Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! Starting off with a recipe from Hillbilly Hangout

It has come to this: As we begin my 71st ride around the sun on this rock, I am going to share a recipe. Who would have thought a guy who set out to change the world or at least write the great American novel would, near the end, succumb to writing about recipes on an obscure blog from Alaska.  But there's always a good story, so bear with this.
This is the Hillbillys' roast but mine

loked just like this.

I have always favored a standing rib roast for either Christmas or New Year's eve or day dinner.  Among the favorites that go with that are generous helpings of Yorkshire pudding.  My problem has always been I am too arrogant to read a recipe for the simple act of cooking a prime rib.  I mean, you figure out how many pounds, cook it for 25 minutes a pound and that's it, right?  Maybe some cracked pepper pounded into the fat. But for some reason even with a meat thermometer, though I aim for medium, I always end up with well-done, still juicy and not dried out, but with no hint of pink whatsoever.




So comes the holiday season of 2013 and the wealth of advice to be found on the internet.  But, who is going to follow a recipe found on a facebook page called Hillbilly Hangout? It's a page I have followed for a while and I love the humor and also the fact that they don't shove a bunch of redneck politics at us. So the page posted a recipe around mid-December for a rib roast that was very different and still sounded like the meat would taste like a rib roast when it was all over. It involves roasting for five minutes per pound at 500 degrees and then turning the oven off, leaving the door closed and let it sit for two hours. I've had success with other recipes from this site, particularly Old-Fashioned banana pudding that was a hit at Christmas dinner, so I tried it. But there was one thing they didn't warn me about,

My first hint was the dog started whining and hiding and demanding to be let out and then wouldn't come back in. It was about that time I smelled the smoke, that had kind of crept slowly on me up to that point. And then the dinner chime in the form of the smoke detector went off. You, see, part of that recipe involves slathering a tremendous amount of butter mixed with some other ingredients onto that roast. So, I have lots of butter in a 500-degree oven. What could go wrong with that?  A house full of smoke and a spooked bloodhound is what could happen.

Now, it being around 0 outside you don't leave a southern breed like a bloodhound out in it very long. But he wouldn't come in.  I had both doors open and a couple windows and both exhaust fans going and the smoke was slowly clearing but the dog had abandoned ship.  I finally had to take him by the collar and drag him into the bedroom where the smoke was least and he would stay there for a few minutes and then head out for the door. Battle of wills.  Fortunately the two hours were just about up and he settled down a little as the smoke cleared and I cut a little piece off the roast to bribe him.

End result? The best prime rib I have ever made. Mine came out a little different than the recipe projected. Instead of rare to medium rare it came out pretty much pink all the way through, which I preferred anyway. So with that in mind, I think this is one recipe worth sharing.  It sounds outrageous but, oh boy, that hillbilly knows how to cook a roast.

So here it is:

HOLIDAY ROASTED PRIME RIB

A nearly foolproof and easy recipe for serving up a smashing Roasted Prime Rib for your special holiday dinner.

I love using this method for roasting prime rib. It is nearly foolproof but several factors must be kept in mind for you to make the perfect rib roast. First, the roast MUST be at room temperature for several hours before roasting. 6 or more hours is preferred. You have to have accurate oven temp here. If you are not sure if your oven is accurate, try to get an oven thermometer and test it before attempting to roast this beautiful piece of meat. Next, you will need a calculator. Nothing serious here but you will need to calculate the poundage of your roast by 5 minutes. Using the example above, we are going to do this recipe using a 5.75 pound rib roast with 2 ribs. This will feed approximately 4 adults.

Step 1

So, my roast is 5.75 lbs. x 5 minutes = 28.75 minutes. I will round up to 29 minutes and add 1 minute for the heat lost when opening the oven door. Keep this in the back of your mind for future reference.

Ingredients:

1 5.75 pound prime rib roast of beef (2 bones)

There are no measurements here. Just generous amounts of the following:

Butter at room temperature
Herbs de Provence
Fresh cracked pepper
Kosher salt - a generous amount

Directions:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (this MUST be an accurate temp)

Put roast, rib side down in roasting pan

Mix the pepper and herbs in the butter until well combined.

Spread the butter mixture over the entire surface of the prime rib. The more the better.

Put the kosher salt over the entire surface of the butter. Be very GENEROUS. Use more than you think you should here. Most of the salt will run off and very little will remain on the meat. I can't stress the "generous" enough.

Put the roast in the 500 degree oven for 30 minutes as outlined in step 1. The time will be according to the size of your roast. After the 30 minutes, simply turn the oven off and walk away from it for 2 hours. Yup, just walk away. Do NOT open the door, fiddle with it or anything else. Pretend the roast does not exist.

After 2 hours, remove the roast, slice and serve. You can remove the rib bones for easier slicing and it also makes it easier to get 4 generous servings from the roast. Save the bones! Serve with au jus or horseradish sauce etc. Whatever you like. You will surely love this method. You will get a succulent, moist roast between rare and medium rare. Perfect!

Don't ask me why there is a step 1 and no other steps.  Maybe it works. Anyway, for my own, I had a roast of 4.45 pounds.  I did the math and came out with 24 minutes of cooking time. Note the recipe itself says 30 minutes, but better to go with your own calculation at 5 minutes per pound.  What I found was the end pieces were a little overcooked but the inside was a nice healthy pink all the way through. I don't think I was as generous with the other ingredients as the writer suggested. I used a quarter pound stick of butter and what seemed a generous amount of the others that fit that volume. I used sea salt instead of kosher salt. One side effect was a good deal of nice brown juice collected in the bottom of the roasting pan.  I can have hot roast beef sandwiches for several days.

And the dog? Well once the 6 million cilia in his nose cleared he was happy to hang out in the kitchen and catch a few tidbits during the carving operation.

One suggestion: Start the kitchen exhaust fan as soon as you put the roast into the oven.

And, oh what the heck, here's the pudding recipe too.

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

Ingredients:
The meringue is probably a little darker than it should be,
but of all the things I made for Christmas dinner, this got the
most comments.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (NOT skim)
4 or 5 ripe bananas, sliced thin (cover with plastic wrap or sprinkle with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown)
1 box vanilla wafers
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Butter (not margarine)
4 Egg yolks (Large eggs or better)

Meringue:

4 egg whites, room temperature
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 9x9-inch pan with a layer of vanilla wafers.

Combine sugar, flour and salt in a bowl, and mix well. Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, beat the egg yolks well. Over medium heat, add the flour mixture to the egg yolks, alternately with the milk and vanilla, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil and, when the mixture begins to thicken, add the butter, continuing to stir. Keep boiling and stirring until mixture reaches a nice pudding consistency. Make sure you don't scorch the pudding. Remove from heat.

Place a layer of banana slices on top of the vanilla wafers. Pour half of the pudding over the banana layer. Put down another layer of vanilla wafers, another layer of banana slices, and cover with the remaining pudding.

Beat the egg whites at high speed until they form soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar. At high speed, gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the vanilla into the meringue, and spread the meringue over the pudding, sealing it at the sides of the dish.

Bake until meringue browns, 12 to 15 minutes.




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Interesting quotations

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeare on Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

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"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

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"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

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"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

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