Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spicing Up Your Holiday Meals!

Are you tired of turkey? Do you want to spice up your holiday dinner with something out of the ordinary? Here are some main course options courtesy of the food network that received rave reviews! All are classified as easy or intermediate.

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Horseradish and Garlic Prime Rib

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay
Prime Rib:
1 (3-rib) prime rib
beef roast, about 6 pounds
5 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 2 heads garlic, halved
1/2 cup grated fresh or prepared horseradish
1/2 cup sea
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 parsnips
1 red onion, halved
Wild mushrooms:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake, chanterelle, or white, trimmed and sliced
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup reserved beef broth (drippings from roast) or low-sodium canned broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lay the beef in a large roasting pan with the bone side down. (The ribs act as a natural roasting rack.) In a small bowl mash together the garlic, horseradish, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a paste. Massage the paste generously over the entire roast. Scatter the vegetables and halved garlic around the meat and drizzle them with a 2-count of oil. Put the pan in the oven and roast the beef for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours for medium-rare (or approximately 20 minutes per pound). Check the internal temperature of the roast in several places with an instant-read thermometer; it should register 125 degrees F. for medium-rare. Remove the beef to a carving board and let it rest for 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise by about 10 degrees. Remove the vegetables and set aside. Pour the pan juices into a fat separator or small bowl and set aside to allow the fat and beef juices to separate. Pour off and discard the fat. You will use the tasty beef juices for the mushrooms.
Place a clean skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and a 2-count drizzle of oil. When the butter starts to foam. add the mushrooms and thyme; and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together for a few minutes. Add the red wine, stirring to scrape up any stuck bits; then cook and stir to evaporate the alcohol. When the wine is almost all gone, add the reserved beef juices. Let the liquid cook down and then take it off the heat. Stir in the cream and chives, and season with salt and pepper.

Oven Roasted Lamb Shanks with Roasted Tomatoes and Toasted Orzo
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

Roasted Garlic Bulbs
1 head garlic, split in 1/2 crosswise
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make extra roasted heads to use for garnish on the plate, if desired
Lamb Shanks:
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 lamb shanks, bone-in
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup port
1 cup red wine
3 cups chicken stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley plus freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Roasted Garlic Cloves
Toasted Orzo Pasta:
3/4 pound orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup reduced lamb braising liquid (from above)
Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
4 plum tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 vertically
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the roasted garlic bulbs:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place garlic heads in a small roasting dish and drizzle each half with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until soft. Let cool slightly and squeeze the cloves of garlic into a small bowl.
For the lamb shanks:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven until smoking. Season the shanks on both sides with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on both sides, remove to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan and add the celery, carrots and onions and cook until caramelized.
Add the port and red wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the chicken stock, thyme, parsley sprigs and shanks and salt and pepper and bring to a boil on the stove, cover, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
Remove shanks to a plate and loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid into a medium saucepan and discard the solids Whisk in the roasted garlic and cook over high heat, whisking occasionally, until reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the liquid to use for the orzo and continue reducing the remaining liquid by half again or until thickened to a glaze. Serve the lamb on top of the orzo and drizzle the shanks with the reduced cooking liquid, oven roasted tomatoes and chopped parsley.
For the orzo pasta:
Heat a medium nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the orzo and toast until golden brown.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add the onion and cook until soft. Add the toasted orzo and the remaining orzo and saute for 1 minute to coat the pasta with the oil/onion mixture. Bring 8 cups of water or chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot (or a combination of chicken stock and water) and add hot water/stock to the orzo as if you were making risotto, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente (you may not need to use all of the water). Stir in the cold butter and a 1 cup of the braising liquid, chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste and cook 1 minute longer.
For the slow roasted tomatoes:
Toss the tomatoes in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 200 degree F oven for 6 hours.

Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Rosemary
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/2 cup Marsala wine (or white wine)
4 teaspoons capers
4 pieces of aluminum foil
Brush top and bottom of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Top the each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.

Roasted Goose with Blackberry Gingered Sauce
Recipes written by Danny Boome

1 (10-pound) goose, cleaned and trimmed with innards removed
Sea salt
1 orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1 apple, cored and quartered
2 tablespoons goose fat
1/2 cup scallions
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 cups blackberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups Zinfandel
2 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash the goose thoroughly inside and out. Dry well with paper towels. Prick the skin with a fork or fine skewer (this helps release the fat during cooking) and generously rub all over with sea salt. Stuff the bird with the cut fruit. Tuck the wings under so they are not exposed. Add 1/2 inch water to the roasting pan and position the goose breast side down in a roasting rack. Place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes. Check the bird while it's roasting to make sure the water doesn't evaporate or the goose fat will burn. After 45 minutes, take the goose out of the oven. Turn it breast side up and prick the skin again. Carefully remove the excess fat by tilting the pan and using a baster. Add another 1/2-inch of water to the pan. Continue to roast for another 2 hours.
The goose is cooked when its juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer. If they are at all bloody, roast for a further 15 minutes and check again. To be sure the goose is cooked, insert a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Pour out excess fat leaving about 2 tablespoons. Add the scallions, ginger, blackberries, sugar and soy sauce. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes until the blackberries begin to break up and the juices are released. Add Zinfandel and reduce by half then add the chicken stock and reduce by half again. Pass sauce through a sieve and discard the pulp. Serve with the goose.


Spicy Wifey said...

I think I am going to try the prime rib or the salmon. I'm getting hungry reading the recipes! Yummy

Been There said...

Yes, I am thinking about what I'm going to do for Christmas dinner too. I was thinking maybe some bbq ribs and do a soul food style spread.

Spicy Wifey said...

That sound delish! I just printed the prime rib and lamb shanks recipe. We'll see how it turns out. If you have some great soul food dishes, please share them!

My husband just told me today how much he LOVED my cooking! So I want to surprise him with a little something different. wish me luck!

Mrs.Brown1998 said...

Sounds yummy...all of them. My family cooks a lot less for Chistmas vs. Thanksgiving. But we do use it as an opportunity to step outside the box and make more ellaborate dishes since we are making less.

Spicy Wifey said...

I DID IT! I made the Horsradish Prime Rib tonight for a holiday meal. My husband LOVED it! He is a fan of mushrooms so the sauce was the perfect touch for him. I'd never made prime rib before and it was difficult finding it at the grocer. I recommend a fresh market or butcher. The butcher at a grocer was able to find me a choice piece, but not a premium cut of prime rib. The meat was still flavorful and tender.
I'd never used a rub on meat. I did find that the rub was very strong and since its a concentrated way to season the meat. I recommend not eating it. Especially larger chunks of the rub that may be left on the meat after cooking because its strong. The mushroom sauce is DIVINE! Also simple to make. I plan to use the sauce on other entrees and pastas. The sauce elevated my meal! I could definetly see my meal served at a high end resturant :) A fabulous sauce will take you places!