Simple dinner best at Christmas

Published 1:42 am Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas dinner is always a treat. A glass of champagne; the stress of the gift giving is over; and one can sit down and enjoy a nice simple meal. I always choose a roast of some sort, some potatoes, Yorkshire pudding or popovers. Dessert is a simple Godiva chocolate. I buy one box a year and finish it up on Christmas day.

A standing rib roast is dramatic, and this recipe for a boneless version is crunchy and crackly on the outside and meltingly delicious on the inside. The way to cook a roast is to multiply the weight of the meat by 5 minutes, cook it exactly that long, turn the oven off, and walk away. This is the version from Julia Reed’s cookbook, South.


Rib-Eye Roast

Serves 10

One 8-10 pound boneless rib roast

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

Butter, softened

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Three hours before you are ready to cook, remove the roast from the refrigerator and place in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle the meat all over with Worcestershire sauce and rub it in with your hands. Coat the meat all over with softened butter. Don’t be stingy-the roast should look like a lightly iced cake. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Set aside, uncovered.

About 30 minutes before cooking, preheat the oven to 500°F.

Place the roast in the oven and bake for exactly 5 minutes per pound. (If your roast is exactly 8 pounds, cook it for exactly 40 minutes. This is what your calculator is for.) As soon as the baking time is complete, turn off the oven but do not open the oven door. Put up a sign—do whatever you have to do—but leave the meat inside for another 1 ½ hours.

Remove the roast to a carving board and slice. Because the meat has already “rested” in the oven, it does not need to rest further.


I am using this recipe from Southern Living for potatoes this year. A little different but it sure looks good.

From ‘Southern Living’ December 2016.


Baby Hasselback

Potatoes with Blue Cheese

Serves 10

10 (2 ½ oz.) small Yukon Gold potatoes

½ cup salted butter, melted

1 ½ Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided

1 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about ¼ cup)

½ cup crumbled cooked bacon, (about 6 slices)

¼ cup chopped chives

Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice each potato crosswise at 1/8-inch intervals, cutting to within ¼ inch of the bottom of the potato. (Do not cut all the way through potatoes.) Arrange potatoes, cut side up, on a greased baking sheet.

Combine melted butter, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in small bowl. Spoon 1/3 cup of the melted butter mixture evenly over potatoes.

Bake in preheated oven on middle oven rack until tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Spoon remaining butter mixture evenly over potatoes. Sprinkle with blue cheese and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Bake until cheese is slightly melted and potatoes are golden, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with bacon and chives, and serve immediately.


These popovers are terrific. Great with your roast for Christmas dinner. The cornmeal adds a Southern touch.

From ‘Southern Living’ December 2016.


Cornmeal Popovers

12 popovers

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup fine white cornmeal

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

1 ¾ cups whole milk

4 large eggs

¼ cup salted butter, melted

Place a 12-cup muffin pan in over. Preheat oven to 450°F. (Do not remove pan.)

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together milk and eggs in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk milk into flour mixture until well blended.

Remove muffin pan from oven. Spoon 1 teaspoon melted butter into each cup of hot muffin pan, return muffin pan to oven for 2 minutes.

Remove muffin pan. Divide batter among prepared muffin cup. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 18-20 minutes. (Centers will be moist.) Serve immediately. These are delicious.

Merry Christmas!