Oven Roasted Prime Rib

Sorry all vegans and vegetarians, but this is the meal I wait all year long for. Almost as far back as I can remember, my mom has been hosting Christmas dinner. Along with the perfect charcuterie board and some bacon wrapped shrimp to start the evening, she followed with the big boy; A prime rib the size of a linebackers thigh. To this day, I sneak in the kitchen while the rib is resting and pick at the perfectly seasoned & crisp outer  crust.

As I learned from my mom, roasting a prime rib is fairly easy. The key is to have a good meat thermometer and to take it out a little early, since it will continue to cook while it’s resting under an aluminum foil tent. Remove your rib from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 120°, let it rest under a tent for about 20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 130°. If this is “under-cooked” for some of your guests, serve some piping hot aus jus on the side – pouring this over your meat will cook it a little more!

Helpful hints:

  1. Put your order in to your butcher a week in advance (at least!) A lot of people are cooking prime ribs this time of year, so you want to make sure you have one ready for you. Order it cut & tied (cut off the bone, but tied back on) with the fat left on. The bone and the fat – that’s where you get all that juicy flavor. Rule of thumb is one rib per 2 people, so if you’re feeding 6 people order a “three rib Prime Rib, cut & tied, with the fat on.”
  2. Take your rib out of the refrigerator an hour (at least, depending on the size of meat) before cooking so it reaches room temperature.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Prime Rib (mine was 3 rib, about 12 lbs.)
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • kosher salt
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • fresh rosemary

Homemade Horseradish Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons roasted garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated horseradish (I use Gold’s)
  • salt & pepper

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Preheat your oven to 450° and place your prime rib, fat side up, in a deep roasting pan or baking dish. Coat the entire outside of your rib in softened butter and roasted garlic. Generously season with kosher salt, black pepper, and 3 fresh sprigs rosemary.

With your oven rack on the lower third of your oven, put your prime rib in and cook for 30 minutes. Reduce your temperature to 350° and continue to cook for about an hour and 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 120°.

 

Remove the prime rib from the oven and immediately cover under a tent of aluminum foil. Let rest for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 130° (perfectly medium-rare on the ends and rare directly in the middle.)

Cut the ties, remove from the bone, and slice into generous slabs of beautiful meat for your oh so happy dinner guests. Serve with homemade horseradish sauce and piping hot aus jus.

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Holiday Dinner Party

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This past Sunday was spent scurrying around a kitchen with one of my sweet friends, Allie (take a look.) With cocktails in hand, together we executed a pretty-damn-flawless dinner party for our significant others and a few friends. I handled the cooking and Allie managed the bar, charcuterie and somehow accomplished to set a tablescape that I swear I’ve seen in a magazine. The girl has an eye for design and let me tell you, I’m a little (a LOT) envious. You’re going to wonder where she’s been for every event you ever hosted (I’m considering renewing my vows so she can plan my second wedding), but not to worry! She has a blog where you can access all of  her wonderful thoughts that are brought to life. Better yet, let her come paint your dream party for you.

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I’ve hosted my share of dinner parties over the past few years and there’s a few things I’ve managed to pick up along the way. My first tip: Don’t overthink it! Nobody at your party/gathering will be able to relax if you’re not relaxed. My second tip? Take help when it is offered! I am MOST guilty of this. Not only do I sometimes feel awful accepting help when I’m the one who invited people over, but it’s also a controversial topic whether or not I have a serious case of OCD. However, I’ve learned that typically people are offering to help because they want to. Give them an easy task to do! It’s not asking much, but it’s one less thing you have to worry about. My last prequal tip before I get into my real tips is to save the damn dirty dishes for the morning. Yes, five of your friends will offer to do them. Your husband will probably offer, too. The mountain of dishes will irritate the crap out of you. The cure? Pour yourself a glass of wine. Kick off your heels and go enjoy the company you just hosted. Relax, laugh, make memories; The dishes will still be there in the morning, but your friends and family will be leaving soon.

