Monday, 2 April 2007

Celery For Freddie

Like a lot of you food bloggers out there, I'm sure that if you have had a good surf at some of the quality Blogs out here, you would have discovered The Great Big Veg Challenge,

As somebody who teaches kids how to eat healthily at Expochef, I find it so inspiring. We go into schools and communities and try to get the kiddies off the junk and show them that food is easy, fun and healthy. It is hard work trying to convince some of these kids. It is even harder trying to convince the parents who have been trapped in a poor diet for all of their life, and subsequently meaning their kids are too. So to see Charlotte taking it so seriously in such an entertaining way makes me feel glad I am part of this happy little food Blogging community. And I'm sure Freddie is happy to be the centre of the attention and if it means he is going to eat beautiful vegetables via the recipes of some of the fantastic amateur chefs out here, then even better.

I've noted that celery is next on the hit list. I'm going to try to ensure I write Freddie a recipe for every letter if I can, best intentions and all that. This one is delicious with a piece of fish or meat and can be eaten cold. Celery is a tricky vegetable as it already has a negative stigma attached to it for some reason; maybe the bitterness, maybe the stringiness. I love the stuff, raw or cooked. I think that if it is braised long and slow in a little stock it becomes so unique and special and removes the bitterness some people dislike. Try it like that first. If Freddie doesn't like it, finish it off in a hot oven with the cream, eggs and cheese to make a kind of gratin. Freddie, welcome to celery!

Baked Cheesy Celery
Serves 2 as a side dish

1 head of celery, washed, trimmed and each stalk cut into 3
Hot chicken stock, enough to just cover the celery
200ml single cream
2 egg yolks
50g cheddar cheese grated
25g Parmesan cheese grated
A little salt and pepper

1 - Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C, GM6.
2 - Put your celery into a shallow pan and pour on the stock until just covered. Bring to the boil then turn down to a very low heat and put on the lid. If you are going to use this as the cheesy bake, simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the celery becomes slightly tender. Braise it for 30-40 minutes if you are eating it as it is.
3 - Mix the cream, egg yolks and cheese together. Season but go light on the salt. Drain the celery and tip into a gratin dish. Pour on the mixture and finish off with the Parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes on a high shelf or until golden and bubbly.

1 comment:

Freddie and Mum said...

David - we took your celery recipe on holiday with us and it was a success. Do read all about it - Thank you very much from Freddie and from Charlotte.
Please keep sending us your ideas as we move through the a to z...