Spinach and Orange Salad


This Spinach Salad is perfect to accompany a heavy meal – light and refreshing with just a little kick from the red onion.

8 oz baby spinach
6 – 8 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 oz olive oil
1 oz orange muscat champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

In a small jar combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Shake to combine.

Toss dressing with spinach, mandarins and onions.

Serves 6.

Prime Rib


The best tip I picked up from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc Cookbook was blow torching your meat to brown it. First it’s fun to use a big blow torch in the kitchen. Second, it eliminates the grease splatters associated with browning a big piece of meat. Thank You Mr Keller – you are a genius!

4 lb prime rib, at room temp
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 275.

Place the prime rib in a roasting pan, fat side up. Use a blow torch to brown the meat. Salt and pepper the meat and bake for about 2 hours, till it reaches 95 – 100 degrees. Crank oven up to 425 and check meat until it reaches 128.

Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest 30 minutes. Slice and serve.

Serves 6 – 8.

Yorkshire Pudding


The best part about cooking prime rib is Yorkshire pudding! Meat juices combined with flour, milk and eggs equals one amazing dish!! Prepare the pudding while the meat rests. I even like the leftovers the next day, like right now while everyone is still asleep and I’m typing this up.

9 oz all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 c whole milk, room temperature
1/4 cup beef drippings, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Leave 2 TBSP of drippings in the roasting pan and place in the oven.

Place the flour, salt, eggs, milk and remaining drippings into a blender and process for 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the hot roasting pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Serves 6 – 8.

Shaved Brussel Sprouts


Every time I dine out and have shaved Brussel sprouts they seem so fancy and laborious. Actually with the help of a food processor they are one of the easiest dishes to make, and everyone will see you as the fancy cook!

1 lb Brussel sprouts, ends trimmed
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
1/2 c toasted walnuts
2 TBSP olive oil.

Use the slicing blade on your food processor to thinly slice the Brussel sprouts.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat, add Brussel sprouts and cook until crispy. Toss with walnuts and lemon zest and juice, cook for 1 minute.

Serves 4 – 6.

Cauliflower Purée


What do you do when you were seduced by the sheer whiteness of a head of cauliflower and bought way too much? Make a puree! The leeks in this dish are the magic ingredient. Top the dish with a little white truffle oil and you will be in heaven.

1 leeks, thinly sliced and rinsed well
1 TBSP olive oil
2 lb cauliflower forets
2 c vegetable broth
3/4 c non fat milk
Sea salt

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, cook leeks until softened about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook, covered for 2 minutes. Add broth and milk, reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes until very tender.

Allow to cool and add to a blender or food processor until smooth.

Serve with a little olive oil or truffle oil.

Serves 4 – 6.


Chocolate Hazelnut Tart


It’s the holidays and I’ve been good all year, so it is time to splurge – butter, chocolate, nuts, heavy cream and Nutella? No she didn’t! Yes I did! Thanks to my favorite recipe folks at Epicurious for the amazing inspiration! If you are going to be decadent this tart it totally worth the calories. And best of all this tart can be prepared in less the 20 minutes of active time – everyone will think you slaved all day!

1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 c hazelnuts, skinned and coarsely chopped
1/2 c whole hazelnuts, skinned
1 c heavy cream
10 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 c Nutella

Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together crumbs, butter, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl, then press onto bottom of springform pan. Bake crust in lower third of oven 7 minutes, then cool crust in springform pan on a rack.

Bring cream to a boil in a 1- to 2-quart saucepan, then pour over chocolate in a heatproof bowl, whisking until chocolate is melted and smooth. Whisk in chocolate-hazelnut spread until combined, then whisk in nuts and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with whole nuts.

Pour filling onto cooled crust and put in freezer until just set, about 25 minutes. Remove side of pan before serving tart.

Serves 8 – 10.
WW PP: don’t want to know