Saturday, November 30, 2013

Garlic Studded Prime Rib

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was as filled with food and family as mine was! It was another Thanksgiving and another year I cooked the Thanksgiving meal. One of my favorite aspects about the Thanksgiving meal is that you get to eat and cook "special occasion" food full of fat, cream, butter and salt. Diets better be left at the door because you are about to eat some full flavored and full fat food that will put you in a legit food coma. 

As an annual tradition, my family's Thanksgiving center piece has and always will be a Prime Rib. Juicy, fatty and flavorful. If you like meat, this is one for you. I make this Prime rib like I always do, studding the whole thing with 2  heads of garlic and seasoning it simply with salt, pepper and garlic powder. This is literally a 3 ingredient dish if you don't count salt, pepper and olive oil as ingredients since everyone should have those on hand.

Prime Rib is one of my favorite Thanksgiving main courses and is a definite show stopper. Place it in the oven and literally forget about it. It's all about timing. Make sure you have a schedule made up to when you want to eat dinner and when you place the Prime Rib into the oven. Get it in at the right time and you'll be eating like a king.

AJ's Secret:

  • I use a two temperature cooking method. The first 30 minutes begin at 450 degrees F to sear the meat and give it lots of flavor. The remainder of the cooking period is at 350 degrees F to evenly cook the meat from the inside out.  
  • As a general rule, cook the Prime Rib about 15-20 minutes a pound. For a medium cooked roast, remove the roast when the internal temperature is about 140 degrees F. It still has a bit of pink but not overbearingly bloody. If you're more of a pink lover, remove the roast when the internal temperature reaches about 130 degrees F.

Garlic Studded Prime Rib
Recipe by Me

1-10 lb Prime Rib Roast
2 heads of garlic
~ 3 tbsp Olive oil
~2 tbsp Kosher Salt
~1 1/2 tsp Pepper
~1 tbsp Garlic Powder

3 hours before roasting, take out the prime rib from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven the oven to 450 degrees F. While the oven is heating, quickly rinse the Prime Rib under cold water just to ensure it is clean. Dry with paper towels. Once dry, transfer the prime rib to a large roasting pan (a roasting rack is not necessary) and set aside. 

Take the 2 heads of garlic and remove the peel from each clove. Proceed to cut the individual garlic cloves in half or into thirds. With a small paring knife, cut small slits that are about 1 to 2 inches deep into the meat and begin to insert the pieces of garlic into each slit. Make enough slits to use up all the garlic.

When the Rib roast is completely studded with garlic cloves, evenly spread olive oil to cover the meat completely. Then, evenly spread the kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder so that every inch of meat has seasoning.

Place the seasoned and studded roast into the oven and bake at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to cook the roast for about 15-20 minutes a pound. For a 10 pound roast to get to medium, it should take about 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches about 140 degrees F. For more of a medium rare, remove the rib roast when an internal temperature reaches about 130 degrees F.

Allow the roast to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving to prevent the juices from running out.

-Aaron John

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Red cups are back at Starbucks, twinkling lights surround the trees in Downtown Seattle and Christmas music is already playing on the radio. This can only mean one thing, cookie season is upon us. Thanksgiving is  next week and I feel like it's all about Christmas right now. Either way, this is the time where cookie magic happens. Personally, every day is a cookie day, but that's just me. So, if you're more of a cookie season kind if person, here's a recipe for you.

These cookies, although easy to put together, are quite time consuming when it's time to bake. Because these cookies spread out so much, you can only bake a few at a time which is the downfall to this cookie. But, these cookies come out crunchy, buttery and sugary. More like a cross between candy and cookie than anything else. Just be warned, shield your eyes when you remove the baked cookies from the pan, for pools of butter will be in your future.

