Odds are that when you planned Christmas dinner, celery root did not come to mind. When you were thinking about pies, I’m betting it was whether to bake pumpkin, pecan or apple. “Pot” probably didn’t enter the picture.
Here’s the problem. During the past six months, my Christmas dinner guests here in Henderson turned sorta-kinda-vegetarian. Sorta-kinda-vegetarian means they will not eat four-legged animals. If it moos, baas, oinks or whinnies, it’s a nonstarter. Furthermore, they won’t eat creatures with wings. Flying is a no, no. Swimmers? Yes, but only those with a shell.
Here’s another problem. The French Friday with Dorie recipe this week is Go-With-Everything Celery Root Purée. To answer your question? Neither had I.
Merry Christmas. Ho! Ho! Ho!
Thankfully, this story has a delicious, Christmas-bells-are-ringing ending. My menu may not have been traditional but, with a little help from you foodie friends, I pleased all our palates. Here are the 3 principal players —– We began with Cranberry and Avocado Salad topped by Candied Spiced Almonds and Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette as featured by Chris Scherer on The Café Sucré Farine. I added some baby beets, quartered.
The Barefoot Contessa’s Lobster Pot Pie solved my main course dilemma in a very tasty, très élégant manner. A bubble off, perhaps, but, hey, lobsters swim and have shells.
Again, Dorie is correct. Why do I ever doubt that woman? When she calls this recipe, Go-With-Everything Celery Root Purée, she means business. “Because the flavor is subtle, complex, and just a little sweet,”, she writes “the purée is the perfect accompaniment to fish, meat or poultry, whether it’s a main dish that is robust and big flavored or one that is light and mild.”
No one at my table had ever sampled celery root served as a purée. It’s a wonderfully, less caloric, and more nutritious substitute for mashed potatoes. I used my Immersion Blender, instead of fussing with a food processor, to whirrrrr it into a smooth ivory purée. If you want a more silky texture, use the processor. Surprisingly, the lobsters and the celery root did not do battle. This dish totally complimented the pot pie with one guest even using it as a tasty base under the pie.
The ultimate compliment? No room for dessert.
To see what Santa Secrets my colleagues have to share this week, go to French Fridays with Dorie.
May I wish a Happy New Year 2013 to all you loyal Readers and my fellow Doristas, far and wide. And, to you, Trevor, for loyally cooking with us as our one-and-only FFWD “token” male. May the year ahead be filled with peace & happiness, good health, family & friends and the fellowship of food.