Monday, March 31, 2008

Elegant Meals for Entertaining (and deadly simple)

My first comment today is that making Prime Rib at home is incredibly easy. I made a small one on the weekend. The only thing you must have is a meat thermometer. This is crucial.

I started by preheating the oven to 450 F. I know it's high but this sears and browns the meat. I put the meat in a roasting pan with onion and celery chopped large on the bottom as a rack and sprinkled the meat all around with my favorite Ryan Duffy's Steak Spice and a little Emeril's Essence. Any of your favorite beef spice mixes will do or just salt and pepper the roast. The roast cooked at 450 for 20 minutes. Then I turned it down to 350 for another 20 minutes and ours was done. It was only small. But I would never have dreamt it was done so quickly had it not been for my handy dandy thermometer. You only want it to be about 110 F internally. I know that sounds low but let it sit, tented under foil for 25 minutes. It will be perfect.

This is a great meal for company. Elegant yet easy. Roast some veggies in the same oven and you'll be sitting down to a great meal with little sweat!

Another meal fit for company was the Smoked Salmon Pasta I made on Sunday. This was inspired by a dish I saw on Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares. It looked delicious but I couldn't find the recipe anywhere so I came up with my own version.

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Sugar Snap Peas
Serves 2

  • 1 cup or so of dried bowtie pasta
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1/2 lb or 200g sugar snap peas, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 2 -3 oz smoked salmon
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup of light cream (I used coffee cream at 18%)
  • 3 tbsp shredded parmesan, plus more for serving

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to box directions. Save 1 cup of the pasta liquid when draining.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray pan with olive oil cooking spray if you wish.
  3. Add capers and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add sliced sugar snap peas and cook another 2 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and dill and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Add smoked salmon at the same time you add the pasta.
  7. Toss in the cream and heat through.
  8. Add in the parmesan and mix thoroughly.
  9. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water.
  10. Serve sprinkled with a little more parmesan on top.

A glass of white wine is a great accompaniment.

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