Eggs Sardou

Eggs SardouMonday is February 29th…leap year!

When I sat down to write this post, I had every intention of creating a menu only to be eaten every four years. The fact is, there are a lot of things that we should only eat every four years, and most of them involve butter, heavy cream, deep frying, fatty meats and/or all of the above. (No way am I giving up my avocado bacon burger…or the fries. Don’t mess with my fries.)

One recipe from my childhood kept popping up, and would not be ignored. It is the perfect recipe candidate for once every four years: Eggs Sardou. Or as we liked to call it, Eggs Lard-o.

Eggs Sardou is the creation of iconic Antoine’s restaurant in New Orleans, and consists of poached eggs, creamed spinach, artichoke hearts and hollandaise sauce. It is sometimes served on a bed of asparagus. I also love it on a crusty bread. Antoine’s serves it for brunch on Sundays. Now, I have never been to Antoine’s, or New Orleans for that matter (Bucket List!), but I have been to Rosie’s Café in Tahoe City, CA.

Anyone who has been to Tahoe City in the last 30 years has driven past Rosie’s Café, a favorite spot of my father’s. When I was a kid, we would make sure to go there at least once for breakfast while on vacation. Still do. Sometimes more than once.

I would order the Sopapillas, which were served warm with honey. They are, unfortunately, no longer on the menu. Dad would order the Eggs Sardou (also no longer on the menu), and we would watch in awe and horror. Mom had the cardiologist on speed dial.

While poached eggs, spinach and artichoke hearts may sound healthy, the addition of cream and hollandaise sauce take it in a whole other direction. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious—but at about a billion calories per serving, not something you want to eat on a regular basis. Every four years sounds about right.

Eggs Sardou is not for weekday mornings, so if you feel like celebrating leap year a little early, it makes a lovely Sunday brunch…

Eggs Sardou
Yields four servings


For the Hollandaise Sauce
2 egg yolks
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. water
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbs. chopped, fresh herbs (such as fresh chives, tarragon, parsley, and chervil)

For the Creamed Spinach
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, finely chopped
Salt and white pepper

For the Eggs Sardou
8 large fresh artichoke bottoms (not marinated!)
1 teaspoon vinegar
8 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Make the Hollandaise Sauce
Assemble a double boiler and heat water to just below boiling. In the bowl of the double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and water. Place over the heat on the stovetop and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, then whisk for 1 minute more. Season with salt, white pepper and cayenne.

Continue to whisk the mixture while slowly pouring in the melted butter in a thin stream until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped herbs. Keep the hollandaise sauce warm, but not hot, until ready to serve.

Cream the Spinach
Place a large sauté pan over medium heat, and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Stir in the flour and mix well. Cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cream slowly and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, or for about 3 minutes.

Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Cook the Artichoke Hearts
Place another sauté pan over medium heat, and melt the remaining butter. Add the artichoke bottoms to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes. (Make certain the artichokes are heated through, but don’t overcook.) Season the artichokes with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and remove from the heat.

Poach the Eggs
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and add the vinegar. Crack each egg into a small cup. Carefully side one egg into the water. When the water has come back to a slight boil, side in another egg. Continue the process until all the eggs are in the water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the eggs are set, or for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and drain on a paper-lined plate. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.

Assemble the Eggs Sardou
Spoon the creamed spinach in the center of each artichoke bottom. Place the filled artichokes on a platter. Lay the poached eggs directly on top of the creamed spinach. Drizzle the hollandaise over the poached egg. Garnish with parsley.

Serve with toast on the side. Alternately, each artichoke can be placed atop a slice of crusty bread before assembling the Eggs Sardou.

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