The Big Easy is known the world over as a city full of music, culture and booze. But even more than the party-all-day persona, New Orleans is loved for its food. In our distant past, my husband and I made a few vacations down to NOLA to test-drive our new love (and our livers) in the city that never seems to sleep and while we had more than I fair share of Sazeracs and hurricanes, what we really loved was breakfast in New Orleans.
It comes as no surprise to me that an alcohol-drenched town would be great at breakfast and I was reminded recently of my favorite Big Easy breakfast while at the Owen Brennan’s in Memphis, Eggs Sardou (pronounced Sar-doo).
Eggs Sardou is similar to the classic Eggs Benedict, with a poached egg perched atop an English muffin, but in true NOLA style, Eggs Sardou makes this rich dish even more decadent. Traditionally, an English muffin is topped with creamed spinach, an entire artichoke heart, a poached egg and then drenched in creamy hollandaise. It’s nearly guaranteed to ease any hangover you may have acquired the night before.
My version of Eggs Sardou requires fewer dishes and skips the arduous process of poaching eggs in favor of simply baking them. I contemplated skipping the hollandaise, but this super-quick blender version comes together so easily that I could not pass it up. If you have some toasted English muffins lying around then by all means add them to your plate, otherwise bread is optional.
Baked Eggs Sardou Muffin Cups
An easier version of a New Orleans classic breakfast
- 8 slices deli ham
- 1 cup frozen spinach thawed and drained
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 can artichoke hearts chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 stick 8 tablespoons butter
- Kosher salt
- Cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 4 holes of a Jumbo muffin tin with 2 slices each of deli ham. Divide the spinach into the bottom of each lined cup and top with ½ tablespoon of cream. Sprinkle with salt. Top the spinach with ¼ cup of the chopped artichoke. Press firmly down on each cup. Top each lined cup with one whole egg.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in the microwave for 1 minute. In a cup that is about the same size as an immersion blender, add the egg yolk, lemon juice, water and a pinch of cayenne and a pinch of salt. Put the head of the immersion blender in the cup and blend. While blending slowly pour the melted butter into the egg yolk mixture until all of the butter is gone and you have a nice, thick hollandaise sauce. Taste the sauce and add any salt and pepper if needed.
- Remove the egg cups from the oven when the eggs are just set. Run a thin bladed knife around the edge of each egg cup then gently lift onto a plate. Top each one with a spoonful of hollandaise and serve!
Tip: If you don’t have an immersion (stick) blender, a regular blender will work as long as you can drizzle the butter in while it’s running. If it starts to separate on you while running stop pouring in the butter until it all blends back together.