Saturday, March 27, 2010

Celery Root

I made two recipes using celery root (celeriac). The first was a really tasty soup that's mostly made of apples & celery root.

What's important is the chive oil & the pancetta/bacon. The soup is tasty by itself, but the oil & bacon really add something special.

The recipe is from Bon Appetit, September 2007.


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled celery root (from one 1 1/4-pound celery root) [I used less than this]
  • 3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled cored Granny Smith apples (from about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
  • 4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon) [I used regular bacon]


Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add celery root, apples, and onion. Cook until apples and some of celery root are translucent (do not brown), stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer covered until celery root and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.

Puree chives, grapeseed oil, and pinch of salt in blender until smooth.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange pancetta slices in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until pancetta is browned and crispy, about 18 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Crumble pancetta. DO AHEAD: Chive oil and pancetta can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Rewarm soup over medium heat. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle pancetta crumbles over each serving. Drizzle each bowl with chive oil.

This is Potato & Celery Root with Smoked Haddock (/Trout)


  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise, thenthinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lb smoked haddock fillet (finnan haddie), thawed if frozen, shredded with your fingers into 1/2-inch pieces, discarding any tough parts [I don't know what haddock is. I got raw trout & cooked it. It was tasty.]
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 lb celery root (sometimes called celeriac), peeled with a knife
  • 2 lb large potatoes (preferably russet or Yukon Gold), peeled
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Croissants, my friends, take a really long time to make. Two days, in fact. I'm not posting the specific recipe here, because it's too long to type up. If someone REALLY wants it (and I mean really wants it -- there better be a remake on here pronto), then I'll scan it.

Day 1: Make the dough. Make the butter rectangle (below). Leave both overnight in the fridge.
The butter rectangle. That's right. THREE sticks of butter, rolled out.

Day 2: Roll the dough out, fold it over the giant butter-tangle. Roll again. Fold again. Roll again. Fold again. Chill for 45 minutes. Roll again. Fold again. Roll again. Fold again. Chill for 45 minutes. Roll again. Fold again. Roll again. Fold again. Chill overnight.

Day 3: Roll again into a 1' x 2' rectangle (below). Cut into triangles and roll. Egg wash. Let rise for 2 hours. Freeze for 10 minutes. Egg wash again. Bake. Finally, you get to eat. Yum yum.
I froze most of this.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica!

Beet, Rhubarb, and Orange Salad (Bon Appetit)


8 2-inch-diameter red or yellow beets, 4 of each if available (I used 2 red)
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 lb trimmed rhubarb stalks, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 large oranges
2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I used the kind in the plastic lemon)
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 tsp honey
3 cups watercress sprigs (I used some regular lettuce mixture from a bag)
1 and 1/4 cups coarsley crumbled feta cheese (about 1 7-oz package; I didn't use this)
Fresh chervil leaves (optional; I didn't use them)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place beets on large sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil; sprinkle with coarse salt. Wrap beets in foil. Roast beets until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Unwrap and cool beets. Peel, then cut each into 8 wedges.

Bring 3 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar, and pinch of coarse salt to simmer in large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add rhubarb. Simmer over medium heat until just tender, but still intact, 1 to 2 minutes (do not overcook or rhubarb will be mushy -- *I can attest to this, mine got mushy.) Using slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to platter and cool completely.

finely grate enough peel from 1 orange to measure 1/2 tsp; transfer to small bowl and reserve for dressing. Cut off peel and white pith from all oranges. Working over medium bowl to catch juice and using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release orange segments into bowl; squeeze membranes to release juice into bowl. Transfer 2 tbsp orange uice to bowl with orange peel. Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, honey, and remaining 3 tbsp olive oil into bowl with orange peel and orange juice mixture. Season dressing with coarse salt and pepper.

Arrange watercress, beets, rhubarb, and orange segments on 6 plates. Sprinkle with feta and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with chervil leaves, if desired, and serve.

**This was OK, but it was a little tart for me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Food Cruise!

These are some of the delicious dishes I ate on the cruise. My sister and I only took pictures on one night, but there was so much food!! I think we had a reputation for eating a lot, because our waiter kept bringing us extra dishes for every course. He just told us to try the extra dishes- it was glorious. I miss the homemade omelets every morning and extra complimentary dinners... Gracewood Eats need to go on a cruise.

Greek Egg-Lemon Soup

This recipe is from Cuisine at Home. It's very easy and super yummy.

Use rotisserie chicken or poach 8 oz of boneless, skinless breast in the broth mixture 12 minutes. When chicken is cool, shred it and add to the soup.


