Saturday, December 22, 2007

Birthday Dinner

So here's a little peek at what we had for lunch yesterday. It's our traditional steak au poivre with cognac cream sauce and french fries followed by a green salad.

The steaks are covered with crushed peppercorns.
They're pretty thick, and tied around the middle to hold their shape.

The meat is rumsteak. The cognac is actually armagnac. The cream is standard crème fraiche. :)

First the meat is marinated in pepper for an hour or two. Then it's seared in a hot pan and put to rest in a warm oven. While it's resting, the pan is de-glazed with the armagnac. Once that reduces a bit, add the cream and reduce some more. The steaks go back into the sauce to be served.

The finished steaks in the cream sauce.

This year we used green peppercorns. They have a very distinct flavor and it's a treat to use them on a steak au poivre.

Home made pumpkin pie for dessert! I grew the pumpkin myself.

That champagne glass down below is one that we got at the annual Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival back in 1994, when we actually lived in Sunnyvale, CA. My how time flies!

A sparkling Touraine Brut was consumed during the cooking process.

It was a great birthday feast! I can't wait to do it again next year.


  1. Belated happy birthday, Walt!
    I just love steak au poivre! A good tradition you have established!

    Claude from Blogging in Paris

  2. Bon Anniversaire, one day late!

  3. 1. "standard" creme fraiche
    2. homegrown pumpkin baked into a pie
    3. consumed during cooking process

    I'm *cryin'* here.

    many happy returns of a very good day.

  4. It's worth being a year older!

  5. When did you begin that tradition? Was it in Washington, D.C., or was it in California, or may be earlier?
    Seing the pictures, it's a tradition I'd like to observe biweekly.

  6. Happy Birthday and happy holidays to you and Ken!

    The steak au poivre is something I rarely eat but I know it can be great.


  7. Happy birthday! And happy christmas! And thanks for your reading and comments in '07. Best of luck and a happy new year to you and Ken.

  8. claude, sam, thanks bunches!

    purejuice, thanks! I wonder if you can get crème fraiche where you live? If not, heavy cream works just as well.

    claudia, that's for sure!

    chm, my first steak au poivre was on my birthday in 1981, in Nice. My second was in 1982, made for me by Ken in my Arlington apartment. We continued the tradition ever since.

    betty, thanks, and same to you and yours.

    bill, thanks and back atcha.

  9. Happy Belated Birthday dear Walt! Looks like your lunch was more than satisfactory. :) Just as a birthday lunch should be!


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