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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sichuan food is comfort food - Easy Sichuan Cabbage

In our last CSA share, we had a couple of cabbages.  I'm always enjoying Sichuan food as comfort food.  Something about the warming chilies.  The small green cabbage and medium yellow onions came from our CSA share from Heart's Acres Farm.  I lived in Chongqing, Sichuan for a time in 1983-84.  The recipe calls for peanut butter and peanuts but that can be substituted with tahini or ground pumpkin seeds, if there are allergies. 

Sichuan Peanut Cabbage

1 small-medium green cabbage, cored and medium-large dice
1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
2 whole star anise
2 whole dried red chilies
small piece cinnamon stick or a good pinch ground
drizzle preferred cooking oil
1/3 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth
1/4 whole roasted peanuts (optional)
2-3 tbs soy sauce
a dash of Chinese cooking wine or Mirin
1 good tbs Chinese hot sauce with peanuts (adjust to your own tastes)  Pictured here:

1 tbs Sichuan Peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

Heat oil in a wok at medium-high heat.  Add cinnamon and star anise.  Add chopped onion and ginger and cook for a few minutes.  Add cabbage and stir.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.  You may need to add a bit of water.

Cook until cabbage is soft throughout.  Serve with rice.  Options:  add tofu cubes, or make with broccoli or other varieties of cabbages.  Some people add a bit of brown sugar to balance the flavours more.


Sunday, September 09, 2018

Celeriac, it is easier than you think!

I got two gorgeous celeriac bulbs in my CSA share last week.  I have to admit to have never prepared celeriac but I was eager to try it out.  It couldn't be easier and more delicious!  I looked up an Alton Brown recipