January 21, 2008

Eggs Sardou Redux

For breakfast today, I did Eggs Sardou the real way...no canned artichoke hearts or frozen spinach like last time. Even though I decided to forgo the hollandaise sauce for the sake of my heart & my waistline, breakfast was well worth the extra effort.

Eggs Sardou, for those of you who aren't familiar, was created at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans (the same place that invented Oysters Rockefeller) and named for French playwright Victorien Sardou. The recipe originally consisted of poached eggs topped with artichoke hearts, ham, anchovies, truffles and hollandaise sauce. The popular version today includes creamed spinach, artichoke bottoms, poached eggs, & hollandaise sauce...which is how I had it at Commander's Palace in New Orleans & which I tried to recreate.

For the artichokes:
Steam 2 artichokes until the leaves are pulled out easily. I did this yesterday afternoon and ate the leaves (dipped in lavender butter!) for lunch. I then cleaned the choke out of the bottoms and refrigerated them.

For the creamed spinach:
Saute one small chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until just soft. Add about 6 cups of spinach (fresh) to the pan and cook until wilted. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, salt & pepper, and cook on low until the cream thickens.

For the poached eggs:
Bring a deep skillet of water (with 1 tablespoon white vinegar) to a simmer. One at a time, crack eggs into a small dish & slide them into the water (use one egg for each artichoke bottom). Cook 2-2 1/2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain.

For the hollandaise (if using):
Blend 3 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper in a blender. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in 1 stick of melted butter.

Assemble the Eggs Sardou by spooning some creamed spinach onto a plate, topping it with an artichoke bottom, then a poached egg, and finally some hollandaise.

Since I didn't use hollandaise, I spooned a bit more of the creamed spinach on top of the egg.


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