I am a traitor….a dirty, rotten traitor. Now I am not the kind of traitor who switches alliances during a war or the kind who divulges international secrets on the Internet. I’m not even a tattletale or playground snitch. (My sister’s may dispute those claims.)
I am a food traitor. My husband, Earl, has been on his diet for about 3 weeks. I am TRYING to be supportive by cooking only meals that adhere to his diet. (I am by no means saying that any of my cooking has made him a chubby hubby.)
The problem is that it is a carb free diet!!!!!!!!!! (If I had some horror music, I would insert it here.) Who the heck invents a diet that omits carbs? It feels almost sacrilegious. (Not that I worship carbs.)
I was doing well not eating the excess carbs (or junk food) in the house until last week. And then I lost it. I started betraying my husband and defected to the current dark side…carbohydrates. I’ve eaten donuts and croissants in the car. I’ve snuck chips in the kitchen while he was mowing the lawn. And I went to a pizza buffet last week when I was supposed to be grocery shopping.
He isn’t asking me to be on this diet with him because I really don’t need to lose weight. (I do need to exercise but who can exercise without carbo-fuel?) I just feel like a double agent each time I make him vegetables and then secretly pop a donut hole in my mouth!
So this weekend I wanted to surrender by making Earl a special breakfast. (For the record, breakfasts are really carb-centric.) I really wanted to make eggs Benedict but the muffin and hollandaise were not “diet” approved. I came up with version which truly defects from my favorite components of the dish but was a good enough double agent that he didn’t suspect that he was missing a thing!
Eggs Benedict Arnold
Serves 1 hungry hubby on a diet.
3 eggs (break each one into their own custard cup)
3 Portobello mushroom caps
3 pieces Canadian Bacon
1 small roma tomato, chopped
4 basil leaves, torn
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Preheat grill or grill pan and spray.
Mix chopped tomato and basil together and set aside.
With a spoon, gently scrape out the gills (the dark park inside) of the mushrooms caps.
Brush both sides of the mushroom caps with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill the mushrooms over a medium-high heat for about 7 minutes per side. (Juices should release and they should shrink up a little bit.)
While mushrooms are cooking start to prepare your water for your poached eggs. Don’t forget to add about 2 tsp of vinegar to the water. (I make mine in a non-stick with only a couple of inches of water.)
Bring water to a simmer (small little bubbles) and start poaching when you flip your mushrooms.
Poaching: Slowly slip egg into the simmering water by holding the custard cup almost on to of the water. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. Poach the eggs for about 3 minutes, until the whites have coagulated. (Lift one up with your slotted spoon. If the white doesn’t look done…let it go another minute or two.)
Remove each egg ALONE with a slotted spoon. I always put the spoon on top of a towel before I add the egg to the dish to make sure there isn’t too much excess water.
Remove from mushrooms from pan and place topside down and set aside until you are ready to assemble your plate. (Gill side up.)
On the same grill or grill pan, cook the Canadian bacon over medium-high heat for 30 seconds on each side, until they are warm and grill marks have formed.
Assembly: Place one piece of bacon on plate, add one mushroom cap (gill side up), pop one poached egg into each cap and top with tomato mixture. Repeat. (These are less filling than normal eggs Benedict so 3 eggs were just the right amount for 1 person.)
My original intent was to put the bacon in the cap BUT my bacon slices were HUGE so it ended up being better with the cap on the bottom.
The creamy yolk actually was a great substitute for the normally rich hollandaise sauce.
Although I am a traditionalist when it comes to food, I was pretty pleased with this outcome. It was a healthier alternative (healthier as in no-carbs) and still made breakfast seem special.
We only have a couple more weeks of the strict diet rules and luckily Earl has not become a turncoat. (I, on the otherhand, am still a bit of a sketchy character!)