Eggs Sardou is a creation of Antoine's, one of New Orleans' grand old-line restaurants, where it traditionally is composed of poached eggs nestled atop artichoke hearts and creamed spinach, and topped with Hollandaise Sauce. It makes a delicious appetizer, and when the portion size is doubled, makes a filling brunch dish.
In a skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the artichoke hearts and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until just warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Into a large saute pan or deep skillet, pour about 2 inches of cold water and the vinegar. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat so that the surface of the water barely shimmers.
Break the eggs into individual saucers, then gently slide them 1 at a time into the water and with a large spoon, lift the whites over the yolks. Repeat the lifting once or twice to completely enclose each yolk. Poach until the whites are set and the yolks feel soft when gently touched, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, and place on a large plate.
Arrange the warm artichoke hearts on each of 4 plates and top with the spinach. Lay 1 egg on top of each bed of spinach and drizzle with warm Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with the chopped prosciutto, Essence, and chives and serve immediately.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and garlic and saute, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve hot.
In the top of a double boiler or in a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks with the water until the egg yolks are thick and pale yellow, removing from the heat as needed to prevent the eggs from overcooking. Gradually add the butter, whisking constantly to thicken. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk well to blend. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.