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Home Cooking 1

Grading Christmas Dinner 2017

HabaneroLady | Dec 31, 201710:59 AM

So I am a bit late. Sorry. But I wanted to grade my Christmas dinner and take a critical look at it to think about what I can improve next time. So here we go.

Prime rib roast: A-
I went heavy on the salt two days before cooking this year. Then I did a slow roast at 170 degrees for about six hours before adding a sear for ten minutes at 500 degrees. I loved the salty crust on the outside. It was perfectly tender. But in retrospect, I think I will go back to medium rare instead of medium next year.

Horseradish sauce: A+
I developed a taste for horseradish over the last year so I wanted to make a horseradish sauce to go with the roast this year. I got lots of complaining from the family. I started with fresh horseradish root and used this process to turn it into something usable:

I do not own a food processor, but I do have a Vitamix blender. It did pretty well despite a tendency for the horseradish to form a clump below the spinning blade. Then I used this simple recipe to make the sauce:

The result was sheer perfection. Now my family stopped complaining and is demanding more. I have another horseradish root ready to go!

Mashed potatoes: C-
My mother asked me to make them softer and more souplike. I did. I won't do it again. Sorry, mom. Light and fluffy is good. Creamy is fine. Soupy... ick.

Gravy: B-
Using the reverse sear method for cooking the roast means that I don't get much in the way of pan juices or fond to use in making gravy. So I end up making my own fond by browning some stew meat. This year I created too much fond. So when I deglazed and made red wine gravy, the flavor was way too strong. I ended up diluting it until it just about overflowed the pan and it was still too strongly flavored! Also, I am not so sure about Merlot as the right kind of wine for making gravy. I really don't know my wines though, so . . . .

But the consistency was perfect.

Salad: A
This one surprised me because my mother is not a good cook and I let her make this part this year. She did an awesome job using spinach, carrots, onions, evoo and apple cider vinegar.

Anybody else have retrospective thoughts?


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