Then you want something light. Like a salad. This one has lettuce (I promise, it's under there), cucumbers (from the backyard garden), cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, pink Hawaiian sea salt (its a little sweet yet still salty) and then homemade pan fried croutons.
I promise it is only topped with a healthy olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Then Lyle begins his cooking shenanigans. He is taking a cooking course and has recently learned all about sauces. Tonight's sauce will be Bearnaise. He explains that it is basically a Hollandaise with herbs added. I loves me some Hollandaise.
The butter gets clarified (which means all the foam needs to come off the top and none of the white sediment on the bottom gets used).
1-1/2 Tbsp shallots minced
6 black peppercorns cracked
1-1/2 Tbsp dried tarragon (or 1/2 bunch fresh tarragon)
3 oz tarragon vinegar
1 oz white wine
2 oz water
5 egg yolks at room temperature
1 lb melted butter (clarified) warm
2 tsp chervil or parsley, chopped
Combine the shallots, peppercorns, tarragon, 1 Tbsp chervil, vinegar and wine, in a saucepan and reduce. Set aside.
In a bowl or the top of a double boiler, lightly beat the egg yolks until they form ribbons.
Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the clarified butter, a few drops at a time, and then in a thin stream as in making Hollandaise Sauce. Thin with lemon juice or cold water as needed.
Add reduction to the Hollandaise along with chervil (or parsley). Season to taste with the salt and white pepper. Garnish with chopped tarragon.
I know, I know, it all sounds so simple. But it took him some time to get it all going and a lot of pots and pans to create the stuff, not to mention (but obviously I will) more than just his own two hands. It makes a bit more than a pint of sauce. Then Lyle tells us, "It won't hold so eat as much as you can." And we smother our steaks with the artery clogging goodness.
A few nights later I am in charge of the meal and I just wanted something a little lighter. Of course that means risotto. Asparagus risotto to be exact. Asparagus risotto topped with Parmesan cheese and lemon zest, a light salad of lettuce, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes, then a grilled chicken breast with just a dollop of homemade mayonnaise with chives and capers. (yes, Lyle made mayonnaise as well - it keeps in the fridge for exactly one week.)
On the left you can see the carved tiki god light. In the center, on the power line, you can see a rat. Ah, the joys of city living.