Food : Prime Rib BBQ!

English: USCA Choice standing rib roast (2 bone).

Preparations

First you will need a Prime Rib roast. How big should it be? Depends on how many people and how much meat they like to eat! And how much you want to spend!

HOW BIG?
The rule of thumb is: 1 Rib feeds 2 People. So a 2 Rib roast would feed 4 People. For a backyard BBQ feast that has a lot of other food you can probably estimate 1 Rib for 2.5 People. This is assuming 1 Rib is equal to about 1 Kilogram or about 2.2 Pounds.
Adjust things accordingly for weight!

When you buy your Prime Rib roast look for one with good layer of fat. Fat is flavour. Fat keeps the meat moist while cooking. You can always cut off the fat when serving! You want at least a 1/4 inch (less than 1 cm) of fat on the side away from the bones.

Get a GOOD Meat Thermometer!
The most important item you need in cooking a Prime Rib roast is a good meat thermometer! Prime Rib should not be overcooked. Yes you can estimate times but really the best way to cook this premium cut of meat is with a good, reliable and accurate thermometer. I use a digital thermometer that stays in the roast throughout the cooking process. The one I use has a long lead from the meat probe to an exterior display that sits outside the oven. Very nice for monitoring the cooking progress without opening the door!

COOKING THE ROAST

1) Let the meat come to room temperature before roasting. This may take an hour. A cold Prime Rib will not cook properly, with the outer portion overcooking. Never try and cook a frozen Prime Rib roast!!! Use paper-towels to pat dry the surface of the meat.

2) DO NOT SALT. Salt pulls the moisture from the meat. Season with garlic, or some other rub if you desire. I just rub on some fresh ground pepper.

3) OPTIONAL: Garlic! grab a garlic clove or two and slice into small slivers. Now take a very sharp thin knife and slice small holes all around the roast, inserting a garlic sliver into each hole.

4) OPTIONAL: While the roast is sitting out (see step 1) you can do this! BBQ Rib is even better with a good roast rub. Here is a rub recipe (and you can make your own!).

1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake

Mix together the pepper, onion, garlic, parsley and pepper flakes.
Remove the butcher’s twine and lightly coat the roast and ribs with oil.
Season on all sides (including the space between the ribs and roast) with the dry rub. Re-tie the beef roast and ribs back together. Now let sit at room temperature for an hour.

5) Set up your BBQ (grill) for indirect heat and preheat to low (250-300°F).

6) Place the roast, bone-side down, on a roasting rack and pan combination. Add enough beef stock or water to fill the pan about 1 inch deep. Optional: Add some dried mushrooms to flavor the liquid base! If you are using a digital thermometer insert it into the roast!

7) Place the roast and pan on the grill on the indirect side where you don’t have any burners on. Close the grill lid and cook until the rib roast hits 10 °F less than your desired level of doneness.
NOTE: This should take about 3 hours for medium rare. It’s a good idea to turn the roast around every 45 minutes or so. (For rare – pull at internal temperature of 115°F. For medium rare – 125°F. For medium – 135°F).

8) Remove the roast and pan set up and let rest at room temperature until the internal temperature stops rising – about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, turn up the grill heat to high (you want it very hot – about 500 °F).

9) Taste the au jus (seasoned broth in the pan) and season to taste with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the au jus warm.

10) Now fully remove the rib bones. Then place the rib bones cut side down over the heat. Also sear the roast 2-3 minutes on the cut side and 1-2 minutes on the other sides.

11) Once the outside of each portion is nicely seared remove from the grill. You may let it rest for a few minutes but it isn’t needed – as it already settled during the previous rest.

12) Slice as desired. Top with some of the au jus and serve.

Sit back and enjoy summer!

Recipe: The Ultimate No Fail Way to Make Tofu Delicious!!

For those that have no idea what tofu is first an explanation.
Tofu is not short hand for: To F U

Glad I could clear that up for you.

Let me quote Wikipedia for you:
“Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is a component in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu that has been processed in some way. Tofu is bought or made to be soft, firm, or extra firm. Tofu has a subtle flavor and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish.”

