Anniversary Dinner

2 Nov

We are not actually celebrating our anniversary until next month, but we managed to celebrate with this menu on our actual anniversary:

Cheese plate, Rosemary Raisin Pecan crackers

I recall reading that the best cheese plate combines textures, countries of origin, and animal milk of origin (goat, sheep, cow).  For our anniversary cheese plate, we did a soft goat cheese with mint, a firm Spanish Manchego (sheep’s milk), and a semi-firm Mont Cabrer (goat’s milk) from Catalonia.  These Rosemary Raisin Pecan crackers are the same brand – different flavor – we used to coat Halibut in this recipe.

Sweet potato gnocchi with tarragon olive oil, Parmesan

For our second course, sweet potato gnocchi.  Follow the identical recipe used here to make traditional gnocchi, only use sweet potatoes instead (you can use fewer sweet potatoes – half of a large sweet potato per person).

You will likely use a bit more flour in making the sweet potato gnocchi, as they tend to retain more water.  Once you have formed your dough,

prepare your gnocchi by rolling them out and cutting them into pillow shapes. Keep them well-floured until you are ready to cook them in boiling water.

Once cooked, drain the gnocchi well.

In place of sauce, dress simply with a high quality olive oil (we used this Tarragon oil) and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Filet Mignon

There is no magic here.  The best filets, I think, are prepared simply, with salt and pepper, and grilled on high heat until the outside forms a crust and the inside is cooked to desired temperature.  If you do not have a pathological fear of butter, add a slab on top at the end as you are taking your filet off the heat.

Butter lettuce and grilled asparagus salad, warm crumbled cheese sauce

Dress asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I used a special black sea salt for drama.

Broil on hi heat until tender but firm.  In the meantime, place a few butter lettuce leaves on a plate.  (I love this hydroponic lettuce!)

In a sauce pan on medium heat, saute two whole garlic cloves in a tablespoon of olive oil.

Once the garlic is heated through (approximately 3 minutes), add a soft, creamy cheese of your choice.  I used Cow Cheese, as we call it, because I’m obsessed

but there are many (more sophisticated) choices and anything from goat cheese to cream cheese to a crumbly soft blue cheese would work.

Add a half cup or so of milk.  Season with salt, pepper, and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg.  Stir gently until cheese starts to fall apart.  Allow sauce to cook on medium low heat until it thickens to a dressing-like consistency.Place grilled asparagus over the lettuce.  Drizzle the cheese sauce over both.  Serve with filet.Happy Anniversary!

(Also, use the leftover gnocchi and the leftover cheese sauce for dinner the next night.  As you reheat the cheese sauce, add spinach.  Yum.)

6 Responses to “Anniversary Dinner”

  1. Fabianne November 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Wow Diz! You’re such a good chef!

  2. torcat November 2, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    I love how everything is pretty simple, yet sophisticated and quite creative! Well done Des! I need to start incorporating that laughing cow cheese into my meals 🙂

  3. mao November 3, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    Everything looks so pretty and sound so delicious!

    Yummy! May be Torey should introduce pastina with cow cheese to her baby? That would start a lifelong love affair!

  4. gingerwmn November 3, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Yum! And what stellar photos!

    P.S. I sent the Mona Simpson article around to 20 or so people- forgot to mention that when I saw you! It was fascinating and so sweet. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Diz November 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      Thanks! And isn’t that article amazing? She’s a great writer – and provides such an interesting insight into his life.

  5. arianne1220 November 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Hmm…never been a fan of potato gnocchi….but sweet potato gnocchi is a different story. I’ve got to try it some day!
    Great looking dinner!

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