Salmon and hollandaise

I had been avoiding checking my blog for almost a week. I didn't think I can write. I'll choose the television over the screen and keyboard. I made excuses, playing bluff, negotiating with my other me - I told myself I'll write something later. I knew I was lying to myself. True enough, by the time I got home from work, I was too jiffed to write anything. I tried on some nights when the night seemed quiet and elusive enough. Staring and the blinking cursor and hope the words flow through the silent tapping of the keyboard. Nothing. I proceed to pour myself a glass of red. Hoping that with loosen me up a little. But instead, I let my mind flow through pinterest world. And after the third glass, I only managed a sentence and the bed in the bedroom is my tempting. I am sure every writer had these moments.

Frankly, maybe also, I hadn't been cooking much too for the past 2 weeks and so is the second in line. The salad leaves turned whimpy in the refrigerator. The beef he bought turned blue, the plump chicken breast is now oh-so pitiful. In fact, almost everything in the refrigerator ended up in their new-place-to-be. Not transformed into glorious meals in our tummies. But dishonored into the trash bin. Our fridge is kinda of empty now. It's a sad sight... sigh... 
It seems obvious too. We had a fight recently - the domestic kind of squabbles that we both wouldn't bulge with empathy. We kept circling back to it. And there goes, everything went off balanced. Being angry at someone can be really tiring. It only clouded our minds even more and pushed us further to the opposite direction. I am glad, we somehow, decided at the same point not to go across the line, if there's one. There's no doubt, trying to find our way together as a couple in the same voice is hard enough. let alone trying to measure up to the other's expectation. We looked at the good side and let our resentment go. Rather predictably, we are okay once again.
Today, he asked me if I can make dinner. I will think he meant our made-up meal. I was tired, blubbered and still disorientated. But glad I'd agreed and made dinner because to us, it matters more than most things - Cooking for ourselves matters more the just feeding ourselves properly. Simply because, the process of it, the stories and the love that are served with food matter; bringing us closer a meal at a time. The meals on our dining table made us stronger together as a couple. He picked fish for dinner and I choose a very easy recipe, easy enough so that I can be back on track. I felt restored slightly more from the chopping and the hot sizzles . All the discontentment seething away, making the kitchen smell wonderful again. The smell of home. We realized we've had been missing dinner (or each other) so much.


Serves 2 elegant portions
Baby asparagus, enough for 2
2 salmon fillet, skin on, the best you can find
Juice of half lemon
Olive oil
1 bulb garlic, Keep it whole with all its paper, Chop the bottom (roots) off.
Caviar, optional

Hollandaise Sauce
1 egg yolk
100g melted butter
ΒΌ teaspoon dijon mustard
2 grilled garlic cloves from above prep
Juice of the other half lemon

Marinate the salmon with salt, olive oil and lemon juice for 15 minutes while prepping the other stuff.

Make the sauce first. This should take only 10 minutes. Melt butter in a microwave set to 20 secs. Using a  balloon whisk, beat together the yolk and mustard. Whisk in a small glob of the warmed butter, a little at a time, until the sauce is thick, similar to mayonnaise. Then whisk in lemon juice. The lemon juice with thinned the sauce. Taste with salt and pepper.

On a hot grill pan, add olive oil and the garlic bulb with flat side down. Turn down the heat to medium and let it cook for a minute. You will smell the garlic coming through. Add the baby asparagus to the pan and sprinkle with some salt. Let it grill for a minute or until just cooked. Set the asparagus equally on 2 dinner plates. Remove the garlic. The garlic should be soft and can be easily detached from the skin. Mush 2 grilled garlic clove with a fork. Add that to the hollandaise sauce.

On the same pan on high heat, add some olive oil. Cook the salmon skin side down until the skin is browned and crispy. Flip the salmon over and let it cook on the thick part for 2 minutes. Be careful not to over cook the salmon. The inside should be still pink. You can check the doneness by flaking the flesh a little to check the pinkness.

Set the salmon on top of the asparagus. Spoon over a tablespoon of the hollandaise sauce. Top off a teaspoon of caviar. Serve immediately with freshly cracked black pepper.

Till next post, ss.

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