Thursday, October 15, 2009

just like that film with michael caine

Eggs and celery root

It's autumn. I mean full-on no shit could snow any fucking second now autumn.  Yesterday I picked up Northern Spy apples, big and heavy and crunchy.  Parsnips.  Turnips.  Rutabagas.  And celery root.

Celery root is a bitch.

It's dirty -- filthy, really -- from all the nooks and crannies of the outside.  It's woody, and peeling alone won't take care of that.  Maybe there are differences in freshness, I don't know, but every time, I under-peel, and I end up with a couple bits of celery root that are just too woody to eat.

But it tastes great.  The celeriac (celery root) salt that I make from Fergus Henderson's recipe in Nose to Tail is amazing -- you basically just shred the celery root, mix it with salt, bake it until dry, and break it back up, but the taste is so deep and ... in a weird celery way ... very complex.  

My favorite thing to do with any celery salt is to put it on a boiled egg with hot sauce.  So for dinner last night, I took those tastes and threw them around each other: I peeled, chopped, and simmered celery root until soft, put it in a cast-iron pan with a little bacon fat, a little pork stock, and some Texas Pete hot sauce and roasted it until the celery root had soaked up the stock and turned crispy (this is a good technique for all your root vegetables), made some of those unctuous eggs, and garnished with Marx Foods Himalayan pink salt and Hawaiian black sea salt.  The crunch of both those salts is perfect for eggs in particular, but the Himalayan pink salt, a mined rock salt, was the winner here -- it has a little minerality to it that I really dig.  That and the green chile salt are my favorites so far, of these free salts.

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