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When it comes to the bar, I like to offer at least one pre-mixed cocktail. Something that’s all ready to pour and people don’t have to think about it (we think all day – it’s time to relax!) Whether it’s sangria, punch, or a big batch of Mimosas, it’s sure to be a hit. There’s no shame in making a party BYOB, either. In the age of IPAs and a plethora of different wines, people actually like to drink the things they prefer. Just make it known, so people aren’t left high and dry.

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Appetizers, antipasta, hors d’oeuvres, the first course. I love charcuterie. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s really true. There’s something on it for everyone (put some nuts on it for the vegans!) and it’s not too much. If you’re planning to follow your first course with a main course, you don’t want to spoil everyones appetite. However, if you’re having a party that starts later in the evening, possibly after people would have eaten dinner or too late to serve dinner, I would go a little heavier on the appetizers or snacks. Especially if there’s alcohol involved.

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The Dinner Plate: Protein, starch, and a veggie. Every party is not Thanksgiving and it can be quite the buzzkill if everyone’s ready to head to bed after dinner. For Christmas my mom always makes Prime Rib and my mouth is seriously watering just thinking about it. With that being said, when planning with Allie what to make for our dinner party, I decided to stick with what works (do not try to fix something that’s not broken.) To go with the Prime Rib (recipe to follow), I decided to stray away from the “been there, done that” mashed potatoes (who AM I!?) Instead I made Creamy Garlic Parmesan Polenta. WOW. I would never mean to cheat on potatoes, but sometimes a girl gets weak. With the Prime Rib and Polenta being so rich, for my vegetable I decided to go with a salad. Don’t worry, it wasn’t just an ordinary salad! This Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad is sure to be your new favorite.

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Lastly, it’s time for dessert. I’m truly not much of a baker. My pies consist of store-bought crust. I don’t play well with yeast or anything that has to rise. I love everything that starts with Phils and ends with Bury. Cheesecake is just about the only thing I can handle, which is fine with me because it’s so versatile. If you can find your perfect cheesecake recipe, it’s pretty easy to make it fit any occasion. For example, for this holiday party I made a “Kris Kringle Cheesecake” (recipe to follow) that consisted of a peppermint bark Oreo crust, my traditional cheesecake recipe, a white chocolate ganache, and crushed candy canes on top. It was heavenly and fit the theme seamlessly.

Throwing a dinner party doesn’t have to be hard, but it should always be fun. If you’re not much of a cook or funds are tight, opt to have a potluck. This way, everyone brings a favorite dish and a whole lot of pressure is taken off of you. You can make it fun by requesting everyone bring recipe cards for their dish too, so it becomes somewhat of a recipe exchange. People are always looking for new recipes and it’s a great conversation starter!

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At the end of the night, what matters is exactly why you had the party in the first place: To pause our crazy, hectic lives for a few hours to spend time with the people who make life so enjoyable. I hope this holiday season you’re all able to have a party or attend one, meet a new friend, try a new dish, and remember everything that makes each of us so blessed. Happy Holidays to you and all those who make your life so special.

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Allie’s Blog: Love Forever

Photography: Daphne Sipes

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Chicken Pot Pie

Happy Humpday! Last night via Instagram stories I shared this easy Chicken Pot Pie in a cast iron skillet with you and I am loving how much you guys are loving it. Head over to the gram if you want to cook along with me step by step 🙂

Monday, my entire house got smacked with our first cold of the season. I don’t know about you guys, but when my family and I are feeling under the weather, there’s nothing better than some comfort food. My favorite thing about this chicken pot pie recipe is that by doing it in the cast iron skillet, it’s a ONE pan meal (A.K.A – ONE DISH! those dirty sons of bitches.) My second favorite thing? It’s actually a lot “lighter” of a recipe than your typical pot pie (okay, minus the biscuits, but those are good for your soul.) There’s no half & half, cream, or condensed soup involved. This is just a few fresh ingredients incorporated with some protein to help get your family back on their feet. There are things to get done and nobody wants to be slowed down!

