As my daughter is away on holiday with her grandparents and my BF is away on tour, it's just me and the dogs!
Cooking for one can be very dull especially when you are used to cooking for many. I think the key to cooking for one is to cook what ever takes your fancy, whether that's a glass of wine and a cheese board, a salad or even lobster!
It's the season for artichokes and they looked fantastic in the market today, so voila, on the menu tonight Artichokes and Hollandaise sauce with some crusty french baguette.
So starting with cooking the Artichoke.
Cut the long stork down, you won't be eating that and pull off any little leaves. You can slice the top off but it does nothing to the cooking or eating, but it does look neat on your plate.
Boil water in a big pan, like a pasta pan.
Pop it in, it will float and as it cooks it will settle lower in the water.
You need to boil this for 30-45 mins and when you strain it, it will be volcanic hot!
So about 10 minutes before the artichoke is ready, start on the sauce.
For one person you will need:
1 egg yoke
1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
So firstly, take the vinegar and some crushed pepper corns and boil in a small pan for less than a minute, and then drain off the peppercorns.
Add this to the bottom of a glass bowl and place over a saucepan of boiling water.
Add your egg yoke and whisk! Do not stop or you will get scrabbled egg. A sabayon is a whisked egg until it's light and creamy and the whisk leaves a trail. At this point switch off the boiling water and add the butter cubed, a little by little. Whisk in all the butter and at the end add a tablespoon of lemon juice. This sauce should be kept warm.
So the joy of eating an artichoke is that it's perfect finger food! But you do only eat the end of the leaf, the end nearest the heart.
As you get closer to the middle the leaves become smaller and smaller until you get to the furry heart. Do not stop there, the best is yet to come!
So take a teaspoon and pull the fluffy part away from the heart and you are left with the artichoke heart which is a joy to eat and is your reward for patiently making your way to the end!
Et voila! One of my favourite dishes but with the hollandaise you wouldn't eat this everyday! For a more lighter version, just replace the sauce with a vinegrette and add crusty baguette and a glass of white!