Makes 3 to 6 side-dish servings
Served at Le Beurre Noisette as an accompaniment to the bistro's rosemary veal roast (page 111 of the book), this celery root purée complements any number of meat, poultry, and fish dishes. For optimum creaminess, Thierry Blanqui uses rice as the starch in his purée, not potatoes, the dish's customary thickening agent. The water contained in the potatoes can dilute the purée's texture as well as its mild taste. The only risk in preparing it Blanqui's way is that the silky smooth purée becomes a distraction. You just can't keep your fork away from it. A quantity that should feed up to six people easily gets polished off by three.
1 celery root (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled, trimmed,
and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 quart whole milk
Coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
3/4 cup heavy cream
Place the celery root in a saucepan, cover with the milk, season with a pinch of salt, and heat over medium-high heat to a boil. Add the rice, lower the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 40 to 45 minutes.
Drain the celery and rice, reserving the liquid (which, once cooled, can be frozen and later served as a soup), transfer to a blender or food processor and purée, scraping down the sides as necessary, until smooth.
Place the cream in a saucepan over medium heat and heat just to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to keep it from boiling over. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cream is slightly reduced and thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the puréed celery root and rice and cook, stirring constantly, until all the moisture has been absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, season with salt, whip with a whisk to fluff the purée, and serve.
The Bistros, Brasseries, and Wine Bars of Paris
Everyday Recipes from the Real Paris
by Daniel Young
William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers
Hardcover; 224pp; $24.95
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created September 2006
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