My food of choice is anything native to the Asian side of the Pacific Rim--exciting Indian curries, intricate Straits Chinese noodle dishes, Thai soups that ignite your palate, Sri Lanka's bountiful rice and curry meals, Hong Kong dim sum. But for comfort food, I go to the other extreme.
The one meal that I look forward to at the end of an Asian journey is as simple as can be. It's classic American steak and baked potato. The steak must be absolutely plain, but I'll allow a little salt and pepper. There must be butter with the potato to melt into the steaming center and smear onto the skin. And I'll have a plain vegetable, perhaps broccoli or asparagus, which tastes right only if I pick it up with antique English silver asparagus tongs. (It's funny how one becomes attached to certain cutlery as well as to food). The only acceptable beverage with this meal is red wine--a mellow Cabernet or Merlot that I've picked up while wine touring and laid away for just such an occasion.
BARBARA HANSEN'S COMFORT MENU Pan-Broiled Steak Baked Potato with butter Plain Broccoli A mellow California red wine such as Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon, San Antonio Merlot, Monterey Vineyards Classic Red