Alicia’s Birthday Feast

A few days ago I asked Andrew if Alicia would like me to fix something special for her birthday dinner. “I’d like to be wowed,” she said. Clarification came in the form of “Branzino” (which is Italian for Sea Bass). The request was rounded out with “Grilled Asparagus” and then “Risotto.” You can tell the theme was Italian.

“Also,” Andrew added later, “gluten free carrot cake.”

The challenge was on. Rebekah researched, sourced, and then made the carrot cake. It turned out to be amazing. Then I pulled together some recipes for the main course.

I have to say, we pulled it off. I gave the risotto enough time (actually I prepared a risotto porcini) that when I added the heavy cream toward the end it was already amazingly smooth and delicious. Then I coated the asparagus with olive oil, sea salt, and a little pepper before roasting. Finally I seared the sea bass in the iron skillet and finished it off at 425 in the oven.

The finishing touch was the butter, minced garlic, lemon, and caper pan sauce I added to the bass after it was plated.

All told, a very wonderful celebration! – Derek


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