So, here’s the thing, I pretty much can’t go out to dinner anymore with the whole corn thing. Makes it hard to go out for a romantic dinner, if all I can do is sip a glass of wine and watch my husband eat his dinner. Fun right? So that might mean finding a non-food related activity or it might mean cooking at home instead. Because some of you might want the nice dinner, and I can’t think of anything fun to do in winter in New Hampshire on Valentine’s Day, cooking at home it is. Shawn is a carnivore, so I’m doing a really nice rib eye roast (two weeks early, just for you guys), but Mary Kate will be supplying a Vegetarian/Vegan option next week. We’ll have you covered. (Also, I would totally make this for myself if I was single, leftovers are awesome!)
The rib eye roast is a bit pricey, but my thought was that it’s still cheaper than going out to dinner, having appetizers, an entree, dessert, and drinks. I’m also going to you some options for side dishes, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Oven Roasted Asparagus. I’m not handling dessert, I’m still having complications with respect to having safe fats to use for baking, and you should just get some chocolate if it’s safe for your allergies from the Dancing Lion (yo, anyone getting me presents for Valentine’s, hint, hint, not that my husband reads this blog).
One thing that’s really helpful is a probe meat thermometer. Seriously. Get one now, if you’re sick of your meat and poultry being overcooked. I mean it. Why waste your hard earned money on overcooked food? Isn’t making all our food hard enough? Okay, I’m off the soap box, but seriously, do it. Or at least get one of these so you can check the temp periodically. (No affiliation with Amazon whatsoever, but their site has good pictures and descriptions.)
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1/3 cup of roasted garlic (Here’s how to do it, takes an hour, do a bunch ahead of time and store it in a jar in your fridge or freeze it so you can use when you want it without the aggravation).
- 5-6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 2″-3″ inch square chunks
- 2-3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (if you have a safe margarine or butter, you can use that, I don’t, unfortunately.)
- 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk (I’m using homemade cashew milk, but use what works for you.)
Save a couple of the roasted garlic cloves to one side so you can use it as a garnish if you want to get all fancy about it. Place your peeled and chunked potatoes in a large pot.
Cover them with enough water that the potatoes are submerged by an inch or so. Bring the potatoes to a boil on high, and then turn down to medium high (about 7-8 on my dial). Continue to cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain in a strainer/colander and place the cooked potatoes back in the pot.
Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the garlic (with exception of the cloves for the garnish), the olive oil, and the non-dairy milk and mash the new ingredients into the potatoes until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Either place the potatoes in a decorative serving dish with the garlic cloves on top, or place some on the plate with a garlic clove as a garnish.
Oven Roasted Asparagus
- a bundle of asparagus
- 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of Penzey’s Greek Seasoning (or use about an 1/8 of a teaspoon each of salt, garlic, lemon peel, black pepper, Turkish oregano, marjoram, and mix it together.)
Preheat oven to 400° F. Wash and trim the asparagus, and then cut it into 1-2″ inch pieces.
Place them in a bowl. Drizzle the asparagus with the extra virgin olive oil and the seasoning mix. Using a silicone spatula, toss the asparagus in the bowl until it is thoroughly coated with oil and seasoning mix.
Spread them out on a baking sheet, making sure to scrape down the bowl so that the oil and seasoning end up on the asparagus on the baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes until asparagus is tender.
Boneless Rib Eye Roast
- 3-5 pound boneless rib eye roast
- about 1-2 teaspoons of Penzey’s English Prime Rib Rub (or use an 1/8 of a teaspoon each of salt, ground celery seed, sugar, ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and arrowroot and mix it together).
Based on this recipe, you need to cook the roast for about 15-18 minutes per pound after the initial 15 minutes as described below, and will need to rest for 15-20 minutes after you remove it from the oven. Calculate how long that will be based on your roast size to figure out when you need to begin cooking to have the roast be ready to serve at the time you wish to eat. An hour before you intend to begin cooking in order to have the roast cooked and rested by the time you wish to eat, take the roast out of the refrigerator and place it on the counter to bring it to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 450° F. Take a baking pan, and place a rack in it.
Season your roast with your spice mix by rubbing it all over the roast. Place the meat on the rack, with the fat side up.
Place the roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 325° F. Place your probe thermometer through the center of the roast, making sure it is going through the very center.
Continue to roast for 15-18 minutes per pound or until the thermometer reaches 125°F for an internal temperature. This is fairly rare, but as the roast rests the internal temperature will continue to rise for another 5 to 10 degrees. If you like more of a medium rare, wait until the internal temperature reaches 135° F. Take the roast out of the oven.
Tent it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Do not cut the roast before it has had a chance to rest. I mean it. Seriously. Otherwise, you’ll lose all the moisture. Once the roast has rested properly, cut the strings on the roast and remove them, and then cut the roast into slices.
Plate up your roast and sides and eat up while asking your husband, partner or date to say something outlandishly romantic. Mine doesn’t do it, but it’s fun to watch the facial contortions, as I make unreasonable demands. Remind me to tell you about the time I nagged him to write me a poem for almost a year and a half. Oh and the sculpture, too.
Garry cooks a lot of chicken and always wanted to make sure it was cooked through (e.g.overcooked and sometimes more than chewey.) Now his new favorite tool is his Thermapen. It is a bit pricy but has turned out to be a very reliable tool and the chicken is always tender. Just another type of thermometer to consider . . .
I really want a Thermapen actually, but it’s in line behind the Vitamix 🙂