Monday, October 13, 2008

Potato Ho Down: Bosco Lei's Celeriac and Potato Gratin

Have you tried celeriac? Are you in love?
Cuz we think that everyone should be at least a little bit infatuated with this deliciously ugly root veggie.
Celeriac gets a bum rap for its looks. And most people assume (wrongly, I think) that it's simply a root veggie that is trying really hard to be celery. But, I'd beg to differ. In fact, I think it's a truly remarkable vegetable -- sweet and earthy (some say it's reminiscent of truffles), and capable of elevating a simple potato gratin into something just a bit heavenly. That's why I was thrilled when we got a hefty batch of it in our CSA box.

You've probably thrown celeriac in a pot of soup. Or pureed it up with some potatoes for a Thanksgiving side. But, how about a nice gratin?

I find myself really stoked about this celeriac and potato gratin ... not just because it's time for the next Potato Ho Down (or because I want to display the really cool Potato Ho Down logo), but because this recipe is truly remarkable.
If you would like to enter a dish into the Ho Down, you still have a day or so left, so please check the rules and regs here. This month's event will take place on October 15th and will be hosted by Hillary at Chew On That Blog.

Now, let's get cooking!
First, you chop all of your delicious celeriac into nice, thin slices. And you marvel about how lovely the inside of the veg is (compared to the outside)! You also chop up the potatoes... but, conveniently, you forget to take a photograph. You kick yourself (after all, potatoes are the point here); but, then you decide that forgiveness is the best policy, and you move along. Instead, you take a photo of the steamer -- in which you steamed both the celeriac (on the bottom) and the potatoes (top).
When the potatoes and celeriac are crisp tender (this takes 5-10 minutes, depending), you'll toss them with some of the steaming liquid, a few cloves of garlic, and a bit of cream (oh, yes -- real Wisconsin cream). Then, you can toss the whole mess into a buttered gratin dish in preparation for the pièce de résistance. Meaning, of course, the cheese. You grate up some lovely, local, aged gouda. The bonus here is that this particular block of gouda was made from grass fed cows -- and you can just imagine how delicious it tastes! You can opt for a nice gruyere here, but I like the nuttiness of the gouda, which I think goes quite well with the earthy celeriac.
Once you have the cheese in hand, you'll want to sprinkle it all over the top of that gratin. And then sprinkle the dish with a liberal dose of ground black pepper.Bake it in the oven for about an hour and 20 minutes, and you'll be greeted by a lovely sight. Crispy, browned, and incredibly fragrant, this gratin is the perfect side dish (although you may be tempted to throw caution to the wind and curl up with the whole dish at dinner time). It's true. This is one humble potato dish that is emphatically Ho Down Worthy.

And so I present to you:
Bosco Lei's Celeriac and Potato Gratin

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16 comments:

  1. Oh this is so Ho worthy! I love and adore celeraic, I love the flavor it gives. Thanks for playing!

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  2. Your dish looks so good!

    I was just thinking about celeriac today. I wanted to make a soup, but now I might have to make this!

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  3. Ok, I was going to join the potato Ho thing, but I don't have any pictures of my favorite dish!!

    Unless I find time to make it tonight!

    Hmmm.....

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  4. I will confess- I don't think I've ever had, or possibly even seen, celeriac before! It looks interesting and I like your description of it as sweet and earthy. Now I'll be on the lookout for it!

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  5. I have never made anything with celeraic. I've eaten it a few times and I do enjoy the flavor. I'd have to make this when Sir Pickypants isn't home or else laugh while he peels all of the cheese off of it. :-D

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  6. That looks DEElightful!! I also love celeriac, so very much. Roasted, pureed, gratin...mmmm...

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  7. I have never seen celeraic in my market or even heard of it before. That's one of the reasons I love food blogs... you learn so much!

    Thanks for visiting my blog. See, it brought me here and now I know about this wonderful recipe (and blog)!

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  8. They look like something out of the Princess Bride in the forest they were running around in with the giant rats. You managed to make it look tasty though. I salute you!

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  9. I love celeriac too, but I've never made a gratin with it. I usually puree it. This looks great!

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  10. I grow lots of celery root; it has such an affinity for all the other late-season roots, leeks, and squash.

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  11. That looks delicious! I just got celeriac in my CSA basket and was just looking at it, lost, because I've never cooked with it before, but now I know what to do. Thanks for stopping by my blog :-)

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  12. what a great contribution to the ho down--gouda is an awesome cheese! would you believe that i've never experienced celeriac? pathetic, i know.

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  13. mmmmm those potatoes gratin are calling my name!

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  14. I love your Potato Ho Logo! What a great idea adding the celariac to the gratin. As soon as I can find some, I'm definitely going to try this.

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