Sunday, April 8, 2012

Eggs Sardou

Eggs Sardou

• 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 fines herbes (fresh chives,
tarragon, parsley and chervil)
• 4 cups creamed spinach (see related recipe)
• 8 cooked artichoke hearts (fresh or canned),
halved or artichoke bottoms
• 8 poached eggs
• 8 slices toast, halved diagonally
To make the hollandaise sauce, assemble a double boiler and heat water according to the manufacturer's instructions. 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 fines herbes. Keep the hollandaise sauce warm but not hot until ready to serve.

Divide the creamed spinach among 4 plates and top each with 4 artichoke halves. Place 2 poached eggs atop the artichokes. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the hollandaise sauce over each serving and arrange the toast around the plates. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Creamed Spinach
The béchamel sauce can be prepared a day or two in advance. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. It will become very thick as it cools. If the sauce is still too thick when reheated, add a bit of milk.
• 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups milk
• 1/2 yellow onion stuck with 1 clove
• 1 bay leaf
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
• Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
• 1 lb. baby spinach, stemmed and rinsed well
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubbling without browning, about 2 minutes. Cool the roux slightly.

In another saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk just until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Gradually add the milk to the roux, whisking constantly until the milk is fully incorporated. Add the onion and bay leaf, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and very lightly with white pepper and nutmeg. Cover the béchamel sauce tightly or brush the surface with melted butter to prevent a skin from forming on top; keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large pot with a steamer basket in place, steam the spinach until wilted and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and chop coarsely. Drain the excess liquid.

Remove the onion and bay leaf from the béchamel sauce, add the spinach and stir until blended. Adjust the seasonings with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Serve immediately.

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