So let’s clear something up at the start, shall we? Tofu does not have to be a bland part of your meal. There are many varieties of tofu chose from, and just as many ways to prepare it. But let’s skip all that for now: here we are looking for perfect simplicity. And that means there’s really only one cooking method you need to know to make tofu that is delicious, versatile, and perfect for any meal! Learn this simple, no-fail way to cook tofu, you’ll never be disappointed.

1) Take tofu and rinse
2) Toss tofu in the recycling bin
3) Go buy some meat
4) Fire up the grill and get barbecuing

Problem of bland tasteless tofu solved easily and forever!

What is your method for improving bland foods? Tell me in the comments below.

And you are most welcome!

Days: Good Friday

(Yes I am recycling. This is a copy of my Good Friday post from the past… I liked it so I am sharing all over again!)

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This day seems to be the forgotten holiday of the year. There is no lead-up to Good Friday. No frenzied fanfare of festivity. No elaborate feasts to plan and prepare. That is probably why I like this holiday the best.

Good Friday really is a day off from the bustle and hustle of the consumer world. No sales. Just time to contemplate the world. I am sitting here this morning with a second cup of coffee, watching the sun peak over the horizon. There is a slight mist on the roofs of the houses as the day slips from springtime chill to springtime warmth.

I have time to think. Let my brain play with words. Roofs. Rooves. I remember learning in school that the plural of roof was rooves. But now we use the american “roofs”. When did that change? The rule I learned was if it ends in ‘f’ or ‘fe’  then to make the plural you drop the “f” sound and writes “ves”.

dwarf to dwarves
elf to elves
hoof to hooves
knife to knives
leaf to leaves
life to lives
self to selves
wolf to wolves

Of course then there are words that ignore the rule anyway – like the plural of beef is not beeves. And the plural of proof is not prooves.

Ah English the language of rules, and long lists of exceptions to the rules! This is why English is such an exceptional language.

As you can see Good Friday is for getting diverted and contemplative. Mindless musing. The above was simply pointless stream of consciousness.  A raw slice of my brain straight up. I am full of trivia. Or full of something.

My favourite memory of Good Friday is from many many many years ago. I was in my early twenties. I was with some friends driving up to Midland, Ontario to find a very specific restaurant that served Lake Huron whitefish. Our friend and driver had heard the fish was incredibly fresh and delicious.

Now I don’t remember the restaurant name but I do think it was Henry’s Fish Restaurant. I’ve been back a few times so my memory may be muddled. And the fish is still worth the long drive!

But this memory isn’t about the destination. It is about the journey. That day was a foggy Good Friday. Dense white cotton fog slowing us down to well below the speed-limit. The trees and posts shadowy dark flickers flashing by us. The road shiny black and slick. There was no-one else on the road. Just us – some friends on a journey. Cocooned in our own reality.

In the back of the car was a book – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – and for me it was an incredible find. At that moment, in that space, that book and the message inside clicked with me. There are concepts in that book that I had no idea could actually exist! My friend – the driver of the car – saw me thumbing through the book and gave it to me.

From where I sit today I can see that same book looking at me from my shelves. It is bedraggled and stained and dog-eared. The book has survived the years – my friend the driver did not. He died later that year from leukemia. But on that Good Friday there was no leukemia darkening our thoughts. On that day we were full of life twenty-somethings on a road trip. Our driver was a big robust man full of life and zest – and by the fall of that year he was an anemic husk gasping for air in a hospital bed. He was much too young to die.

That Good Friday held no hint of the sadness waiting in our future. We laughed, we talked. The restaurant wasn’t open we arrived, so we walked the waterfront. We drank early morning beers (cans in bags – oh we were so clever!) by the lake, while we discussed philosophy and how we would change the world. By the time we had finished our exploration of Midland – the sun had burned away the morning fog.

The fish was indeed wonderful, and we promised that next year we would repeat the road-trip. We promised that this would become our Easter weekend ritual. I’ve been back since then – but the ritual never blossomed.

In the mid-afternoon sunshine we drove back the way we had come. No hurry to get anywhere, we stopped at used bookshops and curio stores along the way looking for old National Geographic magazines. And books on World War II history. Our own version of an Easter Egg hunt for those that no longer believed in the Easter Bunny.

Good Friday: A good day to remember how we have arrived at this moment in time. And to remember those who we loved and left behind.