So whether you’ve caught a cold or you’re just craving a hearty home cooked meal, take a dive into this recipe and you won’t regret it (I promise!)

Chicken Pot Pie 1

Want a printable version? Click here.

Chicken Pot Pie 2

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Cast Iron Chicken Wrapped in Fig Jam, Brie & Prosciutto

It’s like charcuterie for dinner, which automatically means I’m diving face first into it. Along with a bottle of Malbec. After a long work week, I typically don’t mind cooking a nice dinner on Friday nights (I know, weird.) I look at it this way, I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, I get to “sleep in”…so there’s no true pressure to have dinner ready by a certain time in order for the rest of our night time schedule to take place accordingly. Plus, wine. Ah, wine. Ah, Friday night…how I love you both so much. You’re tied for second place, along with my husband.

This probably sounds a little bit more intimidating than it really is. It’s honestly very easy and took under an hour, including both prep & cook time. I served it over a salad consisting of arugula, watercress, shallots and a homemade dressing of garlic, lemon, & olive oil. You don’t need anything too overpowering, since this is a pretty decadent dish in itself.

And just to put it out there, you don’t need a cast iron pan to cook this meal. Simply pre-cook the chicken in a nonstick pan and then transfer to a baking dish/sheet.

Happy Friday, Everyone! Cheers to the weekend…

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thick
  • avocado oil (higher smoke point than olive oil, which makes it perfect for cast iron cooking)
  • garlic
  • dried thyme
  • dried sage
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • finely chopped parsley
  • fig jam
  • brie
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto

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Preheat your oven to 350° and turn your cast iron pan onto high heat. Pound out your chicken breasts to about 1/2″ thick and then slice in half, so you have 4 thin, long strips. Liberally season your chicken breasts with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a small amount of thyme and sage. Reduce the heat to medium and drizzle your cast iron pan with avocado oil and lay your chicken breasts down. Cast iron cooking may create smoke, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your food is burning, just keep peaking at it. Cook each side for about 5 minutes. these chicken strips should be thin, so you do not want to over cook them.

After 10 minutes have passed (5 minutes per side), remove from heat so they can cool.

Cut eight thin slices of brie, two for each piece of chicken. As shown above, lay down two pieces of prosciutto for each one piece of chicken. On top of your prosciutto, lay down your brie and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Spread a thin layer of fig jam on one side of your chicken and lay this side down on your brie. Wrap your prosciutto around the chicken and place back in your cast iron pan, brie side up. Continue for each piece of chicken.

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Place your cast iron pan in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, when brie has melted and prosciutto has started to crisp.

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Plate your chicken on top of a bed of salad or however your heart desires! Delicious served with a side of oven roasted potatoes, too!

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Breaded Pork Chops with Apple Kraut

These babies are a winner. Up until recently I would only eat pork chops if they were coated in Shake n’ Bake, but you could also Shake n’ Bake my hand and I would most likely eat it. It wasn’t until I began getting more creative with my pork chop recipes that I actually started appreciating them. Pork is super versatile, which makes them pretty full proof. I can’t wait to experiment with them more often and share the recipes with all of you!

Another great thing about these pork chops? They’re a reasonably healthy option for your weeknight dinner. Stick with the whole wheat bread crumbs, rather than regular or Shake n’ Bake (I’ve also made homemade Ezekiel bread crumbs that came out amazingI’ll share soon!) The Apple Kraut does have 1 tablespoon of both butter and brown sugar in it, but this recipe also yields 4 large pork chops. So if you portion control, that should only be a 1/4 tablespoon of butter & brown sugar per person. Lastly, fermented foods are great for your gut. They’re full of probiotics that help your digestive system, as well as enzymes that make it easier to break down and absorb nutrients.

