This was our Christmas Eve dinner, but it would also make a lovely Sunday dinner or a great New Years Eve dinner. It is so much easier than many people think.
When buying your rib roast, look for choice or prime meat. You really need good quality meat for this. Buy one rib bone per person, or if you want leftover for prime rib sandwiches, then buy a little extra. I was only serving 2, so I got a three rib roast. Adjust your seasonings for a larger roast.
Standing Rib Roast
A large hand full of fresh rosemary (about 1/2 cup after you strip the leaves from the stems
Blend all together in a mortar and pestle or food processor to form a thick paste. Cover the entire roast with it and allow it to sit for one hour, placing the onions on the bottom of the roast in the roasting pan. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Pour the wine and stock in the bottom of the roasting pan
Once the oven has reached 500 and the roast is at room temperature put the roast in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325. Check the temperature of the the roast every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven when it reaches and interior temperature of 110-120, higher if you do not like rare roast, but not too high, never more than 130.
Put foil over the roast and let it rest.
Strain off the fat and juices.
*Note: You can make a lovely sauce with fresh horseradish and cream or sour cream… easy peasy.
Meanwhile. make the Yorkshire pudding. This part must be served straight out of the oven, so have everything else ready.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pan drippings from roast prime rib of beef
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. (it should only take a few minutes since you just took the roast out)
Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until light and foamy.
Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.
Pour the drippings into a 9-inch pie pan, cast iron skillet, or square baking dish. Put the pan in oven and get the drippings smoking hot.
Carefully take the pan out of the oven and pour in the batter. Put the pan back in oven and cook until puffed and dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately, it will deflate slightly like a souffle.
Peach Season is here! Nothing can compare to peaches grown in South Carolina and Georgia and this is the time of year when they are at their peak. Beautiful soft orbs of sweet juicy fruit, which are naturally bright and beautiful can be utilized in many ways. I grill them, make chutney, jam them, eat in hand, freeze at least 20# to use for winter and of course make peach pies among other things. This pie is one of my favorites, the other style is a glazed peach pie, which I will be making soon. This one is so easy and delicious.
Carolina Peach Pie
1 recipe of pie dough for a double crust pie
10-12 large ripe peaches
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup of sugar
5 grinds of TSTE Baker’s Secret (cocoa nibs, vanilla turbinado sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup granules, ginger, nutmeg)
Make an x in the bottom of the peaches, dunk in boiling water for 5 seconds and immediately plunge into ice water. Using a paring knife, pull off the skins. Cut the peaches into bite size pieces and layer with lemon juice sugar as you cut. When all of the peaches are sliced, stir and let sit for 10 minutes while you roll out the crust.
Using a spoon, pour off excess juice. Stir in the flour and Baker’s Secret.
Pile the peaches into the bottom crust so that the peaches are mounded high.
Add slivers of butter all around the peaches.
Put the top crust on.
Brush on the egg wash, covering the whole top crust
Sprinkle with Coconut Sugar
Make 3 slits in the top of the pie for steam to escape
Place on a foil lined cookie sheet
Make a cuff of foil to go around the edge of the pie (this prevents burning)and put into the oven on the center rack.
After the pie has baked for 30 minutes at 400, reduce the heat to 350 and bake another 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden. Remove and cool. Allow the pie to rest for at least 40 minutes before slicing.
Big Daddy makes a few cooking attempts to ease my busy schedule. Last night he hit a homerun. Pho (pronounced FA), the simple (yet complex) Vietnamese Street food charmed him when we lived in Hawaii. He is not one for exotic flavors, so this surprised me a bit. Since then we have been to several restaurants here in Charleston that serve Pho. He decided to make it and it was an astounding winner. We paired it with a Belgian Ale and that was a fantastic match too. We had some leftover rare beef (tri-tip) so he froze it and sliced it thinly. I usually ask for my meat on the side when ordering Pho in restaurants, I don’t like it over cooked. We have enough broth for at least two more meals.
4 quarts beef stock (homemade is best)
1 large onion, sliced into rings
6 slices fresh ginger root or galangal if you can get it
2 small stalks of fresh lemon grass tied in a knot
In a large soup pot, combine broth, onion, ginger, lemon grass, star anise, cinnamon, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.
