It’s a goofy concept, I’ll admit. But it’s actually good. It descends from an old (almost extinct, in this country) British recipe for hard-boiled eggs coated with a layer of sausage and bread crumbs, then fried. In giving it a New Orleans twist, I am using Creole hot sausage (chaurice) or spicy Italian sausage. Take your pick. Then we cover it with hollandaise, to mellow it out. And because every great New Orleans egg dish has hollandaise. Eggs on eggs. With butter.
- 6 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 stick plus 3 Tbs. butter, softened
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Pinch cayenne
- 3/4 lb. Creole hot sausage or spicy Italian sausage, bulk or removed from casings
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. marjoram
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
1. Put the eggs in a saucepan of enough cold water to cover it by about an inch. Turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove the pan from the heat, cover it, and let it stand for 17 minutes. (Use a timer.)
2. While waiting on that, make the hollandaise. Whisk the egg yolks and the vinegar briskly in a metal bowl set over a saucepan with about an inch of simmering water at the bottom. If you see even a hint of curdling in the eggs, take the bowl off the heat, but keep whisking. Keep going back and forth from the heat until the mixture turns thick and lightens in color. Whisk in a tablespoon of warm water.
3. Begin adding the softened butter, a pat at a time. After about a fourth of the butter is in there, you’ll begin to see a change in the texture of the sauce. At that point, you can step up the addition of the butter a bit, and keep going till all the butter is incorporated.
4. Whisk in the cayenne and the lemon juice. Add a cup of cold water to the hot water in the saucepan. Put the bowl with the sauce on top of it. Cover the bowl with a plate. That should keep it nice and warm. Check it every now and then and give it a whisk.
5. When the timer goes off for the hard-boiled eggs, pour off the water from that pan and fill it with cold water until the eggs are cool to the touch.
6. Put an egg between the palms of your hands and, with a bit of pressure, roll the eggs until the shell is cracked all over. This should break the membrane between the shell and the egg white, and make it easy to peel. Peel all the eggs this way.
7. Divide the sausage into six wide patties about a quarter of an inch thick. Press down on each to make it solid (the opposite of what you’d do for a meatball or hamburger). Season with the salt.
8. Wet your hands. Wrap each egg with a sausage patty, squeezing the seams together with thumb and forefinger to seal it all around.
9. The rest of this is like pannee. Put the flour in a dish and roll the coated eggs in it to make a thin skin of flour. Dip each coated egg into the beaten egg to coat lightly. Mix the marjoram and salt into the bread crumbs, and roll the eggs around in the crumbs to coat well.
10. Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a medium saucepan. Drop two of the eggs into the pan and fry, rolling them around every ten seconds or so until well browned. Drain in a sieve place over a bowl. (That lets them stay crisp.) Repeat for the other eggs.
11. Let the eggs cool for a few minutes. Cut in half and served with a tablespoon of hollandaise over each half. Serve with a snifter of single-malt Scotch (optional; I recommend Dalwhinnie) while your son or daughter plays “When The Saints Come Marching In” on the bagpipes (also optional).
Serves 6-12 appetizers.