Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas 2009

Potato and Ham Soup

Sausage Canapes

Goat Cheese Tartlets

Artichoke and White Bean Crostini

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Deviled Eggs

Slow Roasted Prime Rib with Au Jus

Boars Head Ham with Raisin Sauce

Potato Au Gratin

Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce

Garden Salad

Tomato, Basil ,Mozzarella Salad

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Beers for Christmas

Kris and I have been cooking Christmas dinner for our family's for four years now. I talk to a lot of people who say their holidays get crazy because they have to travel from house to house, visiting their extended family's. The in-laws, the parents, the siblings, the cousins, and so on. We don't have that problem: everyone just comes to our house. We feed 20 people, then entertain around 35-40 throughout the rest of the day and into the night. Dinner will be simple: potato and ham soup, prime rib, bone in ham, gnocchi, potato gratin, and a tomato and mozzarella salad. What can I say, we like meat and potatoes! For me an important part of a meal, or any event, is what everyone will be drinking. If you've been to our house you know you'll never leave thirsty. These beers pictured above will be our 'featured' beers for the day. Unibroue Terrible is the best beer ever and goes with anything and everything. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is a seasonal beer that I look forward to all year long. The Harpoon 100 Barrel Series have been tasting awesome lately. I like the Glacier Harvest better than the Ginger Wheat. But I think the Ginger Wheat pairs real nice with food. It's peppery, and the ginger is present, but not overpowering. Along with those beers we also have a wide variety of others to choose from. On any given day the beer fridge in the downstairs bar will have around 10-15 different varieties of beer. If you're not a beer drinker we have plenty of Jack and Kris makes an awesome Christmas punch. Something for everyone.

Like it says over our dining room table: eat drink and be merry. Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Onion Rings

I love a good onion ring. To be more specific: I love this kind of onion ring pictured above. The kind that is thin and flaky, salty and crunchy. I'm not a big fan of the oversized, over battered onion rings that you usually get at the local pizza shop. They lose their crispiness so quick and taste mostly like batter. Well, because they're mostly batter.

The rings pictured above are the ones that I made a few weeks ago. They are ridiculously easy to make. Here's the recipe:

2 Vidalia or sweet onions sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 quart of buttermilk
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

Soak the rings in the buttermilk for 3 hours, dredge in seasoned flour, then fry at 360 degrees until golden brown. Salt, serve.

I think the most important part of this is the buttermilk soak. It leaches out some of that raw onion flavor from the ring before frying. I love when something this easy tastes so good.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Already Wishing For Spring

It's December 5th, we've had several frosts so far this season. We are expecting about 4 inches of snow tonight here in New England. And I still have parsley! I really wish this stuff was going into a turn in box. Next season can't get here fast enough...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yep, Rotisserie

The decision to cook this roast on the rotisserie was actually an easy one. First, Sunday was a beautiful fall day here in New England. And second, meat looks cool when it's spinning. The beef took about 2.5 hours to cook until 128 internally. The above pic is about 1.5 hours into the cook.

Here is the meat right after I took it off the grill. I placed it in the pan of au jus, then wrapped it up tight with foil. I rested the roast for over an hour.

I cut the roast in half so it could fit on to my slicer a little easier. I'm not a big fan of the hole left in the meat from the spit rod. But since I was just slicing it up into a pile of roast beef for sandwiches, I guess it's not a big deal. If I was cooking a prime rib I don't think I would want to use my rotisserie. Even though this beef made a great sandwich, the real star of the day was the homemade onion rings. More on those later.