Christmas Eve 2015…..
Picture this……Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …Yuletide carols playing softly in the background, Big giant snowflakes glistening in the moonlight as they drift onto mounds of new fallen snow.
Ok…well, that is not actually happening here in Florida! There are Yuletide carols….and there is a fire crackling in our fireplace….but no giant snowflakes or chestnuts roasting.
But it is Christmas Eve and I have planned a special, intimate dinner for the Captain and Me.
This is the Menu:
I will start with the Prime Rib…..Ahhhhhh yessssss….my most favorite part of the beef! I went to the butcher shop and ordered the boneless Prime Rib Roast last week. Yes, it can be expensive. (Believe me when I say, I miss living on the ranch in New Mexico and butchering our own beef and having any cut of meat handy in my freezer.)
I bought a prime rib roast which weighed about 4 pounds
And I let it set out for about 1 hour at room temperature.
I made up a rub of tri-color peppercorns that I put in a plastic bag and coarsely crushed and added kosher salt, fresh rosemary leaves, and fresh minced garlic.
Before I added the rub to the roast, I browned it in a bit of olive oil.
Then I placed the browned prime rib roast on a rack and coated the roast with the rub …..oh, the smell of garlic and fresh rosemary….Yummy! ….and into a 500 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Be sure to use a meat thermometer if you want rare to medium rare, (125-130 degrees) which is the way the Captain and I prefer our prime rib. If you prefer your meat medium….a thermometer assures you of the right amount of done-ness. You will most likely want your beef at 160-165 degrees.
Yep! this prime rib is perfectly done for us. 😉
The hasselback potatoes are so easy. Slice 1/4 inch slices all along the potato being careful to stop cutting before you reach the bottom of your potato. Just place your washed potato between two wooden spoons or between chop sticks if you are afraid you might cut clean through the potato.
At this point, you can fill every other slice with a thin slice of cold butter, alternating with your favorite cheese (see Baked Potato Fans with Garlic, Bacon & Cheese for another variation of the hasselback potato) OR you can coat the potato with butter, chives and a little olive oil as I did, baste and pop in a very hot oven for about 1 hour or until the potato is done.
Top with chopped chives if desired.
Rare Prime rib is so flavorful and cuts like butter….soooooo good! Let the prime rib rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with the natural juices (au jus) or the Horseradish Cream Sauce Recipe below.
The Brule’ pears are so simple and the flavor is amazing. The above sauce pan has a bit of sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla seeds and dry white wine. Just bring the mixture to a boil and turn down the flame to allow the liquid to simmer.
Meanwhile, prepare your pears. You can use any kind of pear….I used Bartlett Pears.
Peel and slice in half leaving a stem intact (just for prettiness)
Remove the core and place the pears in a simmering saucepan.
I allowed the pears to simmer until I could pierce the pear with the tip of a sharp knife.
Drain the pears and add a sprinkling of brown sugar.
I then used my cream brule’ torch to melt the sugar on each pear. This only takes a few seconds. If you do not have a torch, you can place the pears under a broiler for a few seconds.
For the Wedge Salad, I fried bacon in the same cast iron pan that I browned the prime rib….I then cut the washed lettuce in wedges and added chopped tomatoes, red onion and bacon halves.
Drizzle bleu cheese dressing over the top and you have a very simple to prepare salad.
All of these recipes are in a handy dandy printable form below.
Since this post is a bit long….I will post the Tiramisu and Egg Nog recipe in tomorrow’s post!
Blessings and Merry Christmas to one and all of you my dear readers, and I hope your Christmas is everything you hope it will be.
- 1 bone-less prime rib roast, (mine was about 4 pounds)
- 1/4 cup tricolor peppercorns (I like to crush my peppercorns, they are so pretty)
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup minced garlic
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, (remove the leaves)
- 1 cup of beef broth
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 fresh squeezed lemon
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- Allow the meat to sit at room temperature for at least an hour.
- Brown the prime rib roast on all sides in a cast iron (or heavy) skillet or dutch oven in a few tablespoons of olive oil. (Make sure the oil is hot before placing the prime rib in the oil, you want a nice golden brown color to the meat)
- While the meat is browning, crush the peppercorns by placing in a plastic bag and mashing with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
- In a small bowl, add the peppercorns, the salt, garlic and rosemary and stir to mix.
