We were barely 17 and were barely (salad) dressed…
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Nobody wants to think about their parents’ youthful sex lives (Ew! – Ed), let alone have this acted out at their 18th birthday party (Gross! – Ed), but that’s exactly how Paradise By The Dashboard Light is staged in Bat Out Of Hell, the Jim Steinman musical, loosely inspired by Peter Pan (and you can read more about the show in our Battenberg Out Of Hell post… and how about this Meatloaf recipe).
Like many of the songs in the show, Paradise By The Dashboard Light originates from Meatloaf’s 1977 Bat Out Of Hell album. Sung as a duet, a couple reminisce about car-based teen lust and the night it became clear that…
We’re gonna go all the way tonight!
A baseball commentator takes over, narrating the young couple’s fumblings as they progress to third base, before the girl interrupts proceedings…
Stop right there!
… to demand a promise of marriage from the boy before going any further, a requests he insists on sleeping on but inevitably gives into… but ultimately regrets!
I swore I would love you to the end of time…
So now I’m praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don’t think that I can really survive…
In the stage production, the song is performed by a warring middle-aged married couple, Falco (the show’s antagonist) and Sloane, at their mortified daughter’s 18th birtday party… and the number is an utter triumph, complete with car, baseball commentator and some rather lurid underwear – on top of the fact that the song itself is one of the all time Mealoaf classics… it’s worth the price of admisison alone!
If, after all that, you are in the mood to slide a slippery asparagus spear into an wobbly egg yolk… well, you’ve come to the right place!
I cooked this dish in its entirety in my steam oven, but you can easily use more conventional cooking methods! You might (not unreasonably) think that a steam oven is totally over the top for this – but it meant cooking everything in once place as opposed to using multiple pans and it also minimised the risk of over-cooking the eggs and asparagus.
One of the advantages of using the steam oven is that you can cook the eggs sous-vide, which are egg-cellent (although as no vacuum sealing is needed, this is technically just low temperature cooking). Cook the eggs in their shells at 64C for 35 minutes (alternatively, just poach your eggs the usual way, but do this at the last minute). I wrapped the salmon fillets in foil and cooked them next to the eggs (alternatively, 180C for 12 minutes in a fan oven would be just fine!).
When the eggs were ready, I kept them warm (important – do not keep them anywhere warmer than 64C or they will set… I keep them in a warming drawer at 60C, but in a bowl covered in a tea-towel would probably be fine until the asparagus are ready). I then cooked the trimmed asparagus in the steam oven at 81C for 10 minutes (steaming over a pan of boiling water for 7 mins works too!) with the jar of hollandaise sauce warming in the steam at the same time (you are of course welcome to make fresh hollandaise!) When cooked, melt a nob of butter over the asparagus and toss with a squeeze of lemon juice and some seasoning. When everything is ready, serve the salmon with the asparagus. Crack open the sous-vide eggs (or add the poached eggs) and a serving of the hollandaise, garnished with chopped chives…
It never felt so good, it never felt so right
And we were glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife.