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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Perfect Prime Rib

Perfect Prime Rib

I chose to prepare a standing rib roast for our Christmas Eve dinner this year. It is a classic holiday dish that takes a total of 5 minutes to prepare (excluding roasting time). It was the perfect choice simply because it turned out perfect.

Standing Rib Roast, right out of the oven

Standing Rib Roast
Adapted from Food Network
Serves 4
  • 1 2-rib (about 5 lbs) standing rib roast (see step 1)
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/8 cup black pepper
  • 1/8 cup garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste, for gravy
  1. Call the butcher ahead of time and order your standing rib roast. 1 rib feeds about 2 people with about 10-12oz of prime rib each. I would get a 2-rib roast that is about 5 pounds for 4 people. The butcher will probably ask if you want USDA Choice or USDA Prime. USDA prime easily costs 50% to 100% more, but is much more marbled (more fat) and will taste more tender. However, the USDA Choice is just fine, in my opinion, and I used it here. Ask them to prepare it by cutting the bones away from the meat and then tying them back with a kitchen string. If they don't know how, see Simply Recipes for a photo explanation. This is to facilitate the carving of the rib roast later on.
  2. Let your rib roast stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F. Rub roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place roast on a rack in the pan with the rib side down and the fatty side up. Roast for 1 hour.
  4. Turn off oven. Leave roast in oven for 2 hours without opening oven door. Turn the oven back to 375F and roast for 30 minutes to reheat. Do not open oven door until the roast is done. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
  5. While the roast is resting, pour the juice from pan into a small saucepan. Heat over medium high heat. Add flour and stir until gravy is smooth. Add 1 cup of beef stock and whisk to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Slice prime rib and serve with gravy on top or on the side. I also prepared sweet potatoes and mac and cheese sides. It really was just perfect.

Friday, December 23, 2011

For the Hungry Family: Christmas Flank

So I didn't really make this for a family get-together or a party of some sort. I tend to make classic/traditional dishes in those settings. This ended up being a nice fun dinner on a random weeknight, along with a bottle of wine. It tasted so juicy and so flavorful, though, that I just had to share with you to try for the holidays. Merry Christmas!!

Christmas Flank
Prep and marinate the flank steak about 2-4 hours before dinner, then simply bake for 30 minutes in the evening before serving.

Christmas Flank
from Simply Recipes

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp of coarse black pepper
Flank Steak:
  • 1 flank steak, about 1 1/4lb, butterflied
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 6 to 8 thin slices of prosciutto
  • 24 medium sized fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch watercress for garnish (optional)
  • kitchen string
  1. To butterfly the steak, orient it first so that the meat grain is running up and down in front of you. Use a long, sharp knife to cut the meat in half, cutting from the side, and going almost all the way across, leaving 1-inch at the edge uncut (the hinge). The butterfly hinge should be in the same direction as the grain of the meat. Open the flaps of steak. You can even out the middle if you want so that the center is not as thick.
  2. Assemble the marinade and marinate the steak for 2 hours.
  3. Boil halved peppers until skin is black. Remove skin.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. Place steak on a long piece of aluminum foil or wax paper, save marinade. Cover steak with red pepper, sprinkle 1 tbsp of parsley, cover with prosciutto slices, cover with basil leaves, sprinkle with cheese and the remaining parsley and pepper.
  5. Roll meat up from the bottom like a jellyroll. Tie in 2-3 inch intervals with kitchen string. Place in shallow baking dish, pour marinade over top. Bake for 30 minutes, basting twice. Let rest 15 minutes before serving. Cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick slices, garnish with watercress.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Return of the Halal Cart: Chicken & Rice

Chicken and Rice, Halal Cart Style
Many Christmases ago on a chilly winter night, I patiently waited on the corner of 53rd and 6th in Midtown Manhattan. Staring ahead, I saw our line wrapped around the block, all waiting to order "chicken and rice" from probably the most famous Halal cart in New York. The man in front of me nodded at me knowingly, "make sure you ask for both sauces." I did. It tasted amazing. Maybe it had more to do with the cold and the midnight hunger than anything else, but nevertheless, it was a street food I remembered.

For those of you that know what I am talking about (and for those of you that don't), it's time to bring back the delicious chicken and rice!

Chicken and Rice, Halal Cart Style
Adapted from Serious Eats
Serves 4-6 (or 2-4 if it's been too long since you've had it)
For the Chicken
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
For the Rice
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp of chili powder
  • 1.5 cups of basmati rice
  • 2.5 cups of chicken broth
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (plain)
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Combine lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic and olive oil in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season marinade to taste with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a 1-gallon ziplock bag and add half of the marinade. Marinate chicken in fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours (it will get soggy if it's over 4 hours).
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry and season with kosher salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces to skillet to brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until cooked through. Transfer to cutting board and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Melt butter in a large dutch oven and add chili powder and turmeric powder to cook for one minute. Toast rice in dutch oven for 4 minutes until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
  4. Chop chicken pieces into 1-2 inch cubes. Place them in a bowl along with remaining marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  5. Add chicken broth to dutch  oven and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer on medium low heat, covered, for 15 minutes without disturbing. Remove from heat and let it stand for 15 minutes (covered).
  6. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat original chicken pan over medium heat and add chicken pieces to heat for a few minutes.
  8. Serve chicken pieces over rice, with white sauce drizzled on top. Add tabasco for spice. Can also serve with sliced iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and pita bread.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

José Andrés: Tapas @ The Bazaar

Tapas dinner at The Bazaar by Chef José Andrés. This is where you would experience molecular gastronomy where each dish combines both traditional and modern techniques. Every bite reminded me of something I've had before, but the presentation and ingredients in each dish were unique and creative. I loved the atmosphere and the overall experience, especially when we were escorted to the dessert lounge for a separate dessert dinner.

Here are the tapas and desserts we sampled: (not in order of the photos)
  • Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks California Citrus
  • Organized Caesar, Quail Egg, Parmesan
  • Apple and Fennel, Manchego Cheese, Walnuts, Sherry Vinegar
  • Japanese Taco, Grilled Eel, Shiso, Cucumber, Wasabi, Chicharron
  • Smoked Yellowtail and Crispy Rice, Yoghurt, Grapes, Capers, Radish
  • Market Fish Ceviche and Avocado Roll, Jicama, Micro Cilantro, Coconut
  • Bagel and Lox Cone
  • Cotton Candy Duck Liver
  • Tortillas de Patatas "new way", Potato Foam, Egg 63, Caramelized Onions
  • Lemon Artichokes, Black Olive Tapenade, Dandelion
  • Your Life Will Change Dashi Linguine, Parmesan, Quail Egg, Basil
  • Philly Cheesesteak, Air Bread, Cheddar, Wagyu Beef
  • Oxtail, Watermelon radish, Cilantro, Steamed Buns
  • Hot Chocolate Mousse, Pear Sorbet and Salty Hazelnut Praline
  • Square Cupcakes