I am a big fan of cooking classes at Williamsburg's The Brooklyn Kitchen. Its a great place to learn new recipes, cooking skills and a great environment to cook with others. About a week ago, I took the New Orleans Brunch cooking class with Emily Casey and learned and helped make a bunch of fun New Orleans recipes, including beignets, shrimp remoulade, eggs sardou, creole grillades and grits, Commander's Palace bread pudding souffle and creole blood mary's. It was a great time and after the class, I couldn't wait to try out some (well most) of these recipes on my husband. So this past weekend, I made a nice brunch for Brad with some of these recipes. My eggs sardou came out pretty good as I practiced one of the skills I learned in the class - egg poaching. I still need to work to poach a bit more gently, but I am getting the hang of it. I have included the whole recipe below, although I only made six poached eggs for the two of us yesterday. Also, since I don't eat ham, I left that out both of the recipe below and my own version.
Eggs Sardou (recipe adapted from the Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine by John Folse)
8 poached eggs (see below for instructions on poaching)
1 T white vinegar
8 cooked or canned artichoke bottoms
1 T butter
1 T flour
1 cup milk
4 cups cleaned, fresh spinach leaves
salt, pepper and tabasco sauce to taste
1 cup hollandaise sauce
3 egg yolks
1 T lemon juice
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp salt1/8 tsp cayenne, or a few drops of tabasco
Rince the artichoke bottoms (mine were canned). Cover with lightly salted water in a saucepan and simmer five to ten minutes until tender but not overcooked.
Add butter to a pot and melt, incorporating with the flour. Whisk in the milk and let come to a boil, then reducing to a simmer. Let simmer for five minutes, and then add the salt, pepper and tabasco to taste. Sir in the spinach into this béchamel sauce, one cup at a time, allowing each cup to wilt before adding the next.
When ready to serve, poach the eggs into a pot of boiling water with a tablespoon of white vinegar added. Gently break the eggs apart and release into the poaching solution. Gently fold over the whites and when they are done after a few minutes remove with a slotted spoon.
To make the hollandaise, melt the butter slowly in a sauce pan. Put cayenne, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt in the blender. Blend at medium to high speed about 20-30 seconds until it lightens in color. Then, lowering the blender speed to low, slowly add the melted butter while the blender is going. The resulting sauce should be buttery, lemony and just a tad salty.
To assemble, top each artichoke bottom with creamed spinach, a poached egg, and drizzle with hollandaise, and sprinkle with a bit of cayenne. My husband loved this - it's the perfect springtime brunch entree!
Below, I have included some pictures from the NOLA Brunch cooking class at the Brooklyn Kitchen as well.