Being that we moved into a house just one week before our first wedding anniversary, as much as I love dining out, I felt like it would be a great housewarming experience to celebrate with dinner cooked in our new home. In order for that to happen, I had to make sure everything in the kitchen was unpacked (I can’t work in clutter with boxes all over the place!), so the week leading up to our anniversary on April 27 was a little stressful. And, actually, Cassie had an event to attend on April 27, so we essentially celebrated on the 26th.
The first order of business was to obtain some nice decorative flowers as a centerpiece to our dining room table. This was a no-brainer. I called Kara from Anthology Studio (which you’ll recall links back to our wedding day), and she delivered us a beautiful arrangement.
The bulk of my work was to put together a nice dinner for the two of us. The theme I chose was “surf and turf”, and I wanted something classic and in my wheelhouse.
For the surf portion of the meal, I prepared lobster risotto.
From the two steamed lobsters I purchased from my local market, I extracted the meat then used the shells to create a delicious lobster stock. That’s what I used in cooking the risotto.
To make the risotto, I followed the classic technique, of course finishing with plenty of good butter and Parmigianno Reggiano and then folding in the lobster meat to warm it through.
While I started on the sides to the main course, I put together a simple salad with spring mix, Texas toast croutons, and raspberry balsamic vinaigrette.
As the main course, I picked up a couple of beautiful filet mignon steaks from Falvo’s Meat Market. Those were started on cast iron and finished in a hot oven and with lots of butter. On the side, we had some roasted potatoes and asparagus.
We washed it all down with some Pellegrino and another bubbly beverage.
We were pretty full, but I had a pretty awesome dessert “insurance policy” planned.
I brushed by the fact that the wedding cake we had (mainly just for the cutting ceremony and for show) was pretty terrible. We went through the hassle of keeping the top preserved in the freezer to cut on our first anniversary for good luck. But since we weren’t celebrating on the actual anniversary, I thought it would be a great idea to get a fresh cake. We have cake shops out the yin-yang around here, but I thought of something outside of the box, so to speak.
I reached out to my buddy, Chef Giovanni Morina of Gio Culinary Studio, to see if he’d put together a delicious cake for us. After all, he’s been featured on Food Network Challenge for his cakes. He’s transitioned away from making cakes and now focuses on teaching outstanding cooking classes, but he did me a favor.
He made us a cake with multiple layers of vanilla buttermilk pound cake, French butter cream and chocolate ganache inside, and a thick layer of Italian butter cream outside (there was a hint of citrus in there somewhere, too). It was absolutely amazing; the quality of the ingredients that went into the cake were obvious. We enjoyed it very much (for a number of days after).
And, in an odd turn of events, when we did serve up the one-year-old, previously-frozen cake topper the next day, the laws of physics were defied.
Although it looked like hell (because I dropped the ball on wrapping it correctly. Oopsie daisy!), not only was the cake topper completely edible, but, aside from a bit of a dry texture, it was actually quite tasty. So, recapping, on (presumably) day one, the wedding cake was terrible, but a one year stint in a freezer enhanced the flavor. [I can’t figure it out!]
The first year of being married was pretty great, and the meal capping off the first year (yes, even up through the dried out frozen cake) was delicious, and that’s really all I can ask for.