Riffing on A New Orleans' Classic

A Play on Eggs Sardou
Back in the day, when the streets of New Orleans were my stomping grounds, one of my all time favorite things to do after a night of cocktails and people watching was to hit any one of my beloved late night restaurants. Unlike a lot of other places, New Orleans had her fair share of late night eateries--from the seedy to the fairly upscale where at 2 a.m. you could find not only a good bloody Mary, but white tablecloths and waiters in ties and jackets.

My decision of where to eat was always made on the spur-of-the-moment, but when it came to what I wanted to eat, there were always two things on my mind: bowls of buttery grits and the ever sumptuous  and supremely rich eggs Sardou--poached eggs perched on artichoke bottoms and piles of creamy spinach and dolloped with the most decadent of Hollandaise sauces all made even more satisfying by the late hour.

Like any late night foodie, I knew a few places where I could always get my fix and so, for many years, eggs Sardou were part of my regular repertoire, but then when I moved to California, like so many other cherished dishes, I wasn't likely to find it any where other than my own kitchen. Granted, these days it's more of a treat than a staple, but when it comes to brunch worthy egg dishes, this is still one of my favorites.

Recently, Mr. B and I decided to kick 2014 into gear with a few bloody Marys and a feast of eggs Sardou. There wasn't a white tablecloth and we weren't eating at 2 a.m., but there sure was a lot of lip smacking and plate licking.

Mel's Eggs Sardou for Two
4 baby artichokes, cleaned, leaves removed and hearts steamed; thickly sliced and sauteed in butter; set aside
creamed spinach (recipe follows)
blender hollandaise sauce
4 eggs, poached

To assemble:

1. Divide creamed spinach between two flat ramekins and make two wells in the spinach mixture.
2. Gently slide a poached egg into each well.
3. Top with Hollandaise sauce and sauteed artichoke hearts.
4. Sprinkle with chopped flat leaf parsley and paprika.
5. Serve with lightly toasted and buttered French baguette.

Creamed Spinach
8 ounces of fresh, washed baby spinach
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 finely minced clove of garlic
1/8 cup of finely minced green onion tops
1 tablespoon of Hersaint, Pernod, or Absinthe
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
nutmeg, salt and pepper

1. Heat butter in a heavy pan over medium heat until just melted; add garlic and green onion and cook until soft.
2. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
3. Add heavy whipping cream and cook until reduced and thick.
4. Add Herbaint, Pernod, or Absinthe and cook for 2-3 minutes
5. Season with fresh grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

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