Sunday, 21 April 2013

Recipe XCVI - Celeriac Purée

Last week I had what I can only believe must have been the world's greatest chicken, a superhero amongst all the other farmyard fowl, a titan of the coop, a caped crusader of a bird which provided us not only with an unbelievable amount of the best chicken meat I have ever tasted, but gave me the best stock in living memory, and I wanted to do something with that stock to give it the perfect send-off. Anything less would have been an insult to this magnificent specimen of a bird, so I decided to make one of those dull dishes with one of those vegetables which is almost laughed at due to its likeness to the Ood from Doctor Who, the type of vegetable that makes people pleasantly surprised when they realise it's actually pretty damn tasty when served properly...

Ingredients:1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
2 onions
1 litre of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of cumin
Half a tablespoon of turmeric
Ground white pepper
40g butter
A carton of cream (optional; preferably thick)

Put some butter into a high-sided frying pan, put on a low-to-medium heat and when hot add the spices. Throw the onion and celeriac into it and stir until all the ingredients are nicely covered. 

Continue stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour the stock on top. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to simmering temperature for about 20 minutes.

Keep the liquid, but put all the solid ingredients into a blender and allow the mixture to turn into a saucy consistency. Put the cream in at this point, but adding some of the liquid from the stock is a good idea too.

Keep it warm until all your other food is prepared; when serving, you can put a large spoonful on the plate and with the underside of the spoon run it through the purée to create a decorative look.

It is best served with something like boiled potatoes so that it can act as a kind of dip. With the rest of the leftover stock, I let it boil down in a pot of Savoy cabbage until the fat from the stock fried it gently.

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