Christmas Dinner

I had never made a boneless New York Strip roast before, and I broke my cardinal rule of party planning (never make a dish for the first time the day of the party.)

Fortunately, as you can see above, all went well. That was a six pound roast, rubbed with my garlic-olive oil paste, onion and fresh cracked black pepper. I placed the roast in an foil baking pan, because I wanted to roast this, not grill it I preheated the grill on high for about ten minutes. My grill has four burners so when I put the pan on the grill, I turned off the two burners directly under the roast, and adjusted the remaining two so that my grill thermometer read 300F (This would be the same if you did this in your oven. If you do this in your oven, start with your oven at 500F for 10 minutes, then turn is down to 300F.)

I used a meat thermometer, the type that stays in the meat while it is cooking, and is connected to a meter outside the grill or oven. If you do any amount of roasting, either grill or oven, I really recommend that you use a thermometer like this. You can set it to ring at your desired finished temperature and you will never overcook your food again.

The roast was the main part of the meal, and the part I was most stressed about. Everything else went smoothly. Tammy would pop into the kitchen from time to time, just to make sure everything was progressing. I made a loaf of bread which finished at the perfect time for me to start roasting the carrots. They take about 25 minutes under 450F and then another 10 minutes after adding the peas to the pan.

The bowl mixed greens and chopped pears was ready to be topped with the maple-mustard vinaigrette (with bleu cheese and walnuts on the side for those who want the full salad.)

The roast had just reached it’s finished temperature (143F) and I had pulled it off the grill. The carrots were about 10 minutes away from needing the peas to be added when Tammy pops in to ask “How are the carrots and potatoes going?”


Oh, no!!!!!

I dumped two pounds of fingerling potatoes onto a shallow jelly roll pan, drizzled olive oil, tosses with some salt and pepper and put it on the bottom rack of the hot oven. When I added the peas to the carrots, the potatoes were sizzling, and when the carrots were ready, so were the potatoes! Whew!

Everything works out!

I hope everyone enjoys your new year! I will still be here!

(P.S.: Next time, I will take the roast off the grill at 140F for a little closer to medium-rare.)

Roasted Carrots and Peas

Roasted Carrots and Peas
Serves 6

6 large carrots, peeled, and cut in quarters lengthwise
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Seasoning (black pepper, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder is what I used)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 and place a baking pan in it while heating.
  2. Place carrots in a Ziploc baggie.
  3. Top with olive oil and seasoning. Toss to coat.
  4. When the oven is hot, put the carrots in the hot pan.
  5. Roast for 25 minutes.
  6. Add peas, mix together. Roast another 10 minutes.

Nutritional data:
Calories:   79
Fat:           2.7g
Sat fat:      0.4g
Chol:           0mg
Sodium:  90.3mg
Carbs:     11.9g
Fiber:        3.7g
Protein:     2.9g

Paella (my style)

This is not exactly the recipe that you will find in Spain, but is it darn good and will be made again!

Serves 6

3 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
1 1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
1 bell peppers, fire roasted, chopped (if you use store bought peppers, you will need about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped shallot (or onion)
15 green olives, halved
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 boneless/skinless chicken thighs, halved
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp saffron

1.  In an aluminum 9×13 pan, combine all ingredients.
2.  Preheat your grill, place pan on grate. (Or preheat your oven to 350F, and place pan in oven.)
3.  When it begins to boil, cover with aluminum foil and seal tightly.
4.  Let it bake for 45 minutes. 
5.  Remove cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.

6.  Stir together and serve.

Nutritional data, per 8 ounce serving:
Calories:     322
Fat:             8.2g
Sat fat:        2.1g
Chol:         120mg
Sodium:     231mg
Carbs:       39.1g
Fiber:          2.8g
Protein:     22.9g

This is what it looks like to fire-roast a bell pepper over the stove in your kitchen.

Turn the burner on high, and place the pepper on the grate.  Turn occasionally.  When charred on all side, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let it steam itself for 5 minutes. Remove from the bowl and with a butter knife scrape most of the charred skin off.  Use immediately or save in refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

The next time I make this recipe, I will reduce the amount of shrimp and increase the amount of chicken. I might also stir in some smoked oysters right before serving (just an idea.)