Sunday, November 21, 2010

Celery root soup (Celeriac soup)

Have you ever cooked with a celery root or a celeriac before? It resembles the shape of misshapen turnip with beards growing here and there. At first glance to be frank it is not very appealing, particularly when seated next to the rows and rows of beautiful pink perfect red carrots of the season; but since I had heard so much about the delicate celery like flavors of these root vegetables, I could not pass up the chance to pick one up in the farmer's market yesterday.

Celeriac is a root vegetable in celery family. For a long time I thought celeriac is the root bulb of celery but that is not quite the case! The stalks and leaves attached to a celeriac are _not_ actually celery; I was planning to use them up in my soup but a bit of Googling told me that they may not be edible so I skipped them and used regular celery instead. In texture celeriac is simlar to the Mexican Jicama with a dominant celery flavor with a slight bit of sweetness like an apple!
Preparing celery root is very easy. First you chop off the celerish stalks attached to the root and then run the root through running water for a few minutes making sure to remove as much dirt as you can. Then using your knife peel of the outer skin as shown in the image below. You can then chop off the celery root into bite sized pieces. The celeriac is fantastic raw in salads or roasted with a bit of rosemary, salt & pepper or pureed in a soup. For my first attempt I decided to go with a simple but absolutely delicious celery-celeriac soup!

Celeriac is in season for a short duration and its not found that easily in supermarkets either, so if you get a chance to try this root vegetable, definitely go for it, I am sure you will love it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Couscous with roasted butternut squash and dried cranberries

I don't know about you but I have always been a side-dish kind of person. What do I mean by that; well, for one, I usually relish the side-dish just as much as I like the main-dish! Infact, I have been known to be making meals out of side-dishes.. one pot quinoa salad for a quick lunch, smashed yams with a drizzle of honey for desert, soup as the main-course for dinner.. well, you get the idea. Needless to say, whenever I am invited to a Thanksgiving dinner, I am perfectly happy bringing a side-dish. Nothing screams fall to me like this dish with roasted, camelized butternut squash and dried cranberries with couscous!

The dish is wide open to variations and experimentations. I tried it with orange flavored dried cranberries from Trader Joe's and loved the orangy after-taste it gave. Occasionally I also add pumpkin seeds or pistachios for a crunch at times. As for the herbs, I suspect fried torn sage leaves would pair really well with the squash but I haven't tried it myself. I usually add the chives or the oregano from garden and its wonderful! If you are unsure what to bring to Thanksgiving and have been slated with a side-dish, give this a try, I guarantee you won't regret having to bring a side ;)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Buttermilk pancakes

Pancakes is the ultimate lazy Sunday morning breakfast for me. I get up late (hey, daylight savings ended!) then spend another half an hour gazing over my morning cuppa mindlessly peeking at my friends' posts on Facebook while watching the rains drizzle outside on a gloomy Sunday morning. After an hour or so my tummy rumbles in protest which is when I go to the kitchen and start randomly opening and closing cupboards and refrigerator until I see an about to expire buttermilk carton that I used last week to make some very tasty whole-wheat pumpkin muffins. Buttermilk is not a regular ingredient in my pantry so finding it on Sunday morning meant this was a sign... to make some buttermilk pancakes.

This is a recipe I followed from Joy of Baking. I usually prefer banana pancakes but having buttermilk at hand I decided to give buttermilk pancakes a try instead. The pancakes were moist and fluffy and had a slightly tangy taste of the buttermilk. You can easily substitute buttermilk with regular milk for regular pancakes and add fruits such as blueberries, slices bananas for an extra edge! Serve with a pat of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup... what else do you need other than perhaps a pot of coffee and your favorite newspaper to make for a perfect Sunday morning.

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This page and all of its contents is copyright of Prajakta Gudadhe. All rights reserved.

This is a web catalog of the recipes that I have tried and tasted in my kitchen. While these recipes and instructions have worked well for me, please use all the information and the recipes from Ginger and Garlic at your own risk.