Today is my parent's 28th anniversary. Instead of wrestling with my mom to go out to a restaurant, I offered to cook dinner. It was relaxing to spend a day cooking a whole meal, complete with dessert and some bubbly. I started with a few recipes as a base, but added a few other ingredients to make it even more special.
Alton Brown's steak au poivre - Alton's recipe is a twist on the classic au poivre sauce, but in my book, you can't go wrong with cognac and cream. My family aren't such big pepper fans as I am, so I toned down the usual pepper crust on the meat. My additions were to add some ingredients from a tarragon sauce, which also uses cream and cognac, but lots of sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms and a dash of chicken stock. The result is a very rich and flavorful sauce that beats your bottled steak sauce any day.
Laura Calder's Savoy Cabbage in butter - To go along with the rich and creamy theme, I made a French Food at Home recipe. This was my first time using savoy cabbage, and it was a lot prettier than your normal cabbage. I shredded a whole cabbage, as if you were making cole slaw, and sauteed for about 8 minutes in 4 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper and voila!
David Lebovitz's panna cotta - My first attempt at panna cotta. I first had it a few years ago and it has been my go-to dessert whenever I can find it on a menu. I feel it might be taking over as the next molten lava chocolate cake, which although I love, can get a little boring after the umpteenth restaurant is serving it. David Lebovitz's recipe couldn't be any simpler, and within 4 hours chilling in the fridge, I had a soft, milky white pudding. I used half and half instead of the usual heavy cream and it came out tasting different than what I usually have in outside, making me think they use all heavy cream. But now that I have the basic recipe down, I can experiment with some amaretto and other flavors. So all in all, a successful cooking day, if I do say so myself!