su - Cab's Big Night
Time: about 35 minutes. This crowd-pleasing appetizer can be plated with the greens as a sit-down first course or served without greens as stand-up finger food.
THE WINE: Cold, crisp Sauvignon Blanc with a smidgen of Semillon (see "Wine Pick," below).
1. Preheat oven to 475°. Pour bread crumbs, flour, and whites into 3 shallow bowls. Stir 1 tbsp. salt and the cayenne into bread crumbs and 1 tsp. salt into flour.
2. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into a large rimmed baking pan and spread to cover bottom. Dredge shrimp in flour, shaking off excess; dip in egg whites, letting excess drip off; then roll in bread crumbs. Press each shrimp in oil, then turn to coat other side, adding more oil to pan if necessary to coat all shrimp. Set slightly apart in pan.
3. Bake shrimp until browned on the bottom, about 8 minutes; then turn over and bake until golden brown all over and opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part, 5 to 8 minutes longer.
4. Mix arugula with lemon juice, remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve shrimp with arugula and Lemony Mayo.
Make ahead: Bread the shrimp earlier in the day and chill, uncovered (the coating dries out and the shrimp get crisper).
Wine Pick: White with the First Course. Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (Napa and Sonoma Counties; $32). Bright, complex citrus and stone fruit, with a rich core from a little Semillon blended in (the traditional white blend in Bordeaux).
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving with mayo.
1. In a food processor, whirl egg yolks, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, mustard, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. With motor running, pour in olive oil and canola oil; mixture should be thick and shiny (you may need a little more or less canola oil).
2. Add lemon zest then salt and lemon juice to taste. Chill until cold.
Packing a prime rib roast in a salt crust keeps it moist and makes those richly seasoned end pieces hot items at the table. This herb-crusted prime rib looks gourmet and is full of flavor.
1. Rinse roast and pat dry. With a small, sharp knife, make small slits all over the meat, and insert a piece of garlic in each.
2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, herbs, and pepper. Rub mixture all over meat, wrap airtight, and chill overnight.
3. Remove beef from refrigerator 1 hour before roasting. Preheat oven to 450°. Set roast, fatty side up, in a roasting pan. In a small bowl, mix salt with 2 tbsp. cold water to moisten. Press mixture over the fatty side and the ends of meat.
4. Roast for 25 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350°. Continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the center of thickest part of meat reaches 125° for rare (or 130° for medium-rare; the ends will be more done), 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer. Let rest in a warm place 30 to 40 minutes.
5. Scrape as much salt off roast as you can. Cut string holding meat and bones together. Transfer roast to a cutting board, cut into 1/3- to 1/2-in.-thick slices, and arrange on a platter. Cut between bones and add them to platter. Serve with Fresh Horseradish Sauce.
*For easy carving, have the butcher cut the rib-eye muscle from the bones, then tie the meat and bones back together for roasting.
THE WINE: Serve Cabs in a range of prices (see Wine Picks, below), and play the high-low game: Have people choose their favorite and guess the price. You'll be surprised at what comes out on top.
Wine Picks: Cab Choices for the Main Event:
Robert Sinskey Vandal Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (Los Carneros, Napa Valley; $48). Lively cassis and dark berries play over a foresty bed of juniper, cedar, and mocha flavors.
Robert Sinskey "SLD" Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (Stags Leap District, Napa Valley; $85). The winery's showcase wine-elegantly structured, with complex layers of dark plums and cherries, cedar, and espresso.
Spottswoode "Lyndenhurst" Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (St. Helena, Napa Valley; $60). A plush wine with classic cassis, dark chocolate, a touch of cedar, and fine tannins.
The Girls in the Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (Red Hills, Lake County; $20). A great-value, fruit-driven Cab made by old friends of the Sinskeys. A little mint and a few herbs lurk under juicy black cherries.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per 6-oz. serving without sauce.
The fresh horseradish in this sauce makes all the pungent difference that fresh herbs do in cooking.
1. Peel the horseradish root with a vegetable peeler. Grate finely or whirl in a food processor until finely chopped. In a small bowl, mix horseradish with vinegar.
2. In another bowl, whisk crème fraîche until slightly thickened. Stir in horseradish mixture, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
* Fresh horseradish is sold in well-stocked produce markets; if you can't find it, you can substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup prepared horseradish and omit the vinegar. Either way, make the sauce a day ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend.
Make ahead: 1 day; keep chilled.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per tbsp.
Nothing more than good olive oil and crunchy sea salt turn super-simple potatoes into an irresistible holiday side dish.
1. Peel potatoes and cut into 1 1/2-in. cubes. Put in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and refrigerate overnight.*
2. Preheat oven to 475°. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes and cook until barely tender when pierced, about 10 minutes. Pour into a colander and let drain and dry 10 minutes.
3. Set potatoes in a single layer in a large rimmed baking pan. Drizzle evenly with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tbsp. salt; stir gently to coat.
4. Bake potatoes until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through baking. Mound hot potatoes on a platter or in a shallow serving bowl; sprinkle with more salt to taste.
*Soaking the potatoes at least a day (and up to 2 days) ahead makes them even crisper on the outside and creamier in the middle.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Crispy Shrimp with Arugula and Lemony Mayo
Salt- and Herb-Crusted Prime Rib with Fresh Horseradish Sauce
Fresh Horseradish Sauce
Golden Olive Oil-roasted Potatoes
Chef and wine pro Mara Helm Sinskey serves the king of reds with the king of beef for a pull-out-the-stops holiday meal. (Serves 8)
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