I apologize for the lack of photos, but if you head over to my Instagram I made I step-by-step highlights video 🙂

What You’ll Need:
*printable recipe here

Pork Chops:

  • 4 boneless pork chops

Bread Crumb Mixture:

  • 1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Mustard Coating:

  • 1/2 cup hot & sweet mustard (I use Black Bear)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg
  • salt, pepper, & garlic powder, a dash of each

Apple Kraut:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 16 oz. sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, & smoked paprika, about 2 teaspoons of each
  • 1/2 cup white wine

 

Begin by preheating your oven to 350º and lining a baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil (easy clean-up can I get an hallelujah!?)

Place your pork chops one at a time between two piece of parchment paper. Pound until each chop is about 1″ thick.

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These are our favorite whole wheat bread crumbs. They also have the best macros we could find!

In a shallow dish, add 1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs, seasonings & parsley.

In a separate shallow dish, add 1/2 hot & sweet mustard, honey, egg, and seasonings. Whisk together until combined.

One at a time, completely coat each pork chop in the mustard, followed by the bread crumbs. Once coated evenly, transfer to your baking sheet.

Bake pork chops for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165º.

While your pork chops are in the oven, prepare your Apple Kraut. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a nonstick frying pan. once melted, add your chopped onions and cook on medium-low heat until translucent. Add your sauerkraut, apples, brown sugar, and seasonings. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until it begins to simmer. Slowly pour in your white wine. Continue to let simmer until the wine completely reduces (about 7 minutes).

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Plate your pork chops and cover with a “healthy spoonful” of Apple Kraut. Serve with additional hot & sweet mustard on the side.

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Autumn Salad: Chicken, Pear, Walnuts & Blue Cheese

I have recently found myself making this salad week after week….after week (sometimes more than once a week!) You can prep it in steps, which makes it so easy to whip together after a long day. Usually on Sundays my husband and I will meal prep for the week, so we’ll cook a big batch of chicken that’s ready to go for the week. I make the candied walnuts (recipe here) in large batches and store them in a mason jar, so those are ready to go too! This way, I literally just have to put a bed of arugula in each bowl, cut up a pear and add all my other “ready to go” ingredients. Dinner during the week doesn’t have to be hard!

I prefer to “dress” my salad with fresh squeezed lemon and drizzle of balsamic glaze, but my husband prefers my “healthier” blue cheese dressing (recipe here!)

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • arugula or spring mix
  • 1 ripened pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • candied walnuts
  • spray oil
  • garlic powder
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • rosemary
  • balsamic
  • 1 lemon

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I begin by pounding out my chicken breasts until they’re about 1/2″ thick. This will ensure they’re tender (tough, chewy chicken is a dinner ruiner.) Spray the bottom of a frying pan, place the chicken breasts, and turn the heat to medium-low. Squeeze half of a lemon and pour the juice on top of the breasts. Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. After about 10 minutes, flip the chicken and season the opposite side. Let cook for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes has passed, add a drizzle of balsamic to the pan and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes on low. Remove your chicken from the pan and cut into strips.

Place a bed of either arugula or spring mix (any lettuce will do, however I’ve found that these two options work best) into your salad bowls. On top of each salad add 3-4 ounces of chicken strips, half a pear, 1/4-1/2 a sliced avocado,  1 ounce walnuts, and 1 tablespoon blue cheese crumbles. Dress with the juice of half a lemon and balsamic or light blue cheese.

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Turkey n’ Gravy

 

It’s finally here. The day foodies have been training for all year long. Put on your stretchy pants, tuck your napkin into your shirt and wear them with pride.

Preparing Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming to say the least. I’ll never forget the morning of my very first Friendsgiving. I woke up feeling spunky and confident in my cooking abilities. I poured my cup of coffee, opened the blinds, and became excited. I went to the fridge, pulled out my fifteen pound turkey and dropped it on the counter. I just sort of looked at it. Shit. I literally had no f*cking idea what I was doing. I am literally nervous typing this because that’s how panicked I was. Queue the phone call to mom. I like to think that everyone has this moment and if they say they have not, they are lying. To spare you the fine details, everything turned out “alright” for a first timer and I’m pretty sure I only set off the smoke alarms once. Okay, fine. Twice.

