I would like to preface this post with a warning. Both of us have been sick with whooping cough for the better part of this past week. As a matter of fact I am sitting here
writing this rambling along while heavily dosed on NyQuil, so I’d just like to apologize for that up front.
Ah yes, nothing like planning a dinner party for 8 when you really wish you were curled up on the couch in a blanket with some hot tea and Jack Daniels watching bad TV. Instead we were doing fun things like chopping piles of garlic and grating fresh horse radish. To clarify, Jeff and I were unlikely advancees in the FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Cage Match Championships. Which was really cool and yet really disturbing. Because I didn’t realize how many of you LIKED SPAM! (And were willing to admit it on a public forum like this here blog.) But YAY we made it to round 3 (partially thanks to YOU dear reader
s) and now get to cook for our friends. Because we hardly never ever do that more the 3 times a week… This time we were tasked to introduce them to “new tastes and exotic flavors.” Jeff and I agreed almost immediately that maybe we should just make them eat vegetables…
We entertain a lot. Truly, A L O T!!! We’ve both said it many times before – it is what makes us tick. Good food and good friends and good drink are the cornerstones of our life. This challenge was going to be right up our alley. We just wanted to make it a little different and a little special.
So Rule 1) We wouldn’t smoke or grill anything. I knew that was going to be a stretch, but we are always using the grill or the WSM whenever we have friends over. We don’t call it a cookout for nothing. This time they were going to enjoy food prepared the way you rich folk with appliances make food.
2) Different yet close to familiarity. Flavors they knew and wouldn’t shun yet taste combination’s that would test their taste buds. And they would have to say the last part of that line 5 times really fast.
and finally 3) They would drink some really good beer.
That being said – we concocted our menu and got to work:
We were pretty damn excited that for the first time in many months we would NOT be serving chicken wings or chicken thighs or chicken feet. You were looking for a recipe link on that last one weren’t you? HA! No. We would be slow roasting a delicious prime rib with a beautiful horseradish and garlic crust.
Horseradish Encrusted Standing Rib Roast.
6 pound standing rib roast
1/2 cup of freshly grated horseradish
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 T of fresh rosemary
1 T of fresh thyme
2 T of smoked kosher salt
heavy pinch of freshly crushed black pepper
heavy glug of olive oil
Allow rib roast to come to room temperature.
Combine horseradish, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper an olive oil and smash until a pesto like paste is formed.
Slather that gorgeous hunk of meat (top and sides) with the horseradish mixture till well coated. Note: The bottom of a standing rib roast is the side with the bones. It acts as a built in rack of sorts. I know you know this but my college English professor once told me to write as if who you are talking to has never seen what it is you are talking about before so I did. But just this once because seriously, how obnoxious IS THAT?
Place prime rib in a heavy bottomed pan and roast in a 250° F oven until the internal temperature reaches 115° F. (Approximately 30 minutes per pound).
Remove prime rib from oven and raise to highest temperature setting. (For us that was 500° F)
We interrupt this prime rib recipe for an appetizer…
While we cranked our oven up, we put our jalapeno cream cheese stuffed prawns wrapped in bacon, in the oven. Normally this would take 20-25 minutes at 400° F oven, but given that we have only one oven which was already in somewhat use with the prime rib, we made due.
I think they turned out SWIMMINGLY !
Bacon Wrapped Prawns, Stuffed with Jalapeno Cream Cheese and Drenched with Tupelo Honey (from all natural free range bees)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 jalapenos diced
1 serrano diced
1 T honey plus more for drenching during baking.
16 slices of bacon
Shell, de-vein and butterfly prawns.
Combine cream cheese, jalapenos, serrano and 1 T honey.
Lay a spoon full of the cream cheese mixture down the middle of each prawn.
Wrap prawn with slice of bacon.
Place on a rack in a baking pan, bacon ends down.
Bake in 400° F oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until bacon begins to crisp up.
Drench each prawn with a teaspoon of honey and bake for 5 additional minutes.
WE INTERRUPT THIS APPETIZER FOR A MENU EMERGENCY!
Where the FREAK were we going to BAKE the POTATOES? The matchstick carrots were made stove top but ugh the hasselback potatoes!
So we broke rule 1. It was a stupid rule anyway. When we took the prime rib out of the oven and slid the prawns in, the potatoes went straight on the grill, which we attempted to keep at 425° for 35 minutes.
Oh let me go back to that INSANE prime rib:
Once the oven has reached your highest temperature, place roast back in and cook for about 15 minutes or until crust is nice and… well… crusty.
Remove and let sit for 20 minutes before carving.
Jeff’s smile went from ear to ear when he sliced into that roast. And I swear our friends all gasped. Which may have been because Jeff almost took off his thumb on that first slice, but then again it may have been the pure utopia that is known as perfectly roasted beef.
The hasselback potatoes were crunchy and garlicky and the matchstick carrots complimented the roast with sweet delicateness.
But we were hardly finished. We wrapped up this culinary adventure with Crispin “The Saint” hard cider simmered pears, which were served with mascarpone, a drizzle of maple syrup caramel and crushed puff pastry. (Recipe coming soon! Promise.)
Paired with a really nice surprise from Jeff. Some Boulevard Brewery’s Quadruple Ale which I have been absolutely DYING for for some time now.
He knows the way to my heart is with some really good meat and a strong tasty ale.
I honestly think that the success of this night was summed up perfectly with the title of this post; “Tonight, during dinner, our friends were oddly silent…” Normally, as we stand around the grill sucking down wings and brats and burgers and beers we laugh and joke and tell stories and plan our next get together for as soon as humanly possible. But tonight, they were so engaged with what we were feeding them that the only sounds we really heard were mmmm’s and sigh’s and the occasional “oh wow.” But mostly they were silent.
That was the best compliment we could have ever received.
I hope you enjoyed living vicariously through our photos and
cold medicine induced dissertation written word…. and maybe you felt like you were here with us. If so I am really sorry that I flicked that spoon full of mascarpone at you. But you deserved it.
And if you didn’t MIND the mascarpone in your hair – kindly throw a FoodBuzz Food Blog of Crazy Ass INCREDIBLE vote our way. Thanks!