Looks like mashed potatoes. Tastes like...not mashed potatoes.
Recently our friend Gina made some pretty ridiculous ginger soy glazed short ribs and we were invited over to partake. Always the consummate guests we decided to whip up a side dish for her efforts but needed something fancier than your typical taters. Enter the celery root, a knobby ugly little subterranean veggie with a pleasant taste and personality to boot.
Equipment Needed: 3 QT Pot, Chef’s Knife, Vegetable Peeler, Cutting Board, Potato Masher (OR) Immersion Blender (OR) Food Processor
Serving Suggestion: Family Style
Suggested Wine Pairing: This is a relatively neutral side so pick a beverage that fits your main protein (e.g., reds for dark meat, whites for lighter)
Suggested Beer Pairing: Same deal, dark for dark, light for light (or you can do whatever floats your boat, we won’t stop you)
- 2 lbs celery root ($1.99/lb)
- 1 medium Yukon gold potato ($1.49/lb)
- 3/4 C chicken stock, divided ($3.19/QT)
- 1/4 C skim milk ($1.19/QT)
- 1 TBSP butter ($4.99/lb)
- Wash and peel the potato and celery root. Cut everything into 2 inch cubes to help them cook faster.
If you're patient you can use your veggie peeler but be prepared for a bumpy ride.
- Put the chunks in your pot, cover them with water and add about 1/2 C of chicken stock and a healthy pinch of salt to start the flavor train out of the station.
- Put the lid on your pot and place it on high heat. Cook those babies until you can easily slide a fork into them (about 20).
- Drain the liquid when they’re done. If you’re using a food processor, transfer the chunks there now. If you’re mashing or using a stick blender, leave ’em where they lay. Add a quick splash of chicken stock and milk along with the butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash or blend until smooth and add more liquid if things are still a little chunky.
You can use vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian but tend to like a little eau de poulet.
Dios mio. Una cuchara, por favor.
We would eat guacamole with a spoon if it were socially acceptible, but alas people tend to stare when you walk around mowing down a mixing bowl of mashed avocados. Luckily, this recipe is simple enough to whip up in about five minutes, making it easy for sudden jonesings for Mexican, munchies, or well-planned snacking. Keep it simple, and so help me if you use cilantro (sorry, that was Jake, he’s cilantro-averse).
Equipment Needed: Mixing Bowl or Storage Container, Large Fork, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board
Serving Suggestion: Family Style
Suggested Wine Pairing: Sangria, Bloody Maria (we know it’s not wine, just go with it)
Suggested Beer Pairing: Negra Modela, Corona, Michelada
- 3 large avocados (usually about $2.50 each)
- 3 cloves of garlic ($2.99 lb)
- 1 lime ($.50)
- 1 TSP cayenne pepper ($3/bottle)
- Frank’s Red Hot to taste ($2.99/bottle)
- Slice each avocado down the center lengthwise and twist the halves apart. To remove the pit, tap your knife edge into the center until it’s wedged in, then twist the knife away from you to dislodge the pit from the flesh. Scoop the avocado flesh into your bowl/container.
Hack out the pit, but please watch your fingers.
- Peel and mince the garlic cloves and add to the avocado.
- Toss in the juice of one lime, the cayenne pepper and a few dashes of Red Hot (we use a tablespoon or so). Mash the avocado with a large fork, or you can use a potato masher for larger batches, and make sure all of the ingredients mix together well. Serve out of a bowl appropriate to the occasion, or just use a spoon, we won’t tell.
Roll the lime on your cutting board to get the juices flowing before you cut it.
Mash and mix everything together well.
Lobster with Garlic Lemon Butter and Mashed Maple Sweet Potatoes
To kick off the school’s first lesson we figured we’d get a little fancy with the king of crustaceans and a little something sweet on the side. The perfect recipe for when a celebration is in order—and yes, lobsters on sale is a reason for celebration—this take on a seafood classic hits all the right notes.
Equipment: Stove, 8 Qt. Pot, 5 Qt. Pot, 1 Qt. Saucepan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board
Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating
Servings: 1 Lobster per person; sweet potatoes serve 4
Suggested Wine Pairing:Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
Suggested Beer Pairing:Pilsner, Stout (yeah, we know they’re total opposites, but each works for all the right reasons)
- 1 Whole Lobster (market price varies, expect an average of $10/lb) (NOTE: It’s important to keep the lobster alive until cooking. Like most other shellfish, cooking dead lobster generally leads to unpleasant gastrointestinal results.)
- ½ lemon ($.50)
- 1 medium garlic clove ($2.99/lb)
- 1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter ($4.99/lb package)
- 2lbs Sweet Potatoes ($1.50/lb)
- ¼ C half and half ($1.75/pint)
- 4 TBSP Maple Syrup ($8/pint for the real stuff; highly recommended)
Mashed Sweet Potatoes Preparation (start this first)
- Scrub and wash the sweet potatoes. Cut each in half and toss them into the 5 Qt. pot.
Cut the washed sweet potatoes in half for easier boiling
- Cover the spuds with water and boil for 25-35 minutes.
- Drain and remove the skins from the sweet taters if you want, or you can leave them in. Either way, add the butter, half and half, and syrup, then start mashing.
Add the butter, syrup and half and half; mash well.
- Serve family style or plate with the lobster.
- Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil in the 8 Qt. pot. Throw the lobster in head first. (Don’t worry PETA, if you hear them “screaming” it’s just the steam releasing from the shell as it cooks. These little puppies don’t have nervous systems complex enough to feel pain. Now back to cooking, this isn’t a biology lesson.)
Dunk your brave soldiers head first into the boiling water.
- Bring the water back to a boil and lower the heat and simmer them for 5 minutes (add a couple of minutes for every additional lobster).
- Pull out of the water, drain and plate.
- Place saucepan over low heat and add a stick of butter.
- Mince the garlic and add it to the melting butter.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the mixture and keep warm. Serve in individual dipping cups so you don’t have a communal dunking situation going on; that can get gross.