dinner last night

To follow up on my mention of dinner plans yesterday, I come bearing good news - it was a huge success and a lot easier to pull off than I anticipated. The only snag was a moment of panic over preparing asparagus (a new skill to this amateur cook). I started to fret over confusing directions about bending the asparagus until they snapped at their natural breaking point (which mostly felt like a veggie version of Legally Blonde as I was saying it in my head), then there was a bit of nonsense about peeling them halfway up the stalks. A quick text to my sweet friend Betsy revealed that I am not a total nincompoop and yes, you can just cut the ends off and move on with your life.

First, I started by chopping up 5 or 6 yukon gold potatoes and boiling them in a pot for 15 minutes. Drain and spread them over a baking sheet -- make sure you grease it well because mine ended up sticking horribly later. Sprinkle with kosher salt, olive oil, and herbs de provence (or whatever else you have on hand - parsley, thyme, etc) then bake on 400 for 45-50 minutes till they're crispy. 

Once the potatoes are in, I made 4 over easy eggs in a frying pan and set them aside for a reheat later. AKA cheating a bit so all the food finishes at the same time. At this point, I made the hollandaise using a hand mixer to blend 2 egg yolks, 1.5 tbs fresh lemon juice, a dash of texas pete hot sauce, and 1/4 tsp of salt together. Melt 6 tbsp of unsalted butter in the egg frying pan then drizzle that into the egg mixture as you continue to mix it. According to the recipe footnote, you are supposed to use hollandaise immediately, but if you make it within an hour in advance, just re-mix it with 1 tbsp of very hot water right before serving.

Then, rinse and cut however much asparagus you care to eat, lay them flat on one half of a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt & pepper (no peppa' in our apt though - anaphylaxis is such a bummer). Roast them in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Pull the pan out and lay 3-4 slices of prosciutto on the other side of the sheet, return to the oven and roast another 5-8 minutes, but no longer because (according to Betsy), they'll get real floppy, real fast.

Once it all comes together in a glorious food symphony, arrange the asparagus on a plate, place a piece of prosciutto on top, crown it with an egg, then drizzle with hollandaise. Serve hot (microwave the whole shebang for 10-15 if needed). Then prepare to amaze and delight your guests, or husband if you went through all that trouble just for a Thursday night dinner. 

These three recipes are adapted from this Barefoot Contessa cookbook according to what I have in the cupboard.

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