My Mandolin Gently Weeps.

Well hello there, folks.  Welcome to a new year, and the same blog.  At the end of this post, I am going to post a poll question and I really want as much participation in the poll as possible.  It has to do with the future of what you might be reading in this blog.

Anyway, in keeping with my trend for posting late after Thanksgiving, I thought I would post a little late after Christmas.  I gotta be consistent, ya know?  I’ll just jump right in to the good stuff and we’ll go from there.

As you know, I was dry-aging my beef, and it was funky….but in a good way.  I took it out of the chill and sliced off the parts that were less than appetizing and let it come to room temperature.  I will say right now that not everything went according to plan.  In fact, very little went according to plan.  Speaking of plan, here’s what our menu was supposed to look like:

  • Perfectly roasted standing rib roast (medium-rare with an amazing crust.)
  • Roasted broccoli tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh garlic, then finished with parmesan cheese.
  • Creamy (and dreamy) potato gratin.
  • Yorkshire pudding/pop-over.
  • Dijon-glazed baby carrots.

And here’s what we actually had:

  • Rib roast that was rushed due to timing.  Was not cooked evenly and was a lot less red than I was hoping for.  The taste was still amazing, and the crust was divine.  All I did to it was a little oil, salt and pepper the outside of the meat.  The intent was to roast low and slow at 200°, but time was running short so I had to keep pushing the temperature higher and higher, resulting in less-than-desired results.
  • Mostly burnt broccoli, with burnt garlic pieces clinging for their lives.  This I take the blame for since I had the broccoli on the bottom-most shelf in the oven (right over the element), and I used a baking sheet that was far too large for the quantity of broccoli that I had.
  • Twice-Baked Potatoes, courtesy of Omaha Steaks.  The gratin we originally made never set-up the way it was supposed to.  It looked like a nasty, creamy puddle of potato slices sitting on our counter, when it was supposed to be a mouth-watering slice of heaven.  Not to mention I hurt myself in the making of the dish (that never got eaten.)  Without getting into any details, let me just say that if you are going to be using a mandolin slicer to cut up some veggies, always use some sort of hand protection.  The potatoes we ended up using were a gift to my wife and I, and luckily we had those as a back-up.
  • The Yorkshire puddings were pretty good, but didn’t puff as much as I think they were supposed to.  For those of you who don’t know, a Yorkshire pudding (Yorkie) is a traditional English bread that gets served with roast beast.  Its’ main purpose in life is to soak up the juices and/or gravy on the plate, via the large air bubble in the middle.  I thought they were still pretty good for what they were supposed to be, despite my diners not being so crazy about them.
  • Dijon-glazed carrots.  I think this was the only item on the menu that actually turned out the way it was supposed to.  The carrots got boiled, and then tossed with a brown sugar, ginger, salt, pepper and dijon mustard glaze.  They were tangy, but still creamy, with the carrots being pretty perfectly done.

Overall though, it was a crazy learning experience, and certainly an experience in adaptability.  And, due to an iTunes mishap, I do not have any pictures to show of the meal.  And to be honest, I really only had a picture of the beef; it was the only thing worth taking a picture of.

We also had dessert.  I made the same pumpkin pies that I made at Thanksgiving, and they were just as well-received this time as they were the last.  My wife also made a really good banana pudding with a vanilla wafer crumble on top.  Yes, she made that at Thanksgiving too, but it wasn’t as good that time as it was this time.

So that’s really all that happened for Christmas.  We kept it much smaller than Thanksgiving, and I am glad about that.  For all that deviated from the plan, I’m glad we didn’t try for a larger menu.  I will say that I would certainly try dry-aging a roast again in the future…When it’s on sale.  And I will roast it according to the original plan and see how long it takes.  I will then have a perfect roast…that will probably feed my wife and I for a week.  And as long as it came out okay, I would be alright with that.

So as you all (should) know by now, I am going to be starting culinary school tomorrow.  I am very, very excited and I have a question to pose to you all.  Would you be interested in reading about my adventures at Le Cordon Bleu?  I would use this domain, but make it a separate section of this site.  I would still continue to update this section of the blog with my home-cooking adventures and thoughts, but I would simply add a new section, keeping up with my school stuff.  In my opinion, I think in doing that, I would be able to keep up with my food adventures more, and give you more content to read from me.  Or, if you’re sick of me, you might not like that idea very much!  I just know that a lot of you are excited and curious about what my schooling will bring, and I think it might be good info for anyone looking into going to culinary school.

So on that note, I will leave this blog.  Feel free to comment on anything you want.  Let me know what you think.  And heck, let me know if you have any food-related resolutions for the new year.  And answer my poll!!

Stay positive, love your life, and play with your food 🙂

About imasamurai

I am the owner of . A recent culinary graduate from Le Cordon Bleu just trying to make it to the next meal. I may not always do things the easy way, but I certainly do things the tasty way!
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5 Responses to My Mandolin Gently Weeps.

  1. Lindsay says:

    I would love to hear about your school adventures! I think that’s a great idea!! 🙂 Looking forward to the next blog!

  2. Mom #2 says:

    I have to say that we enjoyed every bit of Christmas – mishaps and all – except the injury sustained in the production of the festivities. You both always aim to please, at all cost. Looking forward to your blogs from culinary school!

  3. Holly says:

    Well, everybody has an off day. The good thing is you’re learning from it and not being defeated by it. I can’t wait to hear about school. I just don’t hope you don’t have too much on your plate (pun intended)with work, school, and blog. Good luck! You’re going to be great!

  4. Jo says:

    I heard the Christmas meal was fabulous, this coming from a completely biased mother-in-law! You’ve got to let me know what happened with the Mandolin. They should come with safety instructions. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures in school and we’ll all be expecting some cooking tips along the way, too. Good luck and Happy New Year!

  5. Jeff Howarth says:

    We thought your Christmas dinner was VERY good, (with the exception of the broccoli), the Yorkshire pudding and carrots were also worthy of a photo, and we thought the twice-baked potatoes seemed a little TOO perfect-looking!!We look forward to your blogs about Culinary School,and we know that you’ll do well, since, you’ve got that “food-passion”thing already going on……..

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