Saturday, February 26, 2011

Anniversary Meal


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.

Main Course/Side:
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!


  1. Looks awesome! You're making me so hungry though and there's no food in the apt. Add steak au poivre to the list of foods to eat in Paris =)

  2. Hehe, thanks! Yes, steak of some kind must be added to the list - I just read something about the differences in how much they cook their meat that should be interesting... more later!