Friday, July 1, 2011

what I cooked for the holidays pt 2

Wow. I really have been putting off this particular blog entry. That's right, it's time to talk Christmas dinner. And I wonder why no one is interested in reading my blog.

I made a few things that I've discussed on here before. First, this amazing recipe for maple syrup lemon brussels sprouts with bacon, as first discussed here.

In the first picture, you'll also catch a glimpse of some carrots, which were simply steamed and dressed with lemon and olive oil. Standard.

I also made a variation on those olive oil glazed potatoes first written about way back in July.

Of course the main event was the prime rib, which we made using a Craig Claibourne recipe. It was predictably juicy meaty delicious, and the simple horseradish sour cream that went with it was tangy and delicious. Less successful was the yorkshire pudding.

Does that look like a god awful spongy mess or what? I don't know if I just didn't have the drippings hot enough when I poured in the batter or what, but this was just a weird greasy omelet. I won't rule out that the pudding wasn't just a victim of me trying to prepare one too many dishes, but I definitely would skip this next time around.

We also made Thomas Keller's creamed pearl onions, which were labor intensive but delicious, if a little over reduced. Luckily, even with a less than perfectly silky cream sauce, pearl onions with bacon and chives are still delicious.

Check out the close up for some nutmeg action.

For dessert I went super low key, in order to accommodate Matt's gluten free diet without pulling out too many bells and whistles. The Smitten Kitchen's wayyyyy-easier-than-pie
roasted pears
were a rustic yet elegant, easy yet delicious end to the meal.

Of course, when it comes to Christmas, you're there for the roast. Here's the recipe.

Prime Rib
(adapted from Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Cookbook, 1981, p. 165)

1 prime rib rib roast, ribs removed
¼ cup cold water
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Remove the roast from the refrigerator 2 ½ to 4 hours before cooking. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Place roast in an open shallow roasting pan, fat side up. Season with salt and pepper. Pour water around the meat. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
3. Reduce oven heat to 400 degrees and continue baking for 25 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes for rare beef, 30 minutes for medium rare beef, longer for well done. Carefully transfer the roast to a serving dish and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
4. Pour off all the fat from the roasting pan, but save about ½ cup for preparing Yorkshire pudding. Serve the beef sliced with Yorkshire pudding and grated horseradish or horseradish cream on the side, if desired.

Yorkshire Pudding
1 cup milk
⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 large eggs, about ¾ cup when measured
½ cup beef drippings

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Combine the milk and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Put the eggs in another bowl and beat until frothy. Ad this to the milk and stir.
3. Pour the beef drippings into a heat-proof baking dish and place on the stove over moderate heat. When quite hot and almost smoking, add the batter. Smooth it over with a rubber spatula. Place the pudding in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Turn the baking dish as the cooking proceeds for even cooking.

Horseradish Cream
½ cup freshly grated horseradish
¾ cup sour cream
salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients and serve.

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