Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gearing up for this week's Whisk Wednesday

This week, Shari, Kayte and I are working on another emulsified sauce, the famous Béarnaise. Le Cordon Bleu at Home says (on page 250) that if anything could be called a "steak sauce" in France, this would be it. Which makes me feel kind of weird about THE GREAT BIG BOTTLE OF HEINZ 57 sitting in my refrigerator. What can I say? I am a complex woman with many different layers, kind of like a great big bulb of garlic. Yeah.

I've never made Béarnaise before, but I have eaten it. This week, it's going to go on a couple of filets mignons -- our grocery budget will not allow for the six center-cut tenderloins of beef the recipe calls for, nor even four so that we'll have one each. However, I can spring for two and my husband, who is absolutely brilliant on the grill, will get a great deal of pleasure out of cooking them. He has mastered the ability to produce a delicious medium-rare steak. And considering that he usually has some el-cheapo cuts of meat to work with, I figure this will be a pleasant thing for him. We're going to eke out the rest of the meal with grilled chicken in our favorite marinade.

This is also going to give us the chance to eat artichokes in a different way than we've ever eaten them before. Previously, all artichoke eating has been confined to eating spinach-artichoke dip with celery sticks and baguette slices, which is made with marinated artichoke hearts. We all love that a lot -- the spinach and artichokes are perfect together in their spicy blend of cream cheese and grated Parmesan, with plenty of red pepper flakes and ground black pepper. I make it in a little quiche plate and it is really tasty. But now, we're stretching ourselves a little with these cooked fresh chokes and Aisling says she hopes they don't make her. Choke, of course.


Kbg said...

We bought two of the steaks also, but then Matt is not here, and Alex and I can easily split one as there is no way either of us ever eats 7 ounces of steak in one sitting. I like to think of Brian cooking those steaks (as Mark will cook ours) as this way the whole family gets involved...well, not Alex as we all know how Alex cooks...NOT).

I have NEVER shopped for, selected, peeled, or cooked artichokes before, so this one is a new experience for me also. I have eaten them before, so I hope that will at least give me a guideline of what they should look and taste like.

I like the idea of cooking those potatoes twice, leaving just a few minutes at the last to deal with them. Okay...gasp...I have only fried anything about twice in my life as we are not big on fried foods around here, but the guys do like french fries, so I am thinking this might be a skill I could use in the future. I go...WHISK me luck! And tell Aisling that I hope I don't CHOKE on the cooking part!

Shelley said...

I still laugh every time I think of Alex dipping that hot dog straight into the bottle of barbecue sauce and then flinging it on the grill. That was enormously funny, even though your barbecue sauce was polluted. :>)