When cooking prime rib, the most important factor is to buy the best meat possible. Also, pay close attention to internal temperature and build in sitting times.
This recipe will cook your roast to a true medium rare:
Bring the beef to room temperature, season with salt and pepper and chopped fresh thyme. Put it in a roasting pan and roast in a slow 225-degree oven to an internal temperature of 120 to 125 degrees, for medium rare. That should take about 2 1/2 to 3 hours for a 8-pound, four-bone roast. A full rib roast, which can weigh 12 to 16 pounds, will take 4 to 6 hours. (If you want a roast looking not quite as rare as the one pictured here, aim for the upper end of this range. Then as it rests, it should reach 130.)
Baste from time to time with a light brown butter in which 10 garlic cloves have been cooked until soft, and a sprig of thyme. Forty-five minutes before the roast is estimated to be done, mash the garlic into the remaining butter to make a paste and spread it over the outside of the roast, where it will caramelize and give some crunch. Oh, and when youre timing the roast, remember that the beef should rest for about an hour after it comes out of the oven. Thats it.
The next day, devil the ribs: Cut the ribs apart, leaving as much meat as possible. Brush with Dijon mustard mixed with minced shallots. Roll in breadcrumbs. Drizzle with a little oil. Bake at 400 degrees until brown and crisp. With a potato gratin: pretty terrific.
SPICED CARROT SOUP
Start to finish: 30 minutes; servings: 6
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 pounds carrots, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth or stock
Salt and ground black pepper
In a large stockpot over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the five-spice powder and the chicken broth, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the carrots are tender, about another 10 minutes.
Working in batches if necessary, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth.
Return the soup to the pot. Stir in a bit of heavy cream, just enough to thin to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then heat until hot.
Nutrition per serving: 120 calories; 35 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories); 4 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 4 g protein; 170 mg sodium.
PARMESAN ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
Start to finish: 45 minutes; servings: 6
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 heads cauliflower, trimmed into 1-inch florets
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
When you remove the roast from the oven, turn up the heat to 425 F.
In a large bowl toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil, the Parmesan, and a bit each of salt and pepper.
Spread the florets on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender and browned.
Nutrition per serving: 430 calories; 180 calories from fat (42 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 135 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 56 g protein; 820 mg sodium.
CHOCOLATE SORBET SANDWICHES
Start to finish: 10 minutes; makes 12 sandwiches
24 chocolate wafer cookies
1 1/2 cups sorbet (any flavor)
Scoop 2 tablespoons of sorbet onto the underside of 1 chocolate cookie. Press a second chocolate cookie onto the top to form a sandwich. Repeat to make 12 sandwiches. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Nutrition per sandwich: 90 calories; 15 calories from fat (17 percent of total calories); 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 1 g protein; 90 mg sodium
Limit the amount of time in the kitchen while preparing the centerpiece for your New Years meal