Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Dinner 2009

This year we decided-- sort of by circumstance and sort of by choice -- to be just us for Christmas dinner.
None the less, I like to make holidays feel special. Somewhere I hit on the idea that this was the year for prime rib. Never mind that it was only the two of us I still got a 3 bone roast to make sure each dog had a little Christmas too.
Admittedly James is not such a big meat eater. He'd just as soon have spaghetti with a little meat sauce as a thick steak and always chooses the tender filet over the hard core carnivore chewier but more flavorful cuts. One thing the big man does love is horseradish . . . in cocktail sauce, in butter on steamed clams, in a savory butter for meats. So based on a recipe from John Besh I mixed up an herb flavored butter and rubbed it over the fat the of the roast.
On the side I did a simple yukon gold mashed potatoes (with plenty of cream and butter -- it's a holiday after all). Simple luxury -- I peeled about 5 small yukon golds and cut then into about 2 inch pieces, put the prepared potatoes in a pot covered with salted cold water and brought them to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes until they could be easily pierced with a knife. The drained potatoes went briefly back in the pot to dry and then into the bowl of my electric mixer with a good amount or warm cream -- I actually boiled the cream down a bit and then melted the butter in it for extra richness. A few turns of the mixer and our super smooth creamy potatoes (the heated cream makes all the difference) were ready to serve. For our second side I shredded brussels sprouts on my mandolin, heated a bit of olive oil and cooked some slab bacon lardons over medium heat with a hefty dose of cracked pepper until just heated through and a good bit of fat was rendered out (about 10 minutes) added the shredded sprouts and cooked through -- about 7 minutes more. We like our sprouts with a bit of crunch. Lastly, following another John Besh recipe, a "ragout" of root vegetables and chestnuts which called for boiling each vegetable separately and then combining the just cooked vegetables in a quick sauce of olive oil, butter, onions and stock. Overall I'd say I'll stick with roasting my root vegetables but it was a nice counterpoint to the creamy potatoes.
One of my Christmas morning presents was Mark Peel's "New Classic Family Style Dinners", while flipping through the pages I added a bit of English Christmas to our dinner -- Yorkshire Pudding, a puffy crispy dough baked in heated fat from the roast. Stay tuned for more recipes from my host of Christmas cookbook presents.

No comments:

Post a Comment