although traditional eggs Benedict does not have any vegetables in it, I was compelled to include some in my version. Adding fresh spinach and diced onion really made this meal feel more complete. Using a fat-free English muffin made this dish a bit more guilt-free.

On a side note, my web series, Bitchen in the Kitchen will be premiering in ONE WEEK! Be sure to “like” the Facebook page so you don’t miss out on the first webisode. Pictures from our photo shoot will soon be released this weekend as well.

Happy Easter from wikiKITCHEN!

Easter Eggs Benedict
Adapted from Food.com
Serves 2

2 slices TJ’s uncured black forest ham
1/4 cup TJ’s diced onion
1/2 cup TJ’s baby spinach
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup TJ’s nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 eggs
1 TJ’s fat-free English muffin
Chives, chopped (for garnish)
Olive oil spray
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, lightly brown ham in cooking spray (about 3 minutes each side). Remove from skillet and keep warm.

Put the skillet back over medium heat. Add olive oil spray and cook the onion until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir until warmed through, 3-4 minutes.

Fill a large skillet with 2 inches of water and 1 tbsp vinegar. Bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, dry mustard, salt and cayenne in a small saucepan and whisk gently on low heat until warm and smooth (alternatively you can microwave them in a small dish.). Once water has come to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a low boil. Crack one egg into a small dish and gently pour it into the gently boiling skillet, repeating with the other egg. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until desired doneness, spooning hot water over the yolk until slightly opaque.

Toast the English muffin. Place a toasted muffin half on each plate. Begin assembling with the spinach mixture, followed by the ham slice and poached egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drizzle the yogurt sauce over the tops of the eggs and garnish with chives. Serve immediately.

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One Response to “When the Easter Bunny Goes on a Diet”

  1. Dorisa Lao says:

    One of my favorite brunch items is Eggs Benedict. I love hollandaise sauce but some times you just walk into a restaurant and you just don’t trust the chef with preparing it correctly. To fix this problem I say, make it at home. Traditional hollandaise can take a lot of work and time to prepare, but blender hollandaise takes only a minute or two to prepare. You can have the Eggs Benedict on the table in a matter of minutes.