Thursday, November 19, 2009

Celery Root & Roasted Garlic Puree

Celery root is not going to win any beauty contests. It'll never be voted most popular. In fact, when I picked up a couple of these gnarly knobs at my CSA I heard several people ask "what are these?" which was inevitably followed by "what do I do with it?"

Celery root is actually a kind of misnomer. It is not the root of the much more common celery stalk. But celery root, also known as celeriac, is a member of the same family and it does have a similar flavor.

The best thing about celery root is that it's really delicious. This puree is a great alternative to mashed potatoes. It would make a luxurious side next to a holiday turkey or even perhaps, even better, as a bed for braised meat. Short ribs or lamb shank anyone?

Celery Root and Roasted Garlic Puree

2 medium celery roots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1-1/2 cups chicken broth (low sodium preferably) or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves roasted garlic (or more or less to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Simmer celery root and broth in saucepan until tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Transfer celery root, reserving liquid, to food processor or blender and puree with cream, butter and garlic -- adding reserved broth as needed for a smooth but not too runny texture. Salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Garlic
From Simply Recipes

1 (or more) whole heads of garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil per head of garlic

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Remove the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Cut off 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the top of cloves with a knife to expose the individual cloves of garlic.

3. Place the garlic heads in a baking pan. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over each head and coat well using your fingers. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at  for 30-35 minutes (cloves should feel soft when pressed).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pork Tenderloin with Creamed Corn and Apple-Cranberry Chutney

I have really come to appreciate pork tenderloin. It's easy and quick to cook. It's tasty and it's economical. What more could you ask for?

This recipe combines rich, creamy corn, savory herb-marinated pork and a sweet-spicy-tart fruit chutney in one exquisitely balanced bite. In the summer, I like to use fresh corn and cook the pork on the grill. But, to me, this dish has more of a cool weather vibe; maybe because it's a little heavier than typical summer fare or maybe it's the apple chutney.

A load of just-picked apples -- mine came after my mom went apple picking in Vermont -- presents the perfect excuse to make this in the fall. This recipe makes more apple-cranberry chutney than needed, but it won't go to waste. Use it with chicken or turkey or another cut of pork.

Pork Tenderloin with Creamed Corn and Apple-Cranberry Chutney
Adapted from Bon Appetit

For the pork:

2/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
5 garlic cloves
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
2 12- to 14-ounce pork tenderloins, trimmed

For the corn:

6 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1-1/2 to 2 cups whipping cream (or half cream, half half-and-half)
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the pork, combine first 6 ingredients in processor and chop finely. Blend in oil. Transfer marinade to glass baking dish. Add pork tenderloins to marinade and turn to coat. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

For creamed corn:

Cook 1 cup corn kernels in boiling salted water until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until mixture thickens and boils. Stir in cream. Bring mixture to simmer. Add remaining 5 cups of corn and simmer until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer to processor and coarsely puree. Stir in 1 cup cooked corn kernels.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade. Add pork to skillet and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and roast pork until a meat thermometer inserted into center registers 180°F, about 10 minutes (or more).

Apple-Cranberry Chutney

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 cup dried cranberries
5 whole cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger (or about 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger)

Stir vinegar and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring until syrupy and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add all remaining ingredients. Simmer until apples are tender, liquid is absorbed, and mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

To put together: Bring corn to simmer. Spoon corn onto plates, dividing equally. Slice pork tenderloins and place atop corn, dividing equally. Top with Apple-Cranberry Chutney and serve.

Serves six