Our son Jordan’s long-time girlfriend, Caroline, is a fabulous cook. She cooked Christmas dinner for Jordan, Gail, me and herself this year. What is even more remarkable, Caroline was good enough and talented enough to dream up and create dishes consistent with the way Gail and I are trying to eat—in accordance with principles I write about here on this blog in my weekly diet and health posts. Caroline graciously wrote up the recipes below.
Slow Roasted Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream and Balsamic Reduction
8 lb Standing or Bone-In Prime Rib
2-3 tbs Grated Horseradish
cup Sour Cream
½ cup Avocado Oil Mayo
½ tsp White Wine Vinegar
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & pepper
● The balsamic reduction can be made up to a week before. I recommend making it at least a day before to keep your kitchen from reeking of vinegar. Heat the balsamic vinegar in an uncovered pot on medium until just boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer until it has been reduced by half. If you make this beforehand, let the reduction cool a little before storing in a heat-proof container. Once the reduction cools, it will be harder to pour.
● A day before serving the prime rib, coat the outside of the prime rib with salt & freshly cracked black pepper. Optionally loosen the fat cap from the bottom so that it hangs downward like a flap. This allows air flow when it roasts and helps crisp the fat. Leave uncovered in the fridge to allow to air dry.
● Also on the day before, mix the horseradish, sour cream, mayo and white wine vinegar together and refrigerate so the flavors have time to meld. Adjust the amount of horseradish to taste.
● Preheat the oven to 250 F. Place the roast on a deep roasting pan with a wire rack inside. Roast for 3 hours or until an instant meat thermometer shows an internal temperature of 135 F for a rosy pink prime rib. Remove the prime rib from the oven and allow to rest between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Just before serving, heat the oven to 450 F and blast the rib for 10 minutes to brown the outsides.
● Serve with horseradish cream and balsamic reduction.
Baked Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta, Chevre, Pine Nuts & Dried Cranberries
1 lb Brussel Sprouts
12 oz cubed Pancetta or Bacon
8 oz chopped Chevre or Creamy Goat Cheese
½ cup Pine Nuts
(optional) ¼ cup Dried Cranberries
Salt & pepper
● Preheat the oven to 450 F.
● Steam the brussel sprouts until a fork can just slide into the center. You can do this over a traditional steamer or by covering with a wet paper towel and microwaving for 5-7 minutes depending on the wattage of your microwave.
● Place steamed brussel sprouts in a flat roasting pan & cover with cubed pancetta. Roast until sprouts are crisp and browned on the outside and the pancetta or bacon is crisp. Turn off the heat and allow the pine nuts to gently toast in the residual heat for another minute.
● Once removed from the oven, season with salt & pepper to taste. Add goat cheese and dried cranberries if using and serve immediately.
Creamed Pearl Onions
1 lb frozen Pearl Onions
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Bay Leaf
Salt & pepper
● Heat chicken stock, pearl onions, and bay leaf over medium-high heat. When chicken broth comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add the cream.
● Simmer the pearl onions for 15-20 minutes until onions are translucent and tender. Strain the creamy broth and save all but ½ cup for the Cream of Mushroom Soup.
● Add the reserved broth back to the onions and simmer until reduced. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup Dried Mixed Mushrooms (I used oyster mushrooms, black trumpets, portobello & porcini.)
1 cup chopped fresh Button Mushrooms
1 diced Onion
2 tbs Butter
3 tbs Soy Sauce
½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Dried Thyme
Reserved liquid from the Creamed Pearl Onions
Salt & pepper
● Wash the dried mushrooms to remove any remaining grit. Then soak the mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes. Once the mushrooms have been reconstituted, reserve 1 cup of the liquid for the soup.
● Heat butter in soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until tender. Then add the fresh and dried mushrooms. Saute for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and stir to distribute evenly.
● Add the reserved mushroom liquid and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil. The mushroom liquid may be a little bitter depending on your mix. Sweeten with the reserved pearl onion broth and add the cream. Season with salt & pepper. Keep covered over low heat to keep warm until ready to serve.
Don’t miss my other posts on diet and health:
I. The Basics
II. Sugar as a Slow Poison
III. Anti-Cancer Eating
IV. Eating Tips
V. Calories In/Calories Out
VIII. Debates about Particular Foods and about Exercise
Julia Belluz and Javier Zarracina: Why You'll Be Disappointed If You Are Exercising to Lose Weight, Explained with 60+ Studies (my retitling of the article this links to)
IX. Gary Taubes
X. Twitter Discussions
XI. On My Interest in Diet and Health
See the last section of "Five Books That Have Changed My Life" and the podcast "Miles Kimball Explains to Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal Why Losing Weight Is Like Defeating Inflation." If you want to know how I got interested in diet and health and fighting obesity and a little more about my own experience with weight gain and weight loss, see “Diana Kimball: Listening Creates Possibilities” and my post "A Barycentric Autobiography.