Ramble: Feast of the Epiphany

January 6th and the year is underway. Still the echo of Christmas is across Christian land as today is the Feast of the Epiphany, the day the three wise-men arrive and offer their gifts to the the new born king. In many ways today is the day that gifts should really be given and not December 25th.

Some still celebrate this day as a little Christmas – I used to leave small gifts out for my kids to find when they were little. Now they’d rather get some money or borrow my car!

Enjoy the day!

Twelfth Day of Christmas: Twelve Drummers Drumming

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On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me:
Twelve Drummer Drumming…

January 5th  is here and so this is the “Twelfth Day of Christmas.”  In the Christian calendar  this is listed as the traditional feast day for  St. Julian the Hospitaller. In the UK it is the feast day of St. Edward the Confessor (also known as King Edward the Confessor). A more modern Saint honoured on this day is St. John Neumann. That is a lot of saintliness for one day!

You can read the Wikipedia entries I have linked above so I won’t spend too much time on the details of their lives of these Saints. St. Julian the Hospitaller, the patron saint of travelers,  has an interesting myth associated with him where he is tricked into killing his parents. St. Edward, the patron saint of difficult marriages (yes before there was an App for there – that was a Saint for that…), was the only King of England to be canonized.

The modern saint of the day – St. John Neumann – was a Bishop of Philadelphia, living in a time when there was a rabid anti-catholic sentiment in the USA. Feelings were so strong that there were burnings of Catholic Churches, schools and seminaries.  It is a fascinating parallel to the strong feelings currently sweeping through the USA – especially related to “non-Christians”. Politically this lead to the Know Nothing movement and included the 1852 American Party which reads like an ancestor of the Tea Party movement. Its main platform was opposition to all foreigners (especially non-Protestants), and its motto was “Americans must rule America.” The more things change the more they stay the same!

Now that has very little to do with Christmas as a celebration  – but it sure is a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of US politics and world social movements.

In the secular traditions of Christmas this is Twelfth Day, and tonight then is Twelfth Night. Most of us know the the Twelfth Night as a play be Willaim Shakespeare. The title of Twelfth Night refers to the magic that flows into the world during Christmastide, as the old order of the world is over-turned by the coming of  Christ. The play itself reflects the Carnivalesque atmosphere of Yuletide – where things are reversed and confused and involves cross-dressing, switching of roles (master becomes servant – servant is master). Christmastide reflects the essential fact that Christianity has rather rebellious roots at its foundation.  A virgin has a child – and that child is the divine become human. The barrier between heaven and earth is breached and will never be the same.

Twelfth Night as the Eve of the Epiphany, and as a Christmas tradition, is a day of celebration and carousing. It is a festive occasion marked by merrymaking, feasting and drinking. The wassail punch of the song “Here We Come a Wassailing” is an important part of the English tradition for Twelfth Night. The carol itself has become associated with Christmas Eve, however more traditionally it was part of Twelfth Night celebrations.  This is a night for singing, dancing, drinking and celebrating.

The modern Twelfth Night is now the traditional time for Christmas decorations to be removed and put away. Any edible decorations are distributed and eaten. My parents would have colorfully wrapped marzipan on our Christmas tree – and any we hadn’t already consumed would be eaten that night. My mother always pretended surprise at the many wrappers stuffed with tissue – the delightful marzipan somehow transmuted into paper.

In the Christian context, Twelfth Night is celebrating the Eve of the Epiphany. The Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th is the day the three wise men arrive and the “manifestation” of god as human within the infant Jesus. This is part of the “upside-down” nature of Christmastide. On Christmas eve, the birth of Jesus is revealed to the animals in the stable, and then announced to the ordinary people first – “shepherds watching their flocks by night.” The elite of the world must wait until later for the revelation of the manifestation of god. With the appearance of the three wise-men and their gifts worthy of  a King bestowed the promise of Christmas is delivered into the world.

Since the actual day of the Epiphany is a joyous and solemn event  – Twelfth Night is then a chance to revel in the unfettered  merriment of Christmastide one last time. Perhaps having a hang-over makes for quiet worship the next day.

So on this Twelfth Night – eat, drink and be merry!