Celeriac

Celeriac & potato cakes, garlic spinach, & an over-easy egg

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We woke up to no power, 6" of snow with more falling, and really excited puppies! I was equally excited and we bundled up to go out and play. It was Rue's first time in inches of snow and it was deep enough to cover her legs and brush up against the underside of her belly. She was hopping around like a rabbit and sticking her face deep in the snow until her nose touched the frozen ground. She was adorable. Banjo was made for the snow. As soon as she gets out and sniffs the air, it fills her up with some sort of wild, primitive, wolf spirit and she starts running in circles, flailing her paws attacking the snow. We all licked up our fill of snow, made snowballs, played with the dogs and banjo uncovered a large, four pointed antler a deer had recently shed. Best dog treats ever, no joke. I was too distracted to take photos but I'd better include this puppy photo of banjo during her first snow in 2010 for good measure.

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After playing we were hungry for a hearty breakfast and fortunately we had use of our stove still, since it is gas. I made this delicious brunch dish from the leftover celeriac after the russian beet salad wrap. We enjoyed the rest of the snow day, Ty got out of classes and a mid-term, and we kept close to the wood stove reading books by candlelight. Now, some of the no-power charm has worn out, it is 3 days later and we are still without power, water, have spoiled groceries and sadly, no internet to keep you updated! So I find myself sipping on some tea at our local tea house, bumming the internet, light, and power outlets. This is one of the last meals we had made at the house since loosing power - it is just too difficult to keep washing dishes without water.  

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Recipe (We made 3 large cakes but could make 4 slightly smaller ones) 

Celeriac - 1/2 a mid-sized root, peeled and chopped into medium pieces

Red potatoes - 2 smallish ones, chopped into quarters

Red onion - 1/4 chopped small

Spinach - I used about 3 big handfuls, fresh

Butter - 2TB

Parmesan - 1/4cup finely grated

Gruyére - 1/4cup finely grated

Garlic - 2 cloves, minced

Tarragon - 1-2TB minced (fresh) (parsley, dill, or most fresh herbs would work)

Heavy cream or milk - 1-2TB

Salt/pepper - to taste

Polenta, grits, or corn meal to dust. 

Fill a medium pot with water 2/3 full and add a pinch of salt. Add in potatoes and celeriac and boil until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Add cooked potatoes/celeriac, red onion, parmesan, gruyére, tarragon, pinches of salt/pepper, tablespoon or two of heavy cream and mash until well mixed. Dust a clean surface with polenta and divide mixture into 3 or 4 balls. Shape into a patty about 1/4"-1/2" thick and coat with the polenta. 

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Heat up a large skillet with 1TB of butter on medium heat, add the minced garlic. Let infuse and get fragrant for a minute. Gettin' fragrant with garlic, mmm. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted. Dump out into a bowl and melt the other TB of butter in the skillet. Add the celeriac cakes and cook for several minutes on each side, until a thin, brown, crispy coat forms. Remove cakes and set onto a plate, top with spinach. Replace skillet to medium/high heat (add a small splash of olive oil) and crack in eggs, cooking one at a time if need be. Cook for a minute on one side and then flip. Cook for another minute or so until the white is set, but yolk runny if desired. Place an egg on top of the spinach/cakes. Top with fresh black pepper and serve. 

 

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Russian beet salad wrap

Beets. 

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I made this salad as a quick, simple dinner. We were getting a few things done and were excited for the snow that was to start falling in a few hours. It was suppose to be a heavy snow and those are rare down south but not up here in mountainy Virginia. I had been waiting all winter long for something substancial but up until now all we had were frequent dustings. Well, that definitely changed, but we'll talk a bit more about that later. 

I have to admit that I am fond of the idea of beets, the beautiful color of beets, the history of beets but they are not my favorite root to eat. (If you are more curious about the rich and magical qualities of beets, just click the magic word.) Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the sweetness of them and have a hard time eating a lot of it. To me, they are well suited to a juiced or to be baked. Yet I adore this salad, somehow the creaminess in the yogurt cuts the sweetness of the beet and the dill/celeriac/onion compliment it nicely. I believe russian beet salad usually contains celery but instead, I used raw celeriac (celery root) and I think the slight spiciness made a huge difference but feel free to substitute celery. 

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Recipe - (Will make 4 wraps)

Wraps - I used a whole wheat lavash wrap but use your favorite.  

Fresh spinach - a few handfuls to add to the wraps. 

Beets - 3 smallish red beets. Peeled and quartered.

Celeriac root - 1/2 a small/medium root. Peeled and diced.  

Eggs - 2 (hard boiled)

Red onion - 1/4 large red onion, chopped fine.

Garlic - 2 cloves, minced

Greek yogurt - 3/4cup I used whole/plain. 

Apple cider vinegar - 1/8cup generous

Honey - 2tsp

Fresh dill- 2-3TB

Salt - 1/4tsp

Pepper- a few good pinches

Set a medium pot 2/3 full of water on the stove to boil with your eggs, leave to boil until the eggs are hardboiled. Trim, peel, and chop all your vegetables. Remove the eggs once hardboiled (8 minutes or so) and add your beets to lightly boil until soft and can be pierced with a fork. Combine all your celeriac, onion, and diced hard boiled egg in a bowl. In a separate bowl make you "dressing" - mix together the yogurt, vinegar, minced garlic, honey, salt, pepper, and dill. Once the beets are done, run them under cool water, dice them up and add to the other veggies. Add your dressing to the veggies and stir until well combined. Set out 4 wraps, add a small handful or two of fresh spinach and then spoon in 1/4 (or desired amount) of beet salad. Wrap it up and enjoy, pink drippings and all! 

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