Let’s get started.

To brine, or not to brine? Everybody has their own way of prepping the bird before the big day. I’ve brined and I have not brined and I honestly think you will be quite alright if you skip this step. A well seasoned compound butter and some veggies stuffed inside will deliver an abundance of flavor.

Three things I would highly recommend:

  1. Sliding butter on the breasts beneath the skin of the turkey. I didn’t take pictures of me doing this because my husband wasn’t home and I don’t have a third hand growing out of my ass. Google it 🙂
  2. Before putting the turkey in the oven, get a large piece of foil and fold it in half so it’s thicker. Place it over the entire breast of the turkey. This will ensure both even cooking and keeping those breasts nice n’ juicy.
  3. Place your turkey in a roasted pan that has a rack. Keeping your turkey elevated will prevent a soggy tush.

This recipe is based upon a 16 pound turkey. You want to cook your turkey roughly 15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature (of the breast) reads 165°F.

I’m also just going to go ahead and put this out there. Your turkey needs to be thawed and because it’s huge, this can take a few days. I would put it in the Fridge on Monday.

What You’ll Need:

  • 16 pound turkey, thawed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lemon
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Bay Leaves
  • Thyme
  • Fresh Garlic
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock

Compound Butter:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 tablespoon parsley, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • zest of 1 lemon

Gravy:

  • 1/2 cup butter, divided into 8 slabs
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • Total of 4 cups chicken stock or pan drippings
    • I usually end up with about 2-3 cups drippings and will add chicken stock to reach the total of 4 cups.

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  1. Remove your turkey from the fridge about an hour before roasting so that it reaches room temperature. Preheat your oven to 450°.
  2. Chop your carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Set aside along with the lemon, sage, thyme, and bay leaves.

  3. Put together your compound butter by adding all ingredients into a separate bowl and mixing together. Set aside.
  4. In my opinion, this is the easiest way to prep your turkey: Place the turkey in a clean kitchen sink and cut the packaging off of it. From the birds cavity, remove the bag of gizzards and neck. Rinse out the cavity and and then pat dry the skin with paper towels. Transfer the bird to a rack, inside the roasting pan.
  5. Coat the inside of the turkey cavity with some of the compound butter. Stuff the bird with the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, lemon, thyme, sage, and 2 bay leaves.
  6. Carefully slide your hand between the breast meat and skin creating a pocket. Place some of the compound butter underneath the skin.

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  7. Spread the remaining compound butter across the entire skin of the turkey. Pour 4 cups of chicken stock into the bottom of the pan. Cover turkey breasts with foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes at 450°. After 45 minutes, reduce your temperature to 350° for 2 hours. After 2 hours remove the piece of foil from the breasts. Continue cooking for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the breasts reads 165°.
  8. Remove the turkey from the oven and carefully transfer to another dish (something with sides as the turkey will release juices) and tent with a large piece of foil. Let rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

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Gravy:

While your turkey is resting, prepare your gravy.

  1. Immediately (and carefully) pour your drippings into a gravy separator and place in the refrigerator until the fat starts rise to the top and solidify (about 15 minutes.)
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add fresh ground pepper.
  3. Slowly add in the flour while constantly whisking until the flour is well incorporated into the butter (a few minutes.)
  4. Slowly pour in the turkey drippings and/or chicken stock, constantly whisking.
  5. Cook the gravy for 7-10 minutes allowing it to thicken. Transfer to gravy boat and serve immediately.

I hope you all have a magical Thanksgiving; Full of love, laughter, and graciousness. I am endlessly thankful for my family and friends, our health, and the food I am able to provide on our table. I am both grateful and blessed to this year, have our daughter join us around our table. I am humbled by the outpour of love and support I have received on this new journey and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. My wish for you this Thanksgiving is to be grateful for all that you have and to give to those who need it most. To count your blessings and to hold your family tight. To let go of the things that divide us and to come together based upon the things that make each of us so wonderful. To love abundantly without any boundaries.

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