In any other city but New Orleans you might order eggs Sardou and receive a dish of poached eggs served over artichoke hearts nestled in a bed of creamed spinach. But the original eggs Sardou has far more pizzazz, with anchovies tucked in between the egg and artichoke, and a thick hollandaise sauce blanketing the entire dish, scattered with handfuls of minced black truffle, parsley, and ham and served with elegant fried asparagus spears. It has been served in this manner at the French Quarter restaurant Antoine's since 1908, when it was invented there to celebrate its namesake, the famed French dramatist Victorien Sardou, upon his visit to the Crescent City—a place where, thankfully, such classic extravagance still thrives.
Yield: serves 4
- 8 large frozen artichoke bottoms, thawed
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 8 asparagus spears, trimmed
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> tsp. cayenne
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 12 cups melted, cooled unsalted butter
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 oil-packed anchovies, drained
- 8 poached eggs
- 2 tbsp. minced cooked ham
- 2 tbsp. minced black truffles
- 2 tbsp. minced parsley, plus more sprigs to garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add artichokes; cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and keep warm. Pour oil to a depth of 2″ in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 365°. Place flour, whole eggs, and bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes. Toss asparagus in flour, dip in eggs, and then dredge in bread crumbs. Working in batches, fry asparagus until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; set aside.
- Place vinegar, cayenne, and yolks in a medium metal bowl, and set bowl over a pot of simmering water; whisk until smooth. While whisking, slowly drizzle in melted butter until sauce emulsifies and thickens. Stir in juice and 1 tsp. water, and season with salt and pepper; keep hollandaise warm.
- To serve, place 2 artichoke bottoms in the center of each plate. Fold an anchovy in half; place in each artichoke. Top with a poached egg; pour hollandaise sauce evenly over each. Sprinkle with ham, truffles, and parsley. Place 2 asparagus on each plate and garnish with parsley sprigs.
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