In the blink of an eye, Ev and I have been married 4 years, and I can honestly say each day is better than the last. And while the past 6 months have certainly been a little different with Wes’ arrival, they are still each getting better and better, perhaps even more so. But that means we’ve had to change up how we celebrate special occasions, just like for our recent birthdays. So for our 4th anniversary we decided rather than going out to a fancy, expensive dinner, we’d make a fancy, expensive dinner.
Step One: plan the meal. The star had to be steak, because Texas. And the only place in my book to get a fancy, expensive steak is Salt & Time. As to what would go alongside, we tossed around a few ideas until Evelyn remembered an incredible Brussels Sprouts recipe we saw recently. No, not those same crispy Brussels Sprouts you see all over the place. We went bigger and better and bacon-er. And due to less time than usual (thanks to aforementioned Wes), we opted to pick up dessert to finish things off.
Step Two: wine. We chose a bottle we’ve been saving from our honeymoon in Argentina. To stand up to the steak we opened a 2008 red blend from Clos de los Siete in Mendoza. Turned out to be an excellent choice.
Step Three: cook!
The Brussels Sprouts required the most hands-on attention, so that’s where I started. Slab bacon from Salt & Time, diced into cubes. Then slice the Brussels Sprouts in half. Skewer it all up and make the bourbon glaze before grill/glaze/flip/repeat. After a few rotations they were sweet, charred, and bacon-y.
While the sprouts did their thing, I turned my attention to the steak — all 1.5 pounds of Wagyu Ribeye goodness. I followed America’s Test Kitchen’s instructions to reverse-sear the steak. Start it in a low oven until it comes up to just below the target temperature, and then drop it into a screaming hot cast iron skillet to finish. It’s actually pretty similar to sous vide but a little faster and with slightly less control. Anyway, check out this steak!
To go with the steak I tried my hand at a red wine mushroom pan sauce, but it just didn’t work. The flavor just wasn’t quite right, but the steak didn’t need it.
To finish off an amazing meal I picked up a giant cake made by a local baker Skull and Cakebones. This (vegan) beast is called the Mutha Fudga and it lives up to the name. So much chocolate. So much love.
It may not have been white tablecloths and jacket-required attire, but this was a hell of a way to celebrate four years. And I’m really into having an excuse to cook up a fancy, expensive meal. Here’s lookin’ at you, Valentine’s Day!
PS – Evelyn, I love you.