In the Kitchen with Claire Robinson

By Fabiana Santana

Sunday Roast Beef and Gravy

Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min

Yield 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

* 1 (3 to 4-pound) bone-in rib eye roast

* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

* 1/4 cup olive oil

Gravy:

* 1 large shallot, finely chopped

* 1/2 bottle drinking red wine, such as Malbec

* 5 cups beef stock

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a heavy hand, season rib eye roast with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat olive oil in bottom of large Dutch oven (a roasting pan works too). Place beef in hot pan and sear in oil to a deep golden brown on all sides. Move pan to the heated oven for about 15 minutes per pound for medium rare, making an approximate hour cooking time. Remove the pan from oven and transfer the beef to a cutting board. Allow meat to rest for at least 15 minutes, tented with foil.

Gravy:

Pour off excess fat from cooking pot (reserve for Thyme for Yorkshire Pudding if desired) and place stovetop over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Deglaze the pot with 1/2 cup of the wine and cook, scraping up browned bits. Add remaining wine and bring to a boil reduce by half. Add stock and simmer until reduced again by about half. Pass the gravy through a fine mesh sieve. Bring back to a boil simmer until desired gravy consistency is reached. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Carve beef against the grain, in thin slices and serve with gravy.

Thyme for Yorkshire Pudding

Cook Time: 25 min

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

* 1 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1 cup all-purpose flour

* 1 1/4 cups milk

* 3 eggs, beaten

* 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Cook’s note: olive oil can replace cooking fat if none is available

Sift the salt and the flour into a large bowl. Whisk half the milk and all the eggs into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk and then the thyme. Cover; let batter sit at room temperature for at least 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Divide the oil or rendered beef fat, 1/4 cup total, between a 12-cup non-stick muffin tin or 12 hole Yorkshire pudding tray. Heat in oven until the fat is almost smoking hot. Place a baking sheet in the bottom rack of the oven to catch any fat drippings – this will help prevent any oven fires!

Uncover batter and whisk one more time. Pour batter into each cup, about 3/4 way filled and immediately place back into the oven. The batter will sizzle when being poured into the hot fat. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until risen and golden brown in color. Turn oven off and leave puddings in the oven for just 5 more minutes to help set. Remove puddings and serve while hot and puffed.

* Reserved pan fat from Sunday Roast Beef

Baby Carrots with Sweet Ginger Butter

Cook Time: 15 mins

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

* 2 pounds fresh baby carrots, with tops trimmed to 1/2-inch

* 3 tablespoons butter

* 2 tablespoons finely diced crystallized ginger

* Sea salt, or other good finishing salt

* Freshly ground white pepper

Directions

In a shallow saucepan, steam the carrots in simmering water with a pinch of salt. Cover them with a parchment round set over and touching the simmering water to get a perfect steam. Remove carrots from the water when they are almost fork tender.

In a medium saute pan, heat the butter, and add the chopped crystallized ginger, stir to coat. Allow the sugar from the candy to melt into the butter, and then transfer the steamed carrots to the sautee pan. Toss gently for approximately 2 minutes until the carrots are completely coated with the ginger butter. Finish with a pinch of salt and crack of freshly ground white pepper. Serve immediately.

Millionaire’s Shortbread

Cook Time: 30 min

Yield: 2 dozen

Ingredients

Shortbread:

* 2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for preparing pans

* 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for preparing pans

* 2/3 cup sugar

* 1/2 teaspoons salt

Caramel Layer:

* 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

* 2 tablespoons butter

Chocolate Topping:

* 3/4 pound good-quality milk chocolate

Shortbread:

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare 2 (8-inch) square non-stick pans with butter and coat with flour, tapping off excess. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse once. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles peas. Press the shortbread mixture into prepared pans and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool completely.

Caramel Layer:

In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-low heat, combine the condensed milk, 2 tablespoons of butter, and the sugar. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Continue stirring over the heat until mixture becomes thick and amber in color, about 15 minutes. Pour the caramel over the cooked shortbread and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Cool to room temperature.

Chocolate Topping:

In a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Once chocolate has melted, pour it over the cooled caramel layer. Cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator to cool completely allowing chocolate to slightly harden but not set hard. Cut into 2 inch squares and enjoy, or store in an airtight container at room temperature or my favorite – keep in the fridge for a yummy sweet and cool treat!

Additional reading
Booking Travel on the Web
Tax Deductible Earth Day Getaways
Traveling Solo Safely