This is one of New Orleans' grand egg dishes, created, as were so many classic dishes, at Antoine's Restaurant. Prepare the creamed spinach ahead of time. Use fresh or frozen artichoke bottoms (fresh is always preferable), but make sure they're the best quality. Warm them up and set the pan in a 175F oven; do the same with the creamed spinach. Prepare the hollandaise sauce and set the container in warm water while you poach the eggs. Assemble on warmed plates.

Creamed spinach

Add the chopped spinach to the bechamel sauce and warm for a few minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Mix in the salt and pepper, then set the pan in a 175F oven to keep warm until final assembly.

Poaching the eggs

Break each egg you want to poach into an individual small cup. In a saute pan bring about 1-1/2 inches of water with 1 teaspoon of vinegar to a simmer. With the water simmering, slice each egg into the water from the cup by lowering the cup almost to the surface of the water and tipping it. Cook each egg for about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes in the simmering water, spooning some of the water over the surface of the egg during cooking. When the egg is cooked, lift out of the water with a mesh or slotted spoon, letting water drain off for a few seconds.

Final assembly of the Eggs Sardou

Put 1/2 cup warm creamed spinach on each warmed plate. Place 1 or 2 warm artichoke bottoms on the bed of spinach, then set 2 poached eggs on the artichoke bottoms. Cover each portion with 1/2 cup hollandaise sauce. Serves 6.


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)