Thursday, May 21, 2009

Things Go Right, Things Go Wrong (with a delicious recipe for Tarragon-Butter Sauce)

The last couple evenings, dinner has not turned out so great. Two nights ago, I made swiss chard and caramelized onion lasagna. I found the recipe under “favorites” on the Vegetarian Times web site. It entailed a lot more effort than I normally put into a weeknight dinner, but the chard from the farmers' market had to be used, so I decided to go for it. My husband was late getting home from work, so children were parked in front of the television while I cooked. Soon, pots and pans, knives, bowls, measuring devices, and all sorts of ingredients were everywhere. Noodles were ready and waiting here; chard and ricotta were combined and on hand over there. At one point, I was sautéing onions with one hand and whisking milk with the other. Where was my sous chef when I needed him! Finally, when everything was assembled and going into the oven, he pulled into the driveway.

While the lasagna baked, I cleaned up and made a salad to go with the rich, creamy lasagna I was eagerly anticipating. The kids had finished snacking their way through dinner at least an hour before we sat down to our late supper. The lasagna looked perfect, but taste good? Not so much. How disappointing! It just had no pizzazz. It was bland and boring. Nothing seemed to be wrong with it – it just lacked… It lacked! The little salad however, with baby romaine, mini pearl tomatoes, basil, garlic, Parmesan, a few cubes of day-old bread, balsamic, and olive oil, was wonderful. We ate it all up and wished it had been the main course.

Last night, another new recipe – sole with tarragon-butter sauce. Luckily, this recipe was pretty simple and prepared all in one pan (I love that). Again, I made a salad (lettuce, tomatoes, chives – that's it) to go with it. Plus, we had some crusty bread. This time it may have been my fault. I do have a tendency to over-cook fish, but I think it was just poor quality, previously frozen and re-frozen fish. The tarragon-butter sauce though, was delightful. Thank goodness for the bread, which I used to sop up that heavenly liquid. I’ll definitely be making the sauce again.

So, things go wrong, but other things go right: I ended up with a great salad that was just thrown together, and a fantastic sauce that I know I’ll make again and again. Cooking is an adventure that's disappointing sometimes, but it's great when you discover something new and delicious.

Here’s the recipe for the sauce only. If you’re not already a tarragon fan, this will make you one. Try it with a nice, fresh piece of fish or maybe with steamed mussels.

Tarragon-Butter Sauce  PRINTABLE RECIPE

3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 Tbsp minced garlic
5 tsp butter – cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add wine, broth, shallots, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to about 3/4 cup – about 10 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and stir in butter, salt, chives, and tarragon. You're done!

No comments:

Post a Comment