Well, here it is, my asparagus post.
Thank goodness I love to cook, I'd be way more stressed out if I didn't (although sometimes I get so excited about what I'm going to cook my heart beats in leaps and bounds) and it's the best way to spend time with people, especially if they are equal food enthusiasts.
Here's what happened: a friend from work, Leigh, with whom I talk constantly about food instead of putting the Arcteryx and North Face jackets back in order, came for dinner with her boyfriend Pat. We made a tomato soup with cream and cognac from the Vegetarian Epicure (if you don't own this, you should get it quick out of the library, or purchase a copy), grilled cheese with gruyère, bacon and roasted asparagus, and tapioca pudding à la vanille.
As far as I'm concerned grilled cheese never fails to impress. In Belgium, they got me through some fiercely lonely rainy days. And in high school, I frequently came home, collapsed dramatically into a chair and said, "Dad, will you please make me something to eat?" He'd say, after a bit of convincing on my part "How 'bout a grilled cheese." And then he'd whip up these neatly browned and buttered cheesy sandwiches, adorned with some ham and tomato we had lying around = comfort food to the T. However, if I ever tried to replicate this experience, it was never quite the same; I always impatiently burned the bread and never let the cheese melt.
So, aside from growing older and much wiser, here are some notes about grilled cheese:
Turn the pan on to medium high, when drops of water sizzle, turn the heat down to medium low. In the meantime, assemble your sandwiches. Then put some fat into the pan. I used bacon fat tonight, but butter is lovely, and even olive oil is supreme. Place your sandwiches in the pan, cover with a lid and wait. Then, when you see the cheese is melting (doesn't have to be completely) and the underside is browning, flip them over.
Make sure you use your imagination! I think my next one will involve black beans, cilantro and chipoltle chile powder.
Hooray for spring and deliciousness!