Why is it that food tastes better when someone else cooks it? Do our senses get satisfied while we're preparing a meal? Is it just me? Kevin loves eating at home. He says it tastes better than eating out. I don't know if that's because he's used to my cooking (he pretty much knows what he's getting), or he's tired after a hard day at work and doesn't feel like going out. He told me that he doesn't see the need to go out when he thinks the food is better at home, the company is good, and it doesn't cost as much. Yes, he knows how to schmooze me. That's not to say we don't ever go out to eat. We do.
I prefer a restaurant in which I've never eaten. If I'm lucky, I will order a dish that I fall in love with and can possibly figure out at home. The last time we went out I had a spinach salad, prepped table-side. This was the same night my brother and sister-in-law took us out. I still want to make that salmon... another day.
This salad is flambéed. That means, be careful. Don't light the pan underneath anything that will burn. Keep any children or pets away. Wear an oven mitt, because fire is hot and burns. I actually keep a fire extinguisher next to my stove. Knock on wood, I've yet to use it.
Chop red onion and bacon.
Melt butter in a wide pan.
Sauté pinon nuts, bacon, and the onion until the bacon is crisp, the onion translucent, and the pine nuts toasted.
Add spinach. Sauté a few more minutes to warm it up.
Add Pernod and light it up. You can see the blue flame beneath the orange tips here.
Stir it around with tongs to ensure everything is coated. The flame may grow as the liqueur is stirred. This one is still burning.
When the flame is extinguished, squeeze lemon over and toss. Serve on warm plates. Keep in mind that the flame can't always be seen as it's dying. (yes, it's that ER nurse again) Be positive that the flame is out. If you hold your hand close to the flame, is it hot? If it's not hot, take a toothpick and set it close to the rim. If it burns, you've still got a flame. Give it a few more minutes. Some like to serve the salad flaming on the plate, but this way is safer. It can be prepared in front of an audience and present just as well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. No added dressing required.
This recipe serves 2.
- 1 T butter
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 1/4 C red onion
- 2 slices bacon
- Splash Pernod liqueur (around 2-3 T)
- juice from 1/2 lemon