Friday, December 27, 2013

A Not So Traditional Christmas Meal – Rib Eye Steak

With Madison gone to California for the holidays, Bev and I decided we would be into the bah-humbug mode and do virtually nothing for Christmas except relax.  Madison ready to travel.

Then we realized a couple of friends would be home alone and daughter Wende would be coming down.  Then we remembered our neighbors had been wanting to get together and play some cards and all of a sudden, it was eight for dinner.

However, we still decided to keep it simple by grilling some steaks, and siding them with Penny’s cheesy scalloped potatoes, a salad provided by one of the guests, and hot rolls.  I  had BBQ’d on Dec 22 and cooked some items for friends including smoking a rib roast.  I just bought the whole rib eye, smoked his 10” piece and cut the remainder into steaks and after adding a couple from the freezer we had plenty of meat.

I couldn’t find a USDA grade on the package and feared I may have ended up with select, but after cutting the steaks, they looked more like prime.  So I looked harder at the package and found the choice rating then did a little on line research and discovered Butchers Block is a Sysco (food service company) brand.

In keeping with our plan, the steaks were simple – give them a not to heavy coat of Montreal Steak Seasoning on both sides and let them set on the kitchen counter for about four hours (don’t tell the food police).

Grill over charcoal to either red or pink – that seems to be as close as I can get anymore and a couple of folks still had to trade, but everyone thought they were great.  I will definitely be heading back for some more – even though I’m still trying to empty the freezer.

We made Penny’s Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes for our friends meal  a couple of weeks ago and liked them so well, we decided to have them again for Christmas – who doesn’t like cheesy potatoes.  Her recipe is for two and since I adapted it for eight, I thought I’d post it on here so I can have a record of it.  I just multiplied the ingredients by eight then amended the directions a little.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes For Eight – Adapted from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen

8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
6 teaspoons cornstarch
4 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (2 cups)
4 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
8 medium russet potatoes
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss cheddar and 4 teaspoon cornstarch together in bowl until well combined.  Toss Parmesan and remaining 2 teaspoon corn starch together in second bowl until well combined.

Heat oil in 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering, add onion and cook until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds.  Add broth, cream, potatoes, salt, and pepper and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are nearly tender. 

Off heat, stir in cheddar mixture and press potatoes into even layer in a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle Parmesan mixture evenly over top and bake until golden brown and bubbly.  Let potatoes cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.  (I made the dish up early and added the Parmesan just before they went into the oven).

I had a lot going on at serving time and didn’t get any finished shots so go back up and look at that raw meat again J.

We finished up with dessert provided by one of the guests and had a couple of four-person card games – it was a very good way to spend Christmas day with much less work and anxiety than the usual big meal.

Photos best if enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


12/25/13 meal date


  1. Sounds like an ideal Christmas with friends to me and we hope Madison had a nice trip.

  2. Those steaks look absolutely wonderful. I think that will be a great way to bring in the New Year for us. Glad you had some company since Madison wasn't there to keep things interesting. Hope she has a fantastic time.

  3. Merry Christmas my friend and indeed, it sneaks up. Jackie and I had just my son as a guest three days before Christmas and we ended up with 9. Sadly, too cold for grilling, would have loved to have followed your lead and done Christmas on the grill.

    As always, love dropping by Almost Heaven!

    Dave and Jackie

  4. I love when gatherings come together like that. And nothing beats Montreal. Madison looks so cute

  5. I got called away before I finished my comment. Madison looks fantastic in that photo, so grown up too, and really hope she enjoys her visit with Anthony and his family.

  6. I made a prime rib dinner, that turned out to be delicious. I wanted a low-maintenance meal, and this worked out well. Those steaks look delicious, and I have to agree that Montreal Steak seasoning is all you really need. I had to chuckle, as I didn't get many finished shots, either. Too much going on-- and I may or may not have sipped a little Christmas wine. Happy New Year!

  7. yup, Larry, you did right with the left-over rib roast... as usual, several things caught my attention - from 2 to 8, now that is what Christmas is all about / the food police is barred from my house, if meat is not resting on the counter to temp, Drick ain't happy / I am gonna remember 'either red or pink' as that is the darnest best excuse for when I get bumfuzzled while grilling (this refers to me, never you Larry) / I missed where you purchased you whole ribeye, but glad to know that label originates from sysco, I will look for it... and I would not think of using that much cornstarch in a potato dish, a flour roux is the way I was taught but I do so like my starches and, it makes sense, binds with the potato naturally I guess...
    enough of my rambling, I guess I have not stopped long enough lately to say 'hey' sooooo... Wishing you and Bev a wonderful New Year full of good cheer and healthy days ahead....and yes, Madison is so grown up...

  8. Larry, Sounds like a great meal to me! Love cheesy potatoes and you can't beat a good rib eye steak! How are you handling the peace and quiet with Madison off on her special holiday trip? Hopefully, you guys are relaxing... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  9. I will have to try the expanded version of the cheesy potatoes Larry. So glad that you and Bev like them. Happy New Year.

  10. I'm going to try these Larry. We love au gratin potatoes.

  11. Wow…sounds like a wonderful Christmas dinner was had by all. Those steaks do look a lot like prime beef. I think you lucked out.

  12. Looks like it was a great Christmas meal! You are right! Who doesn't like cheesy potatoes, except maybe weight watchers! LOL!


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