Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eggs Sardou

These are named after Victorien Sardou, a 19th century French playwright who also popularized the fedora hat. Wickipedia does not have an entry for eggs, so it does not say how this dish came to be named after M. Sardou. It supposedly originated at Antoine's, the famous New Orleans restaurant, but, now, the Williams Sonoma website assures us, it is on brunch menus all over the city. We had it for dinner.
Like Filbert Mousse, Eggs Sardou pose certain linguistic challenges. For one thing, it helps to know the word for artichoke hearts in Spanish or some African language. Everyone at Whole Foods, that United Nations of food supply workers, knew artichokes, but they did not know artichoke bottoms. I tried to explain that artichoke bottoms had all the leaves taken off. The worker said in a puzzled tone, "You want the container?"
Anyhow, artichoke bottoms are not available in their frozen state at Whole Foods, or Safeway. So I had to steam my own artichokes. Having not steamed too many artichokes, I consulted that encyclopedia of gastronomy, The Joy of Cooking, which says authoritatively that artichokes should be steamed "on a trivet." Now, one thing we lack is a trivet. I do remember making a trivet, or hot pad, with the Cub Scouts right before Christmas. That particular trivet was made out of the stuff you use to frame pictures, so it would not have been suitable for steaming anything. I settled for a stainless steel bowl, upside down in the big stainless steel stockpot. Artichokes are situated well above the water, on the bowl. Something interesting happens when you use this device. To whit, all the water collects inside the bowl and forms sort of a vacuum.
Something else interesting happened too. The water turned a sort of bright kelly green. This did not happen the second time, so who knows what was going one.
This dish is listed under appetizers. I think it would make rather a complicated appetizer, and one that was difficult to serve hot, since there are all these different components. But it makes a fine dinner dish, or breakfast dish, if you have lots of time.

Eggs Sardou

1 cup hot creamed spinach (use frozen)
2 artichoke bottoms, canned and reheated or freshly cooked.
2 poached eggs
Easy hollandaise

1. Spoon the spinach onto two hot plates. Top with the artichoke bottoms.
2. Place one egg on each artichoke bottom Cover with hollandaise sauce.
Serves 2


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