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Archive for the ‘The Classic Foodie’ Category

Christmas Roast

In by Katherine, The Classic Foodie on January 5 at 8:39 pm

For Christmas Eve this year, my family decided to go old school with a traditional rib roast.

Rib roast with twice baked potatoes and glazed carrots.

The standing rib roast cut comes from the section of rib just behind the shoulder blade.  Cut differently, meat from this section may also be known as prime rib or ribeye steak.

Beef butchering chuck rib short loin sirloin tenderloin round shank flank plate brisket

We served the roast with a side of carrots and incredibly tasty twice baked potatoes from Bon Appetit.  My sister used a mix of gouda, cheddar, and monterey jack cheeses.  She notes that you can save an hour by partially cooking the potatoes in the microwave before putting in the oven, and recommends convection bake for crispest results.

Twice baked potatoes epicurious

The glazed carrots were easy; in fact, I adapted the following recipe from a cookbook intended for children in grades 2-6.  Just cut 2-3 carrots into roughly baby carrot-sized sticks; saute them in 1 tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt over medium heat until soft; add 1/2 cup vegetable broth to the pan; and simmer, partially covered, until the broth is mostly evaporated.

For bonus points, saute a favorite herb such as sage or thyme (I used fresh marjoram from our garden) in the butter until translucent and crispy.  Remove before cooking carrots.  It adds texture variety and packs quite a flavor punch.

Baby carrots in gentle sauce

Next year, I’m hoping to try cooking a crown roast and Yorkshire pudding for Christmas.

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Roasted Garlic Mmmmashed Potatoes

In by Deanne, Cooking for N00bs, The Classic Foodie on November 23 at 2:24 pm
To continue the “old school” trend, I adapted another recipe from my Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, circa-1980, this time with  mashed potatoes. What is there to adapt you ask? The part about adding the heavenly scent of oven-roasted stinking roses:

Roasted Garlic with drizzled olive oil and rosemary. And a couple of burnt cloves in the back--whoopsie poopsie! :P

Roasted garlic is also very easy to make, and will make a huge difference in your mashed potatoes (that is, if you are as much of a fan of garlic as I am). Simply peel away the outer layers of an entire garlic head without the individual cloves falling apart, cut off the tops so all cloves are exposed, and then pour at least a tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil on top (the more the merrier). Make sure to rub it in for an even distribution of olive oil. I recommend adding extra herbs on top; I used rosemary. Wrap the garlic up in foil and scrunch it all up tightly. Put it into the oven heated 400 degrees, leave it in for 40 minutes or so. When it’s time, take the garlic out and squeeze the delicious roasted garlic pulp out of the individual cloves. For this recipe, set the garlic aside for now.

Creamy roasted garlic mashed potatoes!

The potato part is also very straight-forward. I used fourteen medium-sized Russets, since it’s for a feast. I was too lazy to skin them beforehand so I boiled them with the skin on. I haven’t tried this technique myself, but according to a Japanese TV show I saw on Youtube, if you score all around the potato’s middle, then boil, set it in cold water for a few minutes, the potato will literally pop out when you squeeze it (I wish I knew about this earlier! It would have saved me 40 minutes). Set the potatoes in a big pot of cold water almost to the top with a teaspoon of salt. When it boils, lower the heat down to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, wash in cold water, peel, and then set about putting your potatoes through the ricer for an easier time of mashing. Ricers also make potatoes fluffier. Handy dandy tip: remember your roasted garlic? Now put it in between layers of potato in the ricer, squeeze–and Voila! Your garlic is now evenly incorporated into the mashed potatoes! No one will accidentally get a mouthful of clove! Yay! Now mix in a teaspoon of salt, some black pepper, a cup of hot milk, and 1/2 cup of butter. Good job, you now have a pot of roasted garlic mashed potatoes! Fancy-schmancy!

Old School Pecan Pie

In by Deanne, Cooking for N00bs, Dessert First, The Classic Foodie on November 21 at 10:16 pm

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, it might be helpful to know an ol’ trick or two. This classic pecan pie recipe is from Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, first published in 1980. Back in its hey day, this cookbook was a huge success and had a definite presence in all family households. So I thought it might be nice to dust off its cover, flip through the pages, and make an era come alive all over again!

Pecan pie fresh out of the oven, with moody urban background

Making pecan pie is surprisingly easy. For this recipe, I used ready-made, unbaked crust (yes, the actual recipe calls for making your own crust. . . but we all cut corners here and there). I whisked 3 eggs, mixed in 1 cup dark corn syrup, a little bit less than 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk well. Then I prepared the nut/crust portion by creating 1 layer of pecan pie in any pattern you would like. Of course I had a little fun first:

A smiling, content pie.

A freaked out pie.

A pie with Cal insignia!!! Go Bears! (in honor of a proper trouncing of Stanford earlier today)

As fun as it is to make designs, you do want to pack as many pecans as you can into one layer, so that it comes out more like this:

Try to arrange the pecans in an aesthetically pleasing pattern

Next, carefully pour in the mixture as to not disturb the pecans’ pattern. Then pop it into the oven (heated 350 degrees) for about 1 hour. Take it out when you stick a knife in 1 inch from the edge and it comes out clean. Cool. Enjoy!

–Deanne