Saturday, December 28, 2019

Patty Melt

Back in the 1930's, Tiny Naylor owned a chain of Los Angeles restaurants called "Biff's". Tiny was quite a creative guy and he envisioned a hybrid meal that would combine two of his favorite sandwiches...a hamburger and a grilled cheese sandwich. Thus was born the Patty Melt. Simple and delicious. I'll take mine with some golden shoestring fries, please.

It's been a fun 10 years blogging about my favorite subject, food. This is my last post for this decade. But I will see you on the other side when the new decade arrives in a few days! Thanks for reading.

1 pound ground beef
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
8 thin slices rye bread
8 thin slices of Swiss cheese
1 cup caramelized onions
8 thin slices American cheese
Foil wrapped skillet


  1. Shape beef into 4 thin patties. Heat large cast iron skillet on medium-high. Season patties with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes per side then transfer to a plate.
  2. Wipe out skillet and return to medium-low heat. Spread mayo on 1 side of each bread slice. In 2 batches, place 2 bread slices mayo-side down in the skillet. Top each slice with 2 slices of Swiss cheese, a beef patty, caramelized onions, 2 slices of American cheese and second slice of bread, mayo side up. Place small, foil-wrapped skillet on top of sandwiches to press down on the Patty Melts. Cook until bread is golden brown and crisp, 3 minutes per side. Then slice each sandwich in half and serve.

Pairing: An ice cold Pilsner, please.

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Ann Seranne's Bone-In Prime Rib Roast

Anne Seranne was born in Ontario in 1913. She moved to the United States in 1936.  She became famous for two things: dogs and food. She was a very serious breeder of Yorkshire terrier show dogs. And she was a serious lover of all things having to do with food. She earned her living as a food consultant and eventually became the editor of Gourmet Magazine.

But she is little remembered these days, for she was a one-hit wonder in the vein of Billy Ray Cyrus and his song "Achy Breaky Heart". But, oh, what a hit she had. She single-handedly created the greatest recipe for medium rare prime rib. Published in the New York Times in 1966, it was revolutionary. It was beyond simple. And absolutely foolproof.

Her recipe called for blasting the bone-in roast at 500º for a brief period and then turning off the oven...leaving the beef undisturbed for 2 hours. Unbelievably perfect medium rare, every single time. Plus you can carve the roast the minute you take it out of the oven because it has already been resting for 2 hours.

For the recipe to work, your prime rib roast must be bone-in. You can cook it with the bones intact or do what I do... I have the butcher cut the bones and then tie them back to the roast. That way, I can just make a couple of snips of the butcher's twine and carve the roast up....reserving the ribs for a later snack that only I will get to enjoy.

One, 2 to 4 rib, beef prime rib roast, weighing 4 to 12 pounds
Fresh Ground Pepper

  1. Remove the roast from the refrigerator 4 hours before cooking and let it come up to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Place the roast in an open, shallow roasting pan, fat side up (bone-side down). You don't need a roasting rack as the bones will serve that purpose.  Season generously all over with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the roast in the preheated oven (on the second lowest rack) and roast according to the roasting chart below, timing the minutes exactly  When cooking time is finished, turn off the oven. Do not open the door at any time. Allow the roast to remain in the oven until oven is lukewarm, for two hours. The roast will have a crunchy brown outside and an internal heat suitable for serving as long as 4 hours after removing from the oven. Makes about 2 servings per rib.

A.   2 rib roast (4 to 5 pounds)...32 minutes at 500º, then rest 2 hours, door shut

B.   3 rib roast (8 to 9 pounds)...47 minutes at 500º, then rest 2 hours, door shut

C.   4 rib roast (11 to 12 pounds)...62 minutes at 500º, then rest 2 hours, door shut

{Formula = 15 minutes per rib + 2 minutes} 

  1. Wine Pairing: It's Christmas, so splurge on an Amarone.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Christmas Boneless Prime Rib Roast

This recipe is very simple and follows a similar methodology that I used for Roast Chicken. You are going to start cooking the meat at a very high temperature and then turn the heat down to gently finish cooking the roast. All you need to do this is an oven and a calculator. Well, that's not quite true, because I also use Lunds & Byerly's Dry-Aged Beef Seasoning...a spectacular combination of gray sea salt, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, basil, fennel and lavender. Order it  from their web site:

This recipe is for boneless prime rib roasts. You are first going to blast the roast with heat, 500º for 15 minutes. Then you turn the oven down to 325º and cook it based on the weight of your roast and the desired level of doneness you want. Here are the cooking times for the different levels of finish:

Rare: 11 minutes per pound
Medium Rare: 13 minutes per pound
Medium: 15 minutes per pound

Here's an example of how it works. You bought a 6-pound roast and want to serve it medium rare. You heat the oven to 500º. First, cook the roast for 15 minutes at that high heat level, then turn the oven down to 325º. Then cook the roast for 78 more minutes at that lower temp (6 pounds X 13 minutes).

Using this recipe with my oven has yielded perfect results every time. And, just as I discovered with my chicken, cooking the roast in this conventional manner yielded juicier meat than when cooked with a convection oven. For the purposes of sharing the recipe, I will use a 5-pound roast as an example. But you can buy whatever size suits your taste and adjust your cooking times accordingly.

One, 5-pound prime rib roast
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Lund's & Byerly's Dry-Aged Beef Seasoning

  1. Remove roast from refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for at least 3 hours prior to cooking.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 500º.
  3. Rub roast with oil and season generously with Dry-Aged Beef Seasoning.
  4. Put roast on a roasting rack/pan and slide into the oven. Cook for 15 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 325º and cook for 65 minutes (5 pounds X 13 minutes for medium rare). Do not open oven during the entire cooking process.
  6. When the 65 minutes is up, remove roast from oven, tent with foil and let roast rest for 20 minutes. Then carve and serve.

Wine pairing: If you want to hang out with the big dogs on the porch, grab a Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa...yours for just $53.99 at Total Wine. Or, if it's your day to run with the chihuahuas, you can get a 90-point Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington state for just $6.97.

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Roasted Baked Potato Skins

This is a really simple recipe. It's just an easy variation on my last post of the Roasted Baked Potato. Everything is the same except for the last few minutes. And what you get by following this recipe is a potato skin that has more crunch than any other skin you've ever tasted. Believe me, the secret to great potato skins is all about the crunch.

4 large russet potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Cheddar cheese
Chopped scallions
Bacon bits


  1. Preheat oven to 450º.
  2. Wash potatoes under the faucet and dry with a cloth towel.
  3. Pierce each potato 6 times with a fork. Coat entire potato skin with olive oil, then sprinkle skin generously with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
  4. Place potatoes in oven and cook for 2 hours.
  5. Immediately slice potatoes open and use a spoon to scrape out the potato innards.
  6. Add cheese, scallions and bacon bits to hollowed-out potato skins.
  7. Return skins to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Serve.

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Roasted Baked Potato

To me, a perfectly baked potato is all about the skin. Sure, the insides need to be light and fluffy. But too many people undercook the potato so that the skin is, well...flaccid. Yep, there, I said it. Flaccid. Limp. Lacking firmness. Droopy. Potatile Dysfuntion.

The skin is the very best part of a potato. It's the part that has all of the vitamins and fiber in it. It's also the most flavorful part of a potato. Most baked potato recipes call for cooking the potato in moderate heat for 45 to 60 minutes....and that gets you flaccid skin.

What I am encouraging you to do is use high heat (roast it!) and take a helluva lot more time. And you have to use the right potato, for only a russet will do. Follow my recipe and you will experience potato nirvana. A crisp, seemingly deep-fried skin with a soft and creamy inside. But to accomplish this, there is an absolutely critical final step. Slice the potato open the minute you take it out of the oven. If you don't the skin will absorb steam from the inner potato and you will end up with...yep... flaccid.

4 large russet potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450º.
  2. Wash potatoes under the faucet and dry with a cloth towel.
  3. Pierce each potato 6 times with a fork.
  4. Coat entire potato skin with olive oil, then sprinkle skin generously with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
  5. Place potatoes in oven and cook for 2 hours.
  6. Immediately slice potatoes open and serve with your favorite fixings (mine happen to be butter, bacon and chives).

Grogs and Goldie, 1956