4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup dry converted long-grain rice [I don't know what that means...I used jasmine]
1 cup asparagus tips (4 oz) [I used asparagus from a can. I'm sure fresh would be better, but canned was fine.]
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (8 oz)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 fresh lemon juice [I used the kind in the plastic lemon.]
1 tbsp fresh chopped dill or 1 tsp dried dill [I didn't have any, so I omitted it.]
1/4 tsp each kosher salt & ground white pepper [I rarely use pepper, and I left out here.]
1 small lemon, thinly sliced [It's for garnish, and I didn't use it.]


1. Combine broth, water, and garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Add rice; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer rice for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
**I cooked my rice separately, because I didn't know if I was using the right rice and whether the cooking directions would be the same.

2. Stir in asparagus; simmer mixture 10 minutes. Add chicken; cook until chicken is just heated through.

3. Combine eggs and lemon juice in a bowl. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the broth mixture into eggs until smooth. [I'm too impatient for gradual. I just dumped it all in there.] Return egg mixture to soup in the pan, stirring constantly. Don't allow mixture to boil. Season soup with dill, salt, and pepper. Garnish each serving with lemon slices.

4 servings
Per serving: 314 cal; 7g total fat (2g sat); 168mg chol; 556mg sodium (**This probably incorrect. It technically called for low-sodium chicken broth, but that's for the birds.); 32g carb; 1g fiber; 28g protein

Theme Cooking - Tortillas

I really need a professional food photographer to help me out here. This theme cooking is based on the book Barefoot Heart about a girl who grew up in a migrant working family. Her mother made homemade tortillas three times a day, every day for a family of eight. I'm willing to bet her tortillas were prettier than mine. I recommend the book. In addition to giving an interesting glimpse into the life of a migrant worker, the book is told in two different voices. Most of it is told from her perspective as a child. The end is told from an adult perspective, and the story is a shade different.

The tortilla recipe is the one Steff gave me here. The carrots and mushrooms are not Mexican, but it's what I had around the house. The carrot recipe is here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Egg Rolls and Shrimp, edemame, and snow pea stir fry

I was inspired by Rach's stir fry post so I decided to try and make a stir fry from one of my food network magazines and also try to make egg rolls (I have always wanted to try those). I am also visiting Florida and find it infinitely more fun to cook in my mom's kitchen (mostly to see her face when I mess it all up- she says the kitchen is just for show :) She had to leave several times during my cooking shenanigans because the kitchen was such a mess. Don't worry I cleaned it all up.

Everyone was very impressed by my Chinese food and encouraged me to keep cooking as a backup career choice if the whole grad school thing doesn't work out.

The first recipe is for the egg rolls. I actually didn't make the hot Chinese mustard sauce because I didn't want to buy all the stuff I didn't have. But I made everything else and they were delicious. I also looked up a video on you tube for how to fold the egg roll wrappers and it was helpful and entertaining. The second recipe is the stir fry and then I just made Jasmine rice for the side.

Spring Rolls

Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck

Prep Time:
35 min (took me way longer)
Inactive Prep Time:
10 min
Cook Time:
50 min

Intermediate (notice the impressive intermediate level)

20 to 24 rolls

Hot Chinese Mustard Sauce:

* 4 tablespoons Chinese dry mustard
* 2 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 4 tablespoons pickled ginger liquid
* 1 lemon, juiced
* Pinch turmeric
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 egg yolk*
* 1 tablespoon chile oil
* 1 tablespoon sesame oil
* 1 cup peanut oil


* 1 (2-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled
* 3 large cloves garlic
* 2 green onions
* Pinch red pepper flakes
* 1/2 cup peanut oil
* Pinch salt
* Pinch black pepper
* Pinch sugar


* 1 large onion, julienned
* 1 medium carrot, julienned
* 1/4 pound shiitakes, discard stems, julienned
* 1 large red bell pepper, julienned
* 1 large yellow bell pepper, julienned
* 1 small green cabbage, julienned
* Peanut oil, for stir-frying
* Salt and pepper
* 1/4 pound glass noodles, soaked in water for 10 minutes, chopped into smaller strands
* 1/4 cup mushroom soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons chile paste
* 1 tablespoon sesame oil
* 1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

To form spring rolls:

* Spring roll wrappers
* 1 egg with 1 tablespoon each water and cornstarch, beaten together for egg wash
* Peanut oil, for deep-frying


Prepare the Hot Chinese Mustard Sauce. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Stir until well blended. Slowly whisk in the peanut oil until emulsified. Refrigerate, covered until needed.

Prepare the aromatic mixture. In a food processor, combine the ginger, garlic, green onions, and red pepper flakes. Turn on machine, slowly add oil, and process mixture to a puree. Saute mixture for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Set aside.

