Saturday, 18 April 2009

Romantic Dinner for Two

Every once in a while, hubby cooks for me. I am not talking about the times where I work all day making rubs, marinades, breads, side dishes and kabobs so that he can come home and BBQ. I am not even referring to the omelettes he sometimes makes me on the weekends, (although they are pretty good!). This Easter, hubby bought a nice little rib roast and made me dinner. I played sous chef and made the potatoes and a creamed mushroom/spinach sauce to go over them. Let's just pretend we had a nice, healthy green salad with this, shall we?

For the roasts, we like to use Barbara Kafka's Roasting: A Simple Art. The Barefoot Contessa swears by her high-heat method, and anything good enough for the Barefoot Contessa is good enough for us! This book was handed down to me by a former co-worker, thanks Cindy!

This was such a wonderful dinner. Succulent beef, wine rich sauce, and crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, puffed Yorkshire puddings.. what a great meal! Spoil your sweetie this week. Don't forget the bottle of wine and candlelight!

Simple Rib Roast
Roasting: A Simple Art by Barbara Kafka

4-1/2-pound short standing rib roast (about 1-2 ribs)
2 to 6 cloves of garlic
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1/2 cup red wine, for deglazing

Remove roast from refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Place oven rack on second level from the bottom. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
Place roast in a small, shallow roasting pan, bone side down.
Snuggle the garlic into slits in the fat. Season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes. With meat in oven, reduce heat to 325 degrees and roast another 12 minutes. Meat temperature should read 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove roast from oven. Transfer to a serving platter. Pour or spoon off excess fat, reserving about 1/8 cup fat. Put pan over high heat and add wine. Deglaze pan well, scraping with wooden spoon. Let reduce by half. Pour liquid into a small sauceboat and reserve.

Yorkshire Pudding
I have never actually made Yorkshire pudding, the two times we have had them, hubby made them. He does not usually cook, so does not know to be paranoid about under or over-cooking - thus they come out perfectly. Sometimes a little knowledge can be a paralysing thing!
I am in charge of eating them though, I ate about three quarters of them. Yum!

3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup cool milk
1/8, or more, cups fat from roast

Make batter for pudding at least 5 hours ahead of roasting meat so it has time to chill. Put eggs in large bowl and beat with electric beater or whisk for 1 minute. Add salt. Alternating the flour and milk, add to the eggs. Beat only until all ingredients are well-combined. If available, pour batter into a pitcher or large measuring cup for ease in pouring later. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Batter may be made up to 2 days ahead. Pour reserved fat into heated Yorkshire pudding cups or large muffin tin cups and place in the 450-degree oven. Let heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour appropriate quantity of cold batter from refrigerator directly into cups - about 1/3 full. Bake 15 minutes. Reverse pan in oven halfway through baking, back to front, so pudding will rise evenly and brown evenly. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Continue to bake approximately 15 to 25 minutes, until pudding is crispy and brown. Serve hot. Makes 6.

A work of art, no?