Simple anniversary dinner menu.

My cousin Matt had given us an oyster knife which we had yet to use. I’m insistent that we actually use every single gift (unlike many I know) and I thought the anniversary was a good occasion.

Everyone here delivers everything so I ordered up some New Zealand oysters. Then I set up a little shucking station on the bar, including an iPad with a YouTube shucking demo and my MIL’s beautiful deviled egg plate (I thought the oysters were going to be smaller!)

The idea was that the Mr. could shuck away while I finished the filet.


The menu was quite simple: oysters with mignonette sauce, steamed broccoli with dijon mustard, carrots with herbs, filet with a shallot balsamic reduction.

This is an insanely easy menu to execute:

1. Early in the day: Make the mignonette sauce. Finely mince one or two shallots and add to a bowl with red vinegar to macerate together for a few hours.

2. Also earlier in the day: Make the shallot reduction sauce. Usually shallots come in bulk in a little mesh bag, so take all of the other shallots and rather than mincing them, simply slice them thinly. Add a half stick of butter to a small saucepan and melt until it is slightly brown. Add the shallots and cook for 15 minutes or until they start to brown as well. Add a tablespoon of brown sugar. Cook a few more minutes. Add two tablespoons of nice balsamic vinegar. Cook a few more minutes until the liquid is reduced and shut off the burner.

3. 1.5 hours before you want to eat: Heat over to 350 degrees. Peel and slice carrots. Mix with olive oil and mixed herbs and bake for an hour to an hour and a half… depending on whenever you’re ready to eat. If you want to do baked potatoes as well, poke them with a fork, rub with olive oil and add to the oven with the carrots. Or you can opt for a nice loaf of bread!

4. Place a steamer in a small saucepan and add water. Simmer.

5. Pop the champagne and enjoy your oysters!

6. When you’re ready to eat, simply heat a large All Clad pan to hot (when you sprinkle water on the pan it sizzles). Add the broccoli to the steaming water. Sprinkle the filets with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Add filets to the pan and cook each side until nice and brown. If you want it medium rare you can plate it now, but if you want it a little more well done, slip it into the oven with the carrots for a few more minutes.

7. Plate all and enjoy!

Shopping list:

  • Oysters
  • Shallots
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Broccoli
  • Nice quality Dijon mustard
  • Carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs (Mixed Italian or French or whatever you have.)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Two filets
  • Baking potato or bread

For desert, I wanted to make my Great, Great, Aunt Gladys’s carrot cake recipe because it’s Nick’s favorite. My Aunt Amy who passed on the recipe to me actually made this cake for our wedding.

Now normally all these engagement / wedding photos together would be so over the top, but I figured since nothing has been hung up I might as well make a little montage for tonight.

The powdered sugar I bought here was rock hard (must be the humidity). It was frozen together into little pellets… but given that I had already baked the cakes, I had no choice but to just make the frosting. It looked terrible, but tasted amazing. It feels great to have the whole kitchen really set up, although it did involve literally running to the grocery store and schelping the groceries back a mile up hill.We drank Dona Paula malbec, which has special meaning for us. The Mr. brought the above bottle over for dinner the first time we ate together and I must have had a premonition that things would work out because I saved the bottle (above) along with the napkin ring I had made to catch drips! We also served this wine at our wedding so we drank that as well tonight. Let me know if you want the carrot cake recipe. It really is phenomenal! Crushed pineapples are the secret.

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6 responses to “Simple anniversary dinner menu.

  1. Happy Anniversary, and Hello from Zurich! I found your blog through your MIL – I’m so impressed that you had oysters! Or that you plowed through and made the frosting with faulty powdered sugar – you are my hero. Baking here in Europe has been a series of flops for me, so I’m now easily discouraged about the whole mess.

    Maybe now I’ll try again.

    Thanks for blogging!

  2. I found you via your MIL. What a beautiful blog!
    Please do share the carrot cake recipe–I think I need to make one immediately.

  3. Carrot cake recipe! Sweet post, sweetie 🙂

  4. Pingback: Carrot cake to kill for. | Hong Kong Housewife

  5. How romantic! I can’t believe you saved the bottle. You’re amazing.

  6. Love that china . . . and the fact that you are actually using it! Did you bring your china to Hong Kong? Are you sure you’re not from the South?

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