Prepare the filling. In a wok, stir-fry each vegetable separately in peanut oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in noodles, mushroom soy sauce, chile paste, sesame oil, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool completely. When cool, blend the filling mixture with the aromatic mixture. When ready to form the spring rolls, squeeze out all the excess liquid.

Make the spring rolls. Place about 1/2 cup of prepared filling per spring roll wrapper. Roll and seal edges with the egg wash. Repeat the process until all filling is used.

In a deep pot, with about 4 cups peanut oil heated to 350 degrees F., deep-fry in batches of 4 until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Trim off the ends and slice diagonally. Drizzle top with Hot Chinese Mustard Sauce. Serve immediately.


Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.

Shrimp, snow pea, and edamame stir fry

Shrimp with Snow Peas and Edamame
Source: Food Network Magazine, March 2010

3/4 lb. medium or large shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 large egg white
1 Tbsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
peanut or vegetable oil
2 cups whole snow peas
1 cup frozen edamame

3/4 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar

more sesame or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
2 minced scallions
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar

GARNISHES (optional):
sliced scallions
sesame seeds
sliced jalapeƱo

1. Place shrimp in a bowl and toss with egg white, 1 Tbsp. rice wine (or sherry) and 1 Tbsp. cornstarch. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
2. Mix sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
3. Drain excess marinade from the shrimp. Place shrimp, peas & edamame, and sauce near the stove.
4. Heat 1/4-inch peanut or vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp; slowly stir until almost opaque, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a plate; discard the oil and wipe out the pan.
5. Heat pan over high heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. oil, then 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 to 2 Tbsp. minced ginger, 2 minced scallions and a pinch each of salt & sugar; stir fry about 30 seconds. Add the vegetables and stir-fry until crisp-tender.
6. Add the shrimp and sauce and stir until the sauce is thick and the vegetables and shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Thin with chicken broth, if needed. Garnish with desired garnishes.

Thai Chicken & Leek

*I didn't have enough leeks, so I changed some of the amounts -- I don't think it matters much at all.

Ingredients (from The Modern of Art of Thai Cooking)

2 leeks (about 1 pound; I used one small leek that was less than 1/2 pound)
1/2 tbsp flour
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I only used 1 tbsp)
6 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3 tbsp of the minced stuff from the jar)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used one breast...I don't know how much it weighed)
5 tbsp sugar (I used 3 tbsp)
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp whole yellow bean sauce (I don't know what that is...I used the red curry paste from the previous post)

Trim off the root ends of the leeks and all but about 3 inches of the green tops. Angle-cut the green tops into thin slices. Cut the white bulbs in half lengthwise, then angle-cut them into thin slices. Put the sliced leeks in a colander and wash them well. Drain and set aside.

Stir the flour into the chicken stock until blended.

Place all of the ingredients within easy reach of the cooking area.

Set a wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry briefly, just until golden and aromatic. Add the chicken, raise the heat to high, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the sugar, fish sauce, and leeks and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the yellow bean sauce (or red curry paste) and the chicken stock-flour mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the meat and vegetables are tender and cooked through, and the sauce reduces slightly, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

Transfer to platter and serve with jasmine rice. (I omitted the rice, but I bet it would have been tasty.)

2 servings, 7 weight watcher points each.

The picture is not great -- it looks gelatinous. It looked better in person and was scrumptious.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bok Choy Stir Fry

I made some stir-fry that was mostly not from a recipe. I realize stir-fry takes almost no talent or creativity, but I'm proud of myself. Baby steps, folks.


1 head bok choy
mushrooms, quartered
baby carrots, chopped (they were the only carrots I had)
1 shallot
peanut oil (I actually used vegetable oil, but I wanted to use peanut oil)
1 tbsp red curry paste (recipe below)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil

Heat peanut oil. Cook shallots & carrots first. Add mushrooms and curry paste. Make sure the curry paste gets mixed in well. Add bok choy and cook briefly. Mix in sugar & salt. Take off heat and toss in sesame oil.

