Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Celeriac

I keep seeing Celeriac all over FoodTV lately.

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The other day at the grocery store, on one of the little end shelves in the produce department, there were several celeriacs. (weird... my spell check doesn't like the plural version!) Celeriac, also known as Celery Root sounded like a fabulous fall food! I grabbed three!

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What to make?

This is my own little personal cooking challenge. Find a new ingredient and use it.
(I still have a challenging bag of Chana Dal waiting to be made into something!)

I found a Tyler Florence Photobucket recipe that sounded like the perfect dish!

Celery Root and Potato Mash with Horseradish
2 celery roots (about 1 1/2 pounds each), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
I needed 3 celery roots to get to 3 pounds
3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt, plus kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon grated fresh or prepared horseradish
I used 2 HEAPING tablespoons horseradish
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil

Place the celery root and potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water; add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil over medium heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the celery root and potatoes are very tender. Drain the water from the vegetables and pass them through a food mill or a ricer into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cream, butter, and horseradish until the cream is absorbed and the mixture is smooth. Season with kosher salt and pepper and garnish with chopped chives. Drizzle with a healthy dose of olive oil and serve.

Ok.... first to peel the celeriacs/celery roots.

They are hard gnarly things!
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This part was NOT easy. I don't own and have never really used a paring knife; however, I think it was definitely the tool I needed for this task.

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First I cut off the top... it kinda reminded me of a pineapple.

I tried using a veggie peeler. Sometimes it worked ok, on slightly smoother sections. I was afraid of cutting them down to nothing with Tippy (my favorite chef knife) Also Tippy ironically has no tip... which made digging out little weird parts not so easy.

So I peeled and hacked and scraped...
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Ewww... the bottoms of the root part have gnarly coarse hair like a coconut!
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Finally... peeled and cut into cubes.
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Raw, it tastes kind of nutty and celery-y
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And into the pot with the much easier to peel and cut potatoes.
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Let me just add... the recipe calls for celeriac & potatoes to be cut to the same size. But you really need to cut the celeriac much smaller than the potatoes, because it took MUCH longer to get tender.

Drain the veggies. I don't have a food mill or a ricer so I tried to hand-mash them.

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Add butter, cream and horseradish.
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I enjoy hand-mashed potatoes. I like some lumps. But the celeriac is a different texture, so I used the handmixer.
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There were still some lumps but much smaller.

That's it!

Garnish with Olive Oil & Chives
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Even though I had a lot of trouble preparing this, with the peeling and the mashing, I really loved the texture. It was very creamy, with some soft pleasant lumps.

The flavor was awesome! Even with all of the extra horseradish, it wasn't over powering at all. It was creamy, celery-y, buttery, nutty with a bit of the kick from the horseradish! Total YUM! Jon really liked it too!

I served it with Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Broccoli.
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Bob of course, didn't even try it. Tawny doesn't like celery. Since she slept through dinner, she didn't know what it was. To look at it, it just looks like mashed potatoes. So I heated up a plate for her when she woke up. I did mention there was horseradish and she likes that. She took one bite and looked at me. Then asked what it was. I told her Mashed Celeriac & Potatoes with Horseradish. I thought if I didn't say 'celery root' she might not be instantly put off. She replied, "Celery Ass??!!!!" YUCK!!!!!!!!! I said no... celerIAC... Ok... not a winner in Tawny's book. But she doesn't like celery and it really does have a strong celery flavor. (She did LOVE the pork tenderloin, even though every time I tell her I'm making it, she's says she doesn't. She always likes roasted broccoli)

I did love this, but probably won't make it again, unless we're having company or I cut down the recipe drastically, because this makes a lot.

I think I'd like to try celeriac roasted or maybe in a stew next!

Oh yeah...

Dear Santa,
I've been very very good this year. And I know I said that I didn't want anymore knives for Christmas, but I think I've changed my mind and would really really love a 6in Wusthof Classic Chef Knife and a 3in Wusthof Classic Paring Knife. Please browse through my blog and let me know what kind of cookies you'd like me to leave out.
Love,

12 comments:

Danielle said...

LMAO @ the santa letter! guess I'd better post more cookies so he has some to choose from when he comes by my place!
Sooo is celeriacs like shrimps? hahaha
I don't think i've ever seen or heard of celeriac but I bet it would be awesome in beef stew!! Although your mashed version looks awesome.

Cathy said...

Love the Santa letter...I barter for kitchen stuff too :) I really really want the nice mandoline I saw at Williams and Sonoma.

I've never had celery root...I don't even know if I can find it here, but I'm going to look.

Donna-FFW said...

Ive never cooked with it either but what a delicious recipe you chose. Cant go wrong with tyler.

If youve been a good girl in a bad way Im sure Santa will answer your plea;)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I have been wanting to try this too! Good for you for breaking out of your comfort zone - and I love that you used extra horseradish!

Bob said...

Hmm, I'm not a huge celery fan myself, but I would certainly try it. I mean, it is in mashed potatoes. Heh.

A good paring knife is wicked useful, I use mine all the time.

girlichef said...

I just love the smell of celeriac! And the taste...Your mash looks awesome :D Santa thinks my list is way too long...I have to whittle (sp?) it down... :D

AiXeLsyD13 said...

Looks great! I'll have to try this one out. I've never had celery root, but I love mashed potatoes, squash, parsnips, cauliflower, etc... This might be a new good one to add to the mix!

Joanna said...

I've been wanting to try celery root! We must have been watching the same shows. i love horseradish, so I will have to try this!

I have a Santa list in my head, too, which I occasionally hint at in my blog. It has a new dutch oven right at the top :)

Karine said...

Celeriac? that is the first time I hear about that food. You seemed to have used it in great ways! :)

DDpie said...

Celery root is one of the things I CAN find here, but I was skeered. Thanks for the lesson, I might try it now.

Oh, and I don't know what's more hilarious, your note to Santa, or everyone else putting their dibs in "just in case" he stops by your blog. You guys are too cute!

P.s...Santa, I don't have cookies yet, but I have fresh baked bread over on ddpiesslice ;)

Michele said...

THat's a lot of work!!! I like celery so I'm sure I'd like it but after battling with peeling and slicing a butternut squash I think I'll leave this battle for someone else. It looks even harder! LOL It does look great though! The Dear Santa letter was very cute. Hope you get your knife. The one you mentioned is my fav knife!

Ingrid said...

Ha-ha! Love the Santa letter. I'm gonna have to try that.


Kudos on giving celeriac a try and not letting it get the best of you.
~ingrid