- Remove the browned prime rib to a rack over your roasting pan and let sit a bit to be able to pat on the peppercorn seasoning.
- Add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce to the bottom of the roaster pan.
- Pat the peppercorn seasoning over the top and bottom of the roast and place in a preheated 500 degree oven
- Roast for 30 minutes on the high heat, check temp with a meat thermometer and then reduce the heat to 300 degrees
- If you like your meat rare to medium rare, (like the Captain and Me)...remove the roast when the thermometer registers *125 degrees.....about 10-15 minutes more
- Remove the prime rib from the oven at the desired temperature and Tent with foil and allow to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing.
- Drain the drippings and broth from the roasting pan into a sauce pan (you should deglaze the pan first by adding a bit of water or more broth, if there are browned bits on the bottom of the roaster...just use a wooden spoon to stir over a medium heat until everything is removed and incorporated into the liquid)
- You could use the roaster to make the jus (broth) but the large pan can be bulky to handle. I like to use another sauce pan.
- Allow the liquid to cook and simmer for about 5 minutes and then pour into a gravy boat. If there is fat on the top, just skim it off before serving.
- Serve with the au jus and/or horseradish sauce.
- Mix all ingredients together and chill before serving
- *Remember that the meat will continue to cook a bit after you remove it from the oven.
- **This will allow you to serve guests with different preferences. The outer slices of prime rib will be cooked medium, but the inner slices will be rare.
- ***I prefer to NOT overcook the meat because there isn't much you can do with meat that is well done....however, you can place a slice of prime rib in a cast iron skillet to "cook just a bit more" if your meat is too rare.
- 4 Idaho baking potatoes
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped chives
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- You can add 8 ...1 inch squares of cold butter and your choice of cheese if desired to place in the slit intervals
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and wash and prepare potatoes for baking
- Cut slits at 1/4 inch intervals along the potato, being careful not to slice through to the bottom of the potato (leave about 1/4 inch at the bottom unsliced)
- Prepare the remaining potatoes in the same way
- (If you are concerned about slicing through the potato, place the potato between two wooden spoons or chopsticks)
- Stir together the softened butter, olive oil, chives and some salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- If desired, you can Insert a few slices of cold butter into the slits (you be the judge on the amount) along with the cheese if desired.
- Place the potatoes in a baking dish and brush with the softened butter mixture before placing in the oven for about 1 hour or until crispy and done.
- You can't make any mistakes in this potato...unless you cut through completely and if you do...make your potato "slices" instead of being held together. 🙂
- *4 small, firm pears, peeled and halved (I used Bartlett Pears)
- 1 cup dry white wine, such as Chablis
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Fresh vanilla from a vanilla bean....(or you can use a teaspoon of pure vanilla)
- 4 teaspoons light brown sugar
- After peeling the pears, half them, being careful to keep the stem intact if possible....just for a pretty presentation.
- Place the pears, white wine, sugar, cinnamon stick and vanilla "seeds" in a medium sauce pan with enough water to cover the pears
- Simmer over medium-heat and then reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 15 minutes or until pears are easily pierced with a knife
- Drain the pears, discarding the liquid
- Transfer the pears, cut sides up, to a heat-safe baking dish, and pat the tops dry and sprinkle with the brown sugar
- Use a cream brule' torch to caramelize the sugar, or place the pears under the broiler preheated to high until the sugar is browned and melted
- *Any pear will work....I have used any pear that is in season. I also prefer the vanilla bean "seeds" scraped from the inside of the vanilla bean, but the choice is yours.
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce
- 4 slices of crisp bacon
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped red onion
- chopped green scallions
- Bleu Cheese Dressing or dressing of your choice
- Wash and core lettuce
- Slice in half and then in half again (wedges)
- Place the wedges on salad plates and top with your choice of toppings
- Add a strip of cooked bacon (halved) on each wedge and drizzle dressing over the top.
- You may add any salad ingredient of your choice....now how easy is that? I like to put little "piles" of ingredients all around the lettuce wedge for presentation.