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Eggs Sardou Offer a Taste of New Orleans

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Poached Eggs“Eggs Sardou was created at Antoine’s, named after French playwright Victorien Sardou, and remains one of the grandest of the grand New Orleans egg dishes, of which there are many,” according to NOLACuisine.com. “I boiled fresh artichokes for this recipe, but it would certainly be all right to use good quality canned artichoke bottoms; in fact, I wish I had, it wasn’t worth the extra effort and cost.”

Eggs Sardou

4 poached eggs (see below)
1 recipe creamed spinach (see below)
1 recipe Hollandaise sauce (see below)
Slices of prosciutto, optional
4 artichoke bottoms
Paprika for sprinkling

Poached eggs:

Fill a dutch oven with 1 inch of water, heat until just below a simmer. Add a few dashes of white vinegar. Crack the eggs and gently drop them into the water, keeping the shell as close to the water as possible when dropping them in. With a slotted spoon, gently move the ghost like strands of white back to the yolk. The eggs are done when the whites are no longer transparent, and the yolks are still runny. Remove with a slotted spoon and gently dry off with a towel.

Creamed spinach:

1 cup cooked and chopped spinach, squeezed in a kitchen towel to remove excess water
1 pint heavy cream, reduced by 3/4 of its volume
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon Crystal Hot Sauce
Drops of Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt, to taste

In a saucepan over low heat, add spinach. Stir in cream. Add nutmeg, cayenne, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Adjust seasonings to taste and cook until flavors are melded.

Hollandaise sauce:

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup clarified butter, warm
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Dash of Crystal Hot Sauce
Drops of Worcestershire sauce

Place the vinegar, lemon juice, and egg yolks in the top deck of a double boiler. The water in the lower deck should be hot but not boiling.

Whisk slowly until you see the yolks start to coagulate on the sides. If the pan gets too hot, remove it from the heat for a minute, whisking constantly.

Whisk while cooking, minding the bowl temperature, until the yolks are lighter in color and do not leave yellow streaks when the whisk goes through them. If you see any signs of scrambling, remove the bowl from the heat.

When the yolk/acid mixture is good and thick, remove from the heat and slowly drizzle in the clarified butter, whisking constantly, until incorporated.

Add the hot and Worcestershire sauces, and season to taste with the salt and cayenne.

If the sauce is a little too thick, you can thin it down with a few splashes of hot water.

Makes about 2/3 cup.

To assemble: Divide the creamed spinach in the center of two heated plates, nest two artichoke bottoms per plate on the spinach. Place prosciutto on each artichoke bottom, if using, followed by a poached egg. Top with a generous portion of Hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with paprika. Serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Adapted from NOLACuisine.com.

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