Arrange bean sprouts, mint, basil, and cilantro on a platter with chilies and lime.
Soak the noodles in hot water to cover for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain. Place equal portions of noodles into large soup bowls, and place raw beef on top. Ladle hot broth over noodles and top with beef. Pass garnishes and sauces.
This recipe is so good that I revisit it every few months. It makes a great centerpiece for a dinner party and the leftovers are better than the first night’s meal. The noodles are difficult to find, but I get them on Amazon.com, buying 6 bags at a time.
Greek Lasagna Pastitsio
When teaching others to make this dish, I have often joked that the word pastitsio (pa-STEE-tsee-oh) translates to “messy kitchen” in Greek. I was only kidding, but there is a hint of truth to that statement. The Greek word pastitsio derives from the Italian pasticcio, which loosely translates to a mess or a hodgepodge.
Three essential components make up this dish – pasta, meat filling, and a creamy bechamel sauce which are layered in a pan and baked to a golden brown. Each stage will require dirtying some pots and pans, but I think you will agree that the end result is well worth the clean up!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lbs. ground lamb
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 14 oz. can tomato puree or sauce
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (or Kefalotyri if available)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tbsp. breadcrumbs plus 1/2 cup for topping if desired
1 pkg. #2 Macaroni for Pastitsio (500g)- available at Greek or ethnic groceries.
4 egg whites (reserve the yolks for bechamel sauce)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
For the bechamel sauce:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 quart milk, warmed
8 egg yolks, beaten lightly
1/2 of a whole nutmeg, ground
This recipe will yield about 24 servings depending upon the size of your pieces. I use a lasagna pan that is 9 x 13 x 3 inches deep.
Begin with the Meat Filling:
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add ground lamb and cook over medium-high heat until pink color disappears, about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until they are translucent, about 5 minutes more.
Add wine, tomato sauce, parsley, allspice, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and allow sauce to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. While sauce is simmering put water on to boil for pasta.
Cook pasta noodles according to package directions and drain well. Rinse noodles in colander under cold water to cool them slightly.
Stir in 3 tbsp. breadcrumbs to meat sauce to absorb excess liquid and remove from heat.
Melt 1/2 cup butter in pasta pot and return cooked noodles to the pot. Stir in beaten egg whites and 1 cup of grated cheese and toss lightly, being careful not to break the noodles.
Brush the bottom and sides of the lasagna pan with olive oil. Layer the bottom with half the pasta noodles and press down so that they are somewhat flat.
Add the meat filling in an even layer to the pasta. Top with remaining pasta noodles and flatten top layer as best you can.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees while you prepare the bechamel sauce.
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Using a whisk, add flour to melted butter whisking continuously to make a smooth paste or roux. Allow the flour/butter mixture to cook for a minute but do not allow it to brown.
Add warmed milk to mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously. Simmer over low heat until it thickens but does not boil.
Remove from heat and stir in beaten egg yolks. Add pinch of nutmeg. If sauce still needs to thicken, return to heat and cook over very low heat while continuing to stir.
Bechamel is thicker than gravy but not quite as thick as pudding. It should be somewhere in between. One way to tell if it is thick enough is to dip your wooden spoon in the sauce and draw your finger across the back of the spoon. If the sauce holds a visible line then it is thick enough.
Pour the bechamel over the pasta noodles making sure to pour sauce down in to the corners as well. I even pull back th sides of the pasta to let some go down the sides. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs if desired. Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the top is a nice golden color.
This fabulous recipe was inspired by the book The Latin Road Home by Jose Garces. The book explores the cuisines of Ecuador, Spain, Cuba and Mexico. This is one of the best cookbooks I have picked up in a while. In this recipe, I used fresh corn, but good frozen corn would work too. I also added some seasonings and chiles to the recipe. I make my own achiote paste, but you can buy it in Hispanic or Asian markets. Quinoa is an amazing chenopod, full of protein and fiber.
Crema de Quinoa de Zuleta; Quinoa Chowder with Sweet Corn
2 cups Canola Oil for frying
2 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into match sticks or cut on a spiral cutter