Eggs Sardou

There is nothing that reminds me of a New Orleans breakfast more than Eggs Sardou at Commander's Palace.

It may be well past noon, but it’s breakfast time down in the Big Easy when you have a Mimosa in hand and a China plate full of artichoke bottoms, poached eggs, and creamy sauce on the table. My memories of New Orleans are full of cafes, restaurants, and plenty of cocktails, but the creamy heaven of this egg dish is beyond compare.

For Brunch, Commander’s Palace offers “ Eggs Sardou² ” - Crab boiled hen’s egg, roasted artichokes, spinach & Pastis cream and Cajun caviar hollandaise with champagne. When you make this recipe, feel free to improv like a good jazz musician.

You must forget all ideas and concepts of calories, weight gain, and concerns about fat grams, because pleasure requires dietary amnesia. Let go and relish in the exquisite textures and flavors. Make this recipe with sensual abandon. I recommend wearing a sexy apron and putting some jazz and blues into your creation while you whip up this marvelous dish. It may cause a second line of hungry eaters, so make enough to share.

(Serves 4)

2 pounds fresh spinach

2 cups water

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions

1 cup béchamel sauce **(recipe below)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 artichoke bottoms, cooked (fresh is best)

8 eggs, poached

2 cups Hollandaise Sauce **(recipe below)

 

Wash spinach thoroughly and discard thick heavy stems.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a rapid boil; add spinach and cook until tender. Plunge spinach into ice water to stop the cooking.

Then drain and pat dry with paper towels.

{The spinach should be very dry}

Melt butter in a large sauté pan. Add green onions and sauté, stirring,

for 2 minutes longer.

Stir in the béchamel sauce.

Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

 

Place 1/4 of the creamed spinach on each of 4 warmed plates and top

with 2 warm artichoke bottoms. Put 2 poached eggs on the artichoke

bottom and spoon on 1/2 cup Hollandaise Sauce.

Serve immediately.

 

Béchamel Sauce (Cream Sauce)

(Makes 1 cup)

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce

 

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Stir in flour and blend thoroughly.

Gradually whisk in milk and continue to whisk over moderate heat

until sauce is smooth and thickened.

Add nutmeg, salt and hot sauce.

Whisk again and remove from heat.

Sauce will keep about 7 days in the refrigerator.

Reheat in a double boiler.

 

Hollandaise Sauce

(Makes 2 1/2 cups)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter

4 egg yolks, at room temperature

Juice of 1 medium lemon

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons Chablis or dry vermouth

Salt to taste

 

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Do not let burn.

When completely melted, remove from heat.

Put egg yolks, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper in

top of a double boiler over simmering water.

The bottom of the upper pan should not touch the simmering water in the lower pan. Whisk yolks until mixture thickens and becomes shiny (about 3 minutes).

In a slow steady stream, add butter, whisking constantly, until all butter has been added. Add the wine and whisk well. Sauce should be light and fluffy.

Hold sauce at room temperature until serving time.