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  Make it Low Carb by Joan Hedman

I've been weirdly ravenous in the afternoon recently, in spite of good lunches. When I caught myself ransacking the pantry for an extra late-afternoon snack for the third time in as many days, I realized something was going on. Why the snack attacks?

Well, that's a no-brainer, once I stopped to think about it. I had been skimping on breakfast. School has just started here, and in the midst of the morning rush I'd been grabbing a bite here and a nibble there, and generally just cruising right through till lunchtime.

I find when I eat a decent breakfast I get through the day on a much more even keel. But lately I've fallen into a breakfast rut, and the "same-old" had lost all appeal. A July get-away to a bed-and-breakfast brought up memories of a really terrific dish I'd had at a B&B many, many years ago: Eggs Blackstone. I remembered potatoes, tomatoes, bacon, and eggs all layered skillfully and set off by a simple horseradish cream sauce.

In making this recipe low carb, I've used the tried-and-true staple, cauliflower, instead of the potatoes, but the rest of the recipe is pretty much intact. Tomatoes are a bit high in carbs but I can't imagine anyone passing them up when used as judiciously as they are in this recipe. The one surprise for me was that horseradish sauce, which does add more grams of carbs than I would have thought.

A web crawl showed me that Eggs Blackstone with horseradish sauce appears to be a unique twist; most often it's served with Hollandaise. Now, I love a good Hollandaise sauce as much as anyone, and possibly more. If you'd like to give this recipe a try and use Hollandaise sauce, please let me know how you like it — I'm much too lazy to go to all the trouble when I like the horseradish cream sauce so much, and it's so easy!

This recipe has straightforward flavors. There are no herbs or spices other than salt and pepper. You may find you'd like to add something to the cauliflower (perhaps a little garlic or parsley) or to the tomatoes (a little oregano, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan). I kept this version quite simple, though, to let the good flavors shine through. As usual, I encourage you to experiment!

Eggs Almost Blackstone
Serves 2

  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 C cauliflower flowerets
  • 4 T olive oil, divided (if necessary)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Sauce:
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 2 T horseradish (approximately)

Combine the sour cream and the horseradish in a small dish, and set aside for the flavor to develop.

Rough chop the cauliflower into pieces about 1/2 to 3/4 inch and set aside. Try to make the pieces all of similar size so they will all require the same cooking time.

Core, seed, and dice the tomatoes into about 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.

Fry the bacon in a skillet until it is crisp but not crumbly; remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.

Pour off the bacon fat from the skillet, leaving about 2 or 3 tablespoons. (If you don't want to use the bacon fat, heat 3 T of olive oil in a skillet and then proceed.) Toss the cauliflower pieces in the fat in the skillet to coat, and then fry for about 10 minutes until the pieces are golden brown and tender. You don't want crunchy cauliflower in this dish, so continue cooking until the pieces can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife.

When the cauliflower is cooked, season with salt and pepper (I like a lot of pepper here), then tip it out of the pan into a dish. Cover to keep warm while the rest of the ingredients are prepared.

Poach the eggs: fill a pan with 1-1/2 to 2 inches of water, cover, and place over high heat to bring the water to a boil. Crack the 4 eggs into a large bowl, taking care not to break the yolks. The water will come to the boil quickly; when it does, remove the lid, and gently pour the eggs into the water. Immediately cover again, and lower the heat to medium-low. After about 2 minutes, turn the heat off, and let the eggs hold in the hot water until you're ready for them.

The eggs will continue to cook, so time becomes more important here — you want the whites to be cooked through, but the yolks still at least somewhat liquid, as they would be in "over easy" eggs. If you're nervous about poaching eggs, cook the tomatoes before you put the eggs in to cook; while the eggs are cooking, assemble the dish as described below, so that you can monitor the eggs closely and remove them from the water before they're overcooked.

The tomatoes: add another tablespoon of olive oil or bacon fat back to the same skillet, and gently sauté the diced tomatoes over medium heat for a few minutes, just to soften them a bit. Don't let them get mushy. Salt sparingly and pepper to taste.

Now, assemble the dish: split the cauliflower between two plates, arranging in a mound or circle to form the base of the dish. Arrange four slices of bacon over the cauliflower, then spoon two low mounds of the diced tomatoes on top of the bacon. Using a slotted spoon, gently lift the poached eggs out of the cooking water and place an egg on each tomato mound.

Stir and taste the sour cream sauce, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You may want to add more horseradish if you like more of a kick; be aware that the strength of horseradishes varies widely. Drizzle the sauce over the eggs and around the perimeter of the cauliflower.

Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Note: If you're hosting a brunch, you can easily multiply this recipe and make it for a crowd. You can roast the cauliflower in the oven instead of frying it, and you can broil tomato slices instead of sautéing diced ones (gently placed each poached egg onto a broiled tomato slice). The flavors and textures will be preserved, but it won't be as labor-intensive.

Approximate nutrition information per serving, without sauce: 710 calories; 51 g fat; 11 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 23 g protein With one half of the sauce (about a quarter cup): 804 calories; 63 g fat; 16 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 25 g protein

Please send your comments or questions, and I'll do my best to help you "make it low carb!" Thanks!

                                                

Copyright © September 2005  Joan Hedman and Low Carb Luxury




       

 

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