• Tommy Centola

Try a different breakfast dish

It has been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Many restaurants in the French Quarter serve the first meal of the day. The dishes that they serve are unique to the area. From Beignets to fancy Egg dishes, there is plenty of creativity.

Today, I am sharing with you two breakfast dishes you are likely not to find outside of the state of Louisiana; Calas and Eggs Sardou. The first dish can be found at breakfast or at the end of a meal. The second is a poached egg dish containing no meat.

Calas are rice cakes or beignets. Louisiana is one of the largest producers of rice in the country. Calas, like beignets, can also be served as a dessert. So, if you are looking for something different, Calas are delicious. But they take some preparation. It is best that they are started the night before.

Calas

3/4 cup warm water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 package dry active yeast

1 cup cooked white rice

3 eggs, beaten

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar, for serving

Steen’s Cane Syrup, for serving

In a medium glass bowl, put the water, sugar and yeast and allow to stand until the foam sets. Add the rice to the water and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to proof at room temperature 8 hours overnight. The next morning, stir the rice and mash it against the sides of the bowl with the back of a spoon. You want to create a contrast in texture, with some grains remaining whole

and some crushed. Add the eggs, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, and flour to the bowl and stir with a spoon to combine. Cover the bowl again and allow to proof in a warm place. Preheat a deep fryer to 360 ℉. Use a large spoon to drop 2-tablespoon size scoops in the fryer. Do not overcrowd. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, and then turn to cook on the other side for about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain the calas on paper towels. To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with cane syrup.

This egg dish was created at Antoine’s restaurant in the French Quarter. It was named for Victorien Sardou, a famous French dramatist of the 19th century, who was a guest in New Orleans when the dish was invented. Like most dishes, other restaurants copied it. Most brunch menus contain this dish.

Eggs Sardou

Hollandaise sauce

8 poached eggs

6 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, finely chopped

Creole seasoning

8 large fresh artichoke bottoms

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour and mix well. Cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cream slowly and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and season with the Creole seasoning. Continue to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and keep warm. In another sauté pan over medium heat, melt the remaining butter. Add the artichoke bottoms to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Season the artichokes with Creole seasoning. Cover the pan with a lid and remove from the heat.

To Assemble

Place 2 artichoke bottoms on a warm serving plate. Spoon the creamed spinach in the center of each artichoke bottom. Place a poached egg on top of each artichoke bottom. Top with Hollandaise sauce and serve immediately.

Remember eat breakfast every day. It gives your body a jump start to get through the day.

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