Christmas with Giada

2012 will go down in the books as the first year we hosted Christmas.  Traveling 5+ hours with Bella in the backseat (who now boycotts her car seat after 2 hours), didn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. Neither did sleeping in a guest bed…for I spend so many nights away from home as it is.  So there was our decision.  We’d host!   As with all events and weekends that we entertain, I was excited to plan the menu(s). Fortunately or unfortunately, my pregnant brain said, “Robin, you just CAN’T do every meal…for 5 days…not this time.”  Instead I focused on a full evening of heavy hor’s devours for Christmas Eve and an elegant meal for Christmas Day. It is those recipes of Giada’s that I must share with you, for they were wonderful! 

Christmas dinner preparation with my Sous Chef:  Prime Rib w/ Marsala Sauce, Marscapone Mashed Potatoes, & Parmesan Asparagus

Sous Chef

Roasted Prime Rib with Thyme and Marsala

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

4 to 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 6-pound bone-in beef prime rib roast, trussed (I had 6.5lbs for 6ppl)


  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup sweet marsala
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot  (I used Flour)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the beef:   Allow the beef to stand at room temperature before roasting, 30 minutes. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Mix together the thyme, salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl.  Make 1-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slits all over the meat using a paring knife.  Rub the garlic mixture into the slits and onto the rest of the meat. Place the meat, fat-side up, in a shallow roasting pan.  Roast for 45 minutes.  Cover the meat with foil and continue to roast until a meat thermometer inserted straight down into the center of the meat registers 145 degrees F for medium-rare, 65 to 75 minutes.  Place the roast on a baking sheet and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.

For the sauce:  Combine any juices from the rested meat with the broth, marsala, arrowroot and thyme in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer until thick, 20 minutes.  Whisk in the butter until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into a serving pitcher.

Slice the roast into 1/2-inch-thick slices and arrange on a platter.  Serve the sauce alongside.

prime rib

Mashed Potatoes with Kale

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Serves:  4 to 6 servings


  • 5 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 4 pounds)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 12-ounce bunch kale, stemmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth


  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

For the potatoes:  Combine the potatoes, garlic, salt and butter in a 5-quart saucepan with enough cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain in a colander and remove the garlic cloves.  Return the potatoes to the pan and mash the potatoes until smooth using a potato masher.

For the kale:  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, salt and pepper.  Cook until translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.  Add the kale and chicken broth.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 10 to 12 minutes.

 To assemble: Add the kale mixture, mascarpone cheese, chicken broth, butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper to the potatoes.  Stir over low heat until smooth and warmed through. Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and serve.


Like I mentioned above, we served these 2 delicious Giada recipes with a side of Roasted Parmesan Asparagus.   Paired with a nice bottle of red wine, this meal was just what Santa ordered! 

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s