Chef’s Choice

This month’s foodie selection as recommended by Chef Mark Graves of Marko’s on 2nd, 135 S. 2nd St. in Decatur

Once again, the holiday season is here! Between dealing with the insane crowds at the mall in search for that perfect gift for loved ones to planning Christmas get-togethers with family, friends and co-workers, the build up for Christmas Day can be stressful. Regardless, it’s personally my favorite time of the year! No matter how stressful it gets, it seems that once the time is here to spend with your family exchanging gifts, eating, drinking and being merry, it puts everything in to perspective and the stress of everything is just an after thought.

Is it your turn to host the family Christmas this year? How about breaking the monotony of the traditional Christmas ham and replacing it with a beautiful Herb and Garlic Crusted Prime Rib. Prime rib is the perfect center piece to any Christmas dinner; not only will you wow your guests, but it’s really easy and it feeds the masses as well. When I think red meat, I almost always pair it with a big Cabernet Sauvignon. So my drink of choice to pair with this amazing prime rib would be Trinchero’s “2009 Central Park West” Cabernet Sauvignon. And if it’s a warm drink you are craving to keep you warm on a chilly Christmas night, may I recommend a Hazelnut Orange Hot Toddy?

Herb & Garlic Crusted Prime Rib

herb garlic prime rib1 10- to 12-pound prime rib roast (at room temperature)
1⁄2 c. fresh parsley leaves (chopped)
1⁄2 c. fresh rosemary (chopped)
1⁄2 c. fresh tarragon (chopped)
1⁄4 c. fresh thyme (chopped)
20 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 T. kosher salt
1 1⁄2 T. fresh ground black pepper
1⁄4 c. canola oil.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove excess fat from the bottom of the roast, then trim the layer of fat from the top rounded side. In a bowl, mix all the herbs and garlic well, then add the salt and pepper and mix again. Add oil and with a whisk, mix well. Next, apply mix to the outside of the roast, making sure the mixture is spread out evenly on all sides of the roast. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees for medium rare (about 2 1⁄2 hours). Allow the roast to rest for 25 minutes before slicing.

Pairs well with…

2009 Trinchero2009 Trinchero “Central Park West” Cabernet Sauvignon, which showcases flavors of succulent plum and cherries with rich aromas of brioche, cassis, and cocoa. This wine retails for about $40.

Hazelnut Orange Hot Toddy

Hazelnut Orange Hot Toddy1 1⁄2 oz. Bailey’s Hazelnut Liqueur
1 oz. Grand Marnier
2 t. sugar
Hot water
Pinch of nutmeg

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