AJ's Secrets:

  • These cookies need to be baked off immediately once the dough is made. If you put the dough in the refrigerator and bake later, the dough does not spread evenly in the oven. Once baked, I also found the cookies to not hold their shape and they ended up falling apart.
  • MUST use parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Due to the amount of sugar in these cookies, these will stick despite having so much butter in them.
  • Let the cookies cool on the pan for at least 5 minute before transferring to a cooling rack. If not, the cookies will break into pieces when you try to lift them up with a spatula.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Recipe by Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups uncooked rolled oats (do not use instant)
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Let cool a bit and add all remaining ingredients except the eggs. Stir well to combine, then add the eggs. Mix thoroughly.

Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter at a time on the parchment, leaving at least 3 inches between cookies. Flatten batter into a circle with the back of a spoon. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until just golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

-Aaron John

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cherry de Pon

My favorite thing to eat has always been ice cream. Having those 1.5 quart tubs of Dreyer's ice cream in my house is dangerous! I've been known to finish that off in 4 days, no joke. Supposedly, ice cream is fattening, so they say. Frozen yogurt on the other hand is healthy then, right? I mean, it's yogurt. Well, maybe it's not "healthy", but it's "healthier".

After a walk in Seward Park, my friends and I decided to get something cold to cool us down. Our trek led us to Cherry de Pon in Renton. It's a self serve yogurt place, basically a Yogurtland.

We entered and they had about 8-10 different flavors. I opted to get their vanilla, chocolate, taro and pink lemonade and topped them with crushed chocolate cookies, andes mints and mochi. The frozen yogurt was fantastic. I didn't miss ice cream one bit. The vanilla was creamy and wasn't tangy, just like real ice cream. The chocolate had a classic chocolate flavor as well. The taro was the best I've tasted. I've tried taro at other places and it just tasted too much like coconut, not taro at all. But this one was just like taro bubble teas I get. The big surprise was the pink lemonade. It was super tangy which was refreshing, almost more like sorbet than frozen yogurt but still had a creamy aspect to it. It reminded me of when I was younger and would eat those lemon ice's that came in a tube at my cousins house. Was it by Minute Maid?

Overall, fantastic place!

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Cherry de Pon
365 S Grady Way Bldg F, Ste G
Renton, WA 98057
Telephone: (425) 226-5246

-Aaron John

Sunday, November 10, 2013

King 5 & Evening Magazine Best of Western Washington...The Winner for "Best Food Blog" 2013 is...
ME!! For the past 2 months I competed in King 5 & Evening Magazine's contest for "Best Food Blog" and I won!! I can't believe it and I'm still shocked.

Results were announced on November 8th and the whole day I was on pins and needles. Trying not to think about whether I won or not, I treated the day as normal. I went to class, had some lunch, volunteered at Swedish Medical Center, and was hoping the time would go by quickly until the results were announced at 8 PM that night.

This race was tight between the person in second and myself. I was expecting the best and prepared for the worst that day but I had a strange feeling in my gut. Was it good? Was it bad? I honestly didn't know and I just wanted it to be all over. When I got home, after waiting at least 15 minutes for the page to load due to site errors, I saw it. My face, "Winner", #1. "Whaaaa?!?!?! No way!!" I said to myself. I jumped, I ran and I screamed "Ahhhhh!!" like a little kid on Christmas morning. One of the best things I've ever felt in a long time.

Looking back on everything, when I started my blog 3 1/2 years ago, I never expected anything like this to happen. From hiding my love of food, cooking and baking from a majority of people in my life because of fear, to no longer being afraid of social norms in our society, it's amazing. If this competition showed me anything, it reinforces what I've said since the beginning. "Do what you love, no matter what it may be. Live your life the way you want to live it and don't let fear or the opinion of others drive you away from your passion."

I want to thank every single person that has supported me and my blog for the past 3 1/2 years and those that voted for me in this competition. Whether you are a friend, family member, supporter of my passion, lover of my blog, I wouldn't be here without any of you. No words can express how thankful I am for the support. It means the world to me that I won this competition and that this is just the beginning of what else may come my way. Food Network, here I come.

-Aaron John


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