Monday, January 12, 2009
root down at chez saipua
It started here, with my new copy of a Platter of Figs, the best cookbook I've seen in a while. I came to a recipe for pigs ear salad and was transfixed. Here was something I would never make. On the other hand, the celery root remoulade, meant to accompany the pigs ear, was within my grasp. I filed this for future reference.
Three weeks later, Aaron and I found ourselves in Fairway enamored by a plethora of root vegetables. We started putting together a dinner that would include 2 root, 2 ways. Follow? A (mislabeled*) parsley root and a celery root would be fashioned into mashed potatoes and a remoulade, not necessarily in that order. Roasted monkfish makes a candid appearance with tomatoes and olives.
Aaron matchsticks half the celery root. The other half gets cubed and boiled with potatoes. He combines 1/2 pound of the matchsticked root with the juice of a lemon and salt. Mixes, and sets aside to drain for 1 hour.
I de-membrane the fish (no photos, please), sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin. Some cayenne. Fry in olive oil briefly on both sides. Dump in a can of chopped tomatoes and some excellent black olives. Sea salt over all - the whole pan goes in an oven at 400 for around 20 minutes. We turn on HOT 97 for the 90's throwback at nine and wait.
Then the matchsticks are drained, combined with a touch of dijon mustard, a few spoonfuls of creme fraiche and a teaspoon of horseradish. The potatoes and celery root are mashed, fish plated.
We eat, while reveling in the distant glory of Mary J. Blige.
*Turned out our friend labeled the parsley root was in fact a horseradish. How could I make this mistake? Parsley roots are Parsnips, a vegetable I know quite well... or thought I knew. Now we have 2 pounds of fresh horseradish...any ideas what to make of it?