Menu Note:
Simple Dinner?
24 September 2018

ΒΆ One of the worst mistakes that I make in the kitchen is to think that I’m making a simple dinner. Because, too often, “simple” is a dog whistle that summons mindlessness.

Over the weekend, we had another couple to dinner, and the menu was determined by my wish to serve the same meal that I used to feed to the young man (no longer quite so young). Rib steak, asparagus with hollandaise, and roast sweet potatoes. None of these is difficult for me to make, not even the hollandaise, but they still had to be prepared in the correct order, and that’s where I screwed up. Except with the potatoes. The potatoes were a bust because I forgot to blend maple syrup into the oil and rosemary mixture with which I used to coat the potatoes. Kathleen reminded me of that at the table.

Mindlessly, I cooked the last-minute things, the asparagus and the hollandaise, a little ahead of time, to get them out of the way. Pretty dumb. I ought to have waited until the thick rib steak came out of the oven, and worked on the vegetable and its sauce while the meat set. (Although I broil it, the rib steak is very much a roast.) Since I didn’t do this, the asparagus went cold at the table, and the hollandaise lost its fresh punch. I had a hard time eating any of it.

Happily, my guests tucked it all away. Aside from mine, clean plates all round.

Dessert? Let’s not. I’m tired of this story already. 

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