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Food

Christmas Dinner is EASY

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OK, maybe this post is a little last-minute. But most of the grocery stores are open until noon today. There is still time. Christmas dinner is very similar to Thanksgiving dinner, but easier. Some people have an identical turkey dinner, perhaps with an added ham.

One sure way to make Christmas special is with a rib roast. The standing rib roastis a beautiful thing, and even easier than a turkey! Figure one rib will serve two people; by weight, a pound per person. Add some new potatoes, green beans or haricot vertes, and you can be out of the kitchen in under an hour - including dessert!

Persimmon pudding is not only a holiday classic, but it cooks at the same temperature as the roast, so they can cook at the same time. This recipe was given to me by my first professional mentor, Sue Diamond. You will want very mushy, over-ripe persimmons for this recipe. This persimmon pudding is baked rather than steamed, and almost resembles cake. Served under a big dollop of whipped cream, it will seem like it took longer than ten minutes to prepare.

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Rib roasts can run ten dollars a pound, but I picked one up last night for five dollars a pound - a steal. Open a bottle of champagne, get out the fancy dishes, and you have a super-elegant holiday without too much fuss.

Recipes after the jump!

RIB ROAST

1 4-pound rib roast
3 Tablespoons coarse salt (Kosher, Trapani, Fleur de Sal, etc)
4 Tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
5 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 White Rose potatoes or equal amount new potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse roast and pat dry. Place fat-side-up in roasting pan.

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Combine salt, pepper, and mustard. Rub paste all over the roast, coating thoroughly. Jab in a meat thermometer so the tip is centered in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat or touching bone. Do not add water or cover.

Toss it in the oven and cook for 1 hour.

Toss potatoes with olive oil and butter. Add potatoes to roasting pan and cook another 45 minutes, or until thermometer registers 120 degrees F. Just watch the potatoes so they don;t burn.

Let rest 15 minutes before carving.

More info on temperatures and cooking times.

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PERSIMMON PUDDING

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup persimmon pulp
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together by hand. Pour into an 8" x 8" square baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.

Bake 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.

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Taaa Daaaa!!!!!

Photo by Another Pint Please via Flickr.