Sunday, April 25, 2010 – Daria’s Prime Rib Roast

April 28, 2010

Melt in you mouth prime rib roast

Our local grocery store, Publix, had an amazing sale on beef rib roast, so I bought a small 2 rib roast.  It weighed just a smidge under 4 pounds, which is still too much for 3 people, but just think of the fabulous leftovers.  I’m already making my sister Lyta’s  French dips out of the leftovers while I write this.  Anyway, back to the rib roast. 

My sister-in-law, Daria is famous for her annual Christmas standing rib roast.  She makes it with all the classic sides, including Yorkshire  pudding.  So, having never prepared this cut of meat before, I put in a 911 call to Daria on Saturday night.  Drats!  No answer.  So I went online and found a myriad of methods.  I was overwhelmed and I got a little worried.  10:30 pm and the phone rings – Yay!  It’s Daria.  She was in bed exhausted from a long weekend of wedding celebrations.  They had attended the wedding of the daughter of some dear friends and had traveled beyond the neighborhood.  They were glad to be home and eagerly hopped into bed as soon as they could get their jammies on.  Daria and Dan (my husband’s brother) and she were listening to messages and heard my SOS.  

medium rare prime rib that cuts like butter

I did the roast her way.  325 degrees F until the roast reaches the desired temperature.  For medium rare, you want 120 degrees F.  That might sound a bit low, but while the roast is resting (draped in tin foil), the temperature will rise about 20 degrees.  Daria said to score the fat cap in diagonal cuts to allow the seasonings to penetrate and to make it look pretty when it comes out of the oven.  That’s what I did and I made a rub out of smashed garlic, Dijon mustard, finely chopped rosemary and salt and pepper.  I massaged this wet rub into the cuts in the top of the roast, but also rubbed the rest of the roast as well.  I didn’t have a proper rack for the roasting pan I was using, so I rough chopped an onion and spread it on the bottom of the roaster.  I set the rib roast on top of the onions which acted as a rack.  I poured a little beef stock in the bottom and roasted it uncovered at 325 degrees F for about 2 hours.  I checked the meat temperature frequently to make sure I didn’t over cook it.  It came out perfectly!  It was gorgeous and the flavor was unbelievable!  Just excellent.  I will make this again and again.

Martha's Rhubarb Custard

For Dessert, I made individual ramekins of rhubarb custard, warm from the oven with a bit of vanilla ice cream on top.  I found the recipe in the May issue of the Martha Stewart Magazine.  I followed her recipe exactly and it came out as beautiful as it was pictured in her magazine and so delicious it was ridiculous.  For those of you who read regularly, you know I’m not much of a baker or dessert maker, but let me tell you, this recipe was so simple, so straight forward and so delicious.  If I can make it come out, anyone can make this fabulous dessert.


Sunday, April 11, 2010 – Orange Glazed Ham

April 17, 2010

Orange Glazed Ham with Rosemary Scalloped Potatoes and Wilted Spinach and Browned Mushrooms

I served a leg of lamb for Easter last Sunday, so I was feeling like I missed out on the traditional Easter ham.  No problem, let’s have Easter dinner, phase II!  I decided to make the ham with a glaze made from orange marmalade and Dijon mustard.  I love this recipe for ham, it is so easy and quick but smells and tastes fantastic.  It makes a pretty picture for company too.  I served:

Mum, back in the pink!

Easter Sunday, 2010 – Leg of Lamb

April 17, 2010

Easter Carol

Back to good health for all of us.  Mum and I have both been sick for weeks, so we’ve missed several Sunday dinners.  It feels good to be back in the kitchen.  This is our first “empty nest” Easter, no kids, no Easter baskets.  Well, I couldn’t resist, I made up a small basket with a potted azalea for Mum.  Then, what luck, my cousin Cheryl and her family were vacationing in nearby Vero Beach and asked if they could see us.  Yay!  They were able to join us for Easter dinner.    

Cheryl and DeVeaux

 Cheryl and I are the same age and we grew up together, went to college together and have been like sisters forever.  We used to torment our grandmother by making her say who she liked best, Cheryl or Carol.  Grandma would get flustered and start to mix up our names.  We delighted in this goofy taunt for years.  One time, Cheryl sort of held Grandma by the shoulders and lit a small disposable bic cigarette lighter.  She held it out in front of us like it was a dangerous weapon, and said, “ok, Grams, now who’s it gonna be, Carol or Cheryl?”  We laughed like hyenas!  Mind you, it was a teeny tiny disposable lighter, definitely NOT a dangerous weapon.  And it was nowhere near anybody.  You don’t think that’s funny?  We thought it was hilarious.  I still think it is hilarious! 

I had decided on a boneless leg of lamb for dinner.  The smallest one I could find was about 5 pounds.  I felt guilty buying so much food for just the three of us.  But with Cheryl and her family coming I could really go to town.   To go with the lamb, I came up with the following menu:   

  • Boneless Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Fresh Herbs
  • Rosemary Redskin Potatoes
  • Puree of Sweet Peas with Mint
  • Warm Dinner Rolls
  • Triffle of Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries

Boneless Leg of Lamb, Roasted and Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Fresh Herbs

I unrolled the boneless lamb and pounded it to even up the thickness.  I sautéed shallots, fresh chopped oregano and garlic in olive oil, then stirred in some goat cheese to make a spread.  I spread this all over the inside of the lamb, rolled it up and tied it.  I had reserved some of the sautéed shallots, oregano and garlic, which I used to make a basting sauce by adding Marsala wine and reducing it by half.  I poured this sauce over the lamb and basted it while it was roasting.  It was tender, fragrant and delicious.  I used a meat thermometer to test for doneness, but since the meat was rolled up, it was tricky to test all throughout the roast.   I ended up having some very rare pieces which I had to leave off the platter.  Next time I would test for doneness in several places on the roast. 

Rosemary Potatoes

The potatoes are a snap to make.  Use whichever kind you like, Yukon golds, redskins, fingerling, whatever.  Cut into a uniform size, spread out on a 9 by 12 baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh chopped rosemary and salt.  Roast them for 20 to 25 minutes at 450 F.  

Sweet Pea Puree with Fresh Mint and Feta Cheese

I love this side dish.  It is cooked and pureed frozen peas.  I saute onions or shallots and add to the puree along with fresh mint, yogurt, feta cheese, thyme and all spice.  Then I thin it with chicken stock to the desired consistency.  Add salt to taste and serve with crumbled feta cheese and mint on top.  It is surprisingly fresh tasting with layers of complex flavors.  I am not a pea lover, but I love this dish.  Sometimes I thin it out more and serve it as a soup, delicious.  

Triffle of Lemon Curd and Fresh Blueberries

For the triffle, I made a pound cake and some lemon curd, which is a custard made from fresh lemon juice and thickened with eggs and sugar.  I cut the pound cake into chunks and layered it in a triffle dish with the lemon curd, fresh berries and whipped cream.  It was a picture to behold, but sadly, I didn’t get any pictures of it.  I used the leftover ingredients the following week and made a variation of the dessert, using only blueberries.  Here is the picture of that yummy dessert. 

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