This year ranks as one of the top holiday seasons, food-wise, that I can ever remember having. The number of amazing meals we had the privilege of enjoying was almost overwhelming. I was writing down and photocopying tons of recipes to take home.
Here’s what I’ll be adding to my recipe collection:
Roast Beef with Spice Rub
Mom did this Roast Beef for Boxing Day. She got the recipe from Grandma Flo and we were all surprised at the high cooking temperature, but this was absolutely delicious. I am not a huge red meat eater and I was blown away by the flavour and tenderness of the thinly sliced pieces of beef. Ribeye Boneless Roast is expensive but oh-so-worth-it. Leave some extra time for cooking as it took us about 1 ½ hours to bring the internal temperature of the roast up to 130 degrees.
4-4 1/2 lbs. of trimmed tenderloin (I bought a Ribeye Boneless Roast) at room temperature
2 tbsp each of fresh rosemary and thyme leaves (or 1 tbsp each of dried)
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 525 degrees. Pat meat dry. In a small bowl combine rosemary thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub mixture onto meat and arrange meat on a roasting pan. Roast meat 45 to 50 min. or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part registers between 130 and 140 degrees (Note: Cooking time took much longer for us. Allow another half an hour and rely on the internal temperature). Transfer meat to cutting board. Loosely cover and allow to rest 10 minutes.
2/3 cups minced shallots
2/3 cups plus 3 tbsp of Madeira wine
1 1/2 tsp each of minced rosemary and thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp. of dried)
1 bay leaf
3 cups beef stock or broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp cornstarch
In a saucepan combine the shallots, 2/3 cup of Madeira wine (Can use a Port), thyme, rosemary and bay leaf and reduce to 1/3 cup. Add the stock and tomato paste and simmer stirring occasionally for twenty minutes
In a small bowl combine the remaining port with 2 or 3 tbsp of cornstarch until smooth and whisk it into the sauce. Simmer 5 minutes more or until lightly thickened. Keep warm. Before serving, strain into sauceboat. This can be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave to serve.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I threw this recipe together for Christmas Eve dinner. I love that the potatoes are ‘twice baked’ in the oven which means a crispy and browned top layer. The grainy mustard adds a kick of flavour but doesn’t overpower.
1 bulb of garlic
4 medium to large sized Russet Potatoes
¼ cup milk or cream
¼ cup salted butter
½ tbsp grainy mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Paprika to garnish
Preheat oven to 425. Cut top off of the bulb or garlic to reveal each individual clove and remove outermost layer of skin. Place in a piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and place in oven, right on the rack. Cook for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, start potatoes.
Put a large pot of salted water on the heat. Peel the potatoes and cut in to large, even chunks and add to water. Bring water to a boil and then reduce to medium/high heat. Cook for approx. 20 minutes, or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain. Mash potatoes with the milk and butter.
Remove the roasted garlic from the aluminum foil. Squeeze the meat out of each clove and mash into potatoes. Stir in grainy mustard. Season with salt, pepper and dried parsley to taste.
Transfer potato mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle paprika and some dried parsley over the top to garnish. Place in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes to heat through and until top layer is light brown and somewhat crispy. Alternatively, place under broiler for a deeper brown and crispier top layer.
Stuffed Sole with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach
Such a beautiful way to spice up sole! This recipe served a crowd and everyone raved about it.
Chopped fresh Spinach
Chopped sundried tomatoes
Panko Bread crumbs
Kraft Signature Sundried Tomato & Oregano Dressing
Portions of above ingredients depend on how many servings. 2 pieces of fish per person is a good portion size.
Fry onions, garlic, and chopped sundried tomatoes in olive oil until just tender. Add chopped spinach, frying just long enough to wilt. Add breadcrumbs and a little of dressing to moisten if required.
Place a generous tablespoon of stuffing in the centre of the sole fillet. Slowly and carefully role up the fillet. If you’re having trouble, use a toothpick to hold the fillet together. Place seam side down in a greased, parchment lined or non-stick baking pan. Pour Kraft dressing over filets. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Chocolate Upside-Down Cake
Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? The topping comes out of the oven gooey and delicious!
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cups broken nuts
1 oz square bitter chocolate
2 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. cocoa
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. white sugar
1 C boiling water
1/2 pint whipping cream or ice cream (to serve on top )
Sift flour, baking powder, sugar & salt together. Melt chocolate and butter together. Mix with dry ingredients. Add milk. Add nuts and blend thoroughly. Pour into a well greased cake pan. Mix cocoa, brown and white sugar. Sprinkle over top of cake batter. Gently pour boiling water over all.
Bake in a moderate oven 350 for 1 hr. Check with a toothpick for doneness.
Spiced Pears in Red Wine
Another Mom recipe – This was such a nice alternative to heavy Christmas desserts and pies. Light and flavorful, I have never enjoyed pears more!
2 ½ cups red wine
1 1/8 cups superfine sugar
2 ½” cinnamon stick
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
2 tsp grated ginger root
8 even-sized, firm pears, with stems
1 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp almonds or hazelnuts, toasted, to decorate
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to serve with
1) Choose a pan large enough to hold all the pears upright in one layer. Put all the ingredients except the pears, brandy and almonds into the pan and heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes.
2) Peel the pears, leaving the stems on, and cut away the flower end. Arrange them upright in the pan. Cover with a lid and simmer very gently until they are tender. The cooking time will vary depending on their size and how ripe they are, but will be about 45-50 minutes.
3) Remove the pears from the syrup with a slotted spoon, being careful not to pull out the stems. Put them in a serving bowl or individual bowls.
4) Bring the syrup to a boil and boil it rapidly until it thickens and reduces. Let cool slightly, add the brandy and strain over the pears. Sprinkle on the toasted nuts to decorate and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.