Red Curry Paste (from The Modern Art of Thai Cooking)


3 oz dried red New Mexico chilies
12 small Japanese chilies (I just got one kind of dried chilies -- I think they were Japanese)
1 tbsp whole coriander seed
1 1/2 tbsp shrimp paste, wrapped neatly in a double layer of aluminum foil
3/4 cup of shallots (I used regular onions)
1/2 cup peeled whole garlic (I used minced garlic in the jar)
1/2 tbsp minced domestic lime peel
2 large stalks lemon grass, tough outer leaves discarded, lower stalks trimmed to 3 inches and finely sliced
1/3 cup finely chopped Siamese ginger

Stem the chilies and shake out most of the seeds. (I was careful to shake out all of them.) Cut the chilies in half lengthwise and remove any tough, dried ribs. Cut crosswise into 3/4-inch and put them in a bowl. Add water to cover and soak the chilies for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, dry-roast the coriander seed in a small skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until toasty and aromatic, shaking the pan often to prevent burning. Transfer the coriander seed to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Set the skillet back over medium heat. Place the foil-wrapped shrimp paste in the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, until aromatic, turning the packet over once or twice. Remove the packet from the skillet and set it aside to cool.

Combine the shallot and garlic in the skillet and dry-roast over medium heat until tender and slightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Put the roasted coriander seed in a large, heavy mortar and grind to a powder. Transfer the ground coriander to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Combine the minced lime peel, lemon grass, and ginger in the mortar and pound for a minute or so to break down the fibers. Transfer the crushed mixture to the food processor.

Pound the roasted shallots and garlic in the mortar just until crushed and transfer them to the food processor.

Unwrap the shrimp paste and add it to the food processor.

Drain the chilies, reserving about 1/2 of the soaking liquid. Add the chilies to the food processor.

Process the ingredients until a rich, moist paste forms. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the chili-soaking liquid now and then, if needed, to ease the grinding.

This paste can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Pi-Day Bake-off

Omigod, guys -- can we have a Pi-Day Bake-Off?!? It would really seal my nerd status (as if it were in doubt...)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Faggots with Onion Gravy

This entry was always going to be interesting, because it's about pig hearts. Then we found a recipe for said hearts and it got even better. Faggots, as it turns out, are a traditional English meal. They are meatballs made of pig offal -- in this case, heart, liver, & belly. You mince it all together, throw in some breadcrumbs & eggs, and make meatballs. The pictures we found looked more like little hamburger patties, so that's how I did mine. We actually used chicken livers -- I don't know what minced pig liver looks like, but mincing chicken livers liquefies them. Is your mouth watering yet?

I actually rather enjoyed our faggots, and I ate them for lunch several days in a row. I still don't really know what pig heart tastes like. The end product had a distinct liver taste -- I don't know whether the liver over-powered the heart, or whether hearts & livers taste the same. Either way, if you like liver, I think you'll enjoy this. (I know you're running out to get some pig heart right now.) If you don't like liver, I wouldn't recommend it.

Ooh ooh. I almost forgot. The broccoli looking stuff under the cheese sauce is the Romanesco. It looked a lot weirder than it was. It tasted like mild broccoli, and I have always loved broccoli covered in cheese. Anything covered in cheese, really....

The faggot recipe is below. I just realized we didn't follow one of the last steps about putting them back in the oven. Oh well.


25g/1oz unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
175g/6oz minced pigs' liver
2 lamb or pigs' heart, trimmed and cut into chunks
450g/1lb belly of pork, trimmed and rind removed
½ tsp mace [we used nutmeg]
4tbsp freshly chopped chives
1 tsp freshly chopped sage
1 egg, beaten
salt and freshly ground pepper
115g/4oz fresh white bread crumbs
25g/1oz beef dripping or 3 tbsp olive oil

For the gravy
4 red onions, peeled and each onion cut into 8 wedges
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
900ml/1½pt fresh beef stock
290ml/½ pint red wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the onions. Cook until soft and transparent. Cool slightly
2. Place the belly pork onto a chopping board and cut into portions.
3. Place the minced pigs' liver into a large glass bowl and place under the blade of a mincer. Using a fine blade of a mincer, mince the pork belly and lambs heart directly into the bowl with the pig s liver. If you do not have a mincer at home ask your butcher to mince all your meat for you.
4. Add the cooled chopped onions, mace, chives, sage, beaten egg and salt and pepper. Stir in the breadcrumbs.
5. Using your hands shape the mixture into 12 patties. Place on a plate and chill for about 1 hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. 7. For the gravy: place the onion wedges into a large roasting pan or ovenproof dish. Add the thyme and drizzle over the olive oil. Place in the oven and roast uncovered for 40 minutes until the onions are caramelised.
8. Meanwhile heat the dripping or olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry the faggots until golden brown on both sides.
9. Place the stock and wine in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce by a third.
10. Remove the roasted onions from the oven and lay the faggots on top. Pour over the gravy liqueur. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and cook the faggots for 40 minutes.
11. Place two to three faggots onto a plate. Top with a spoonful of the onions and pour over the gravy. Serve the faggots with mashed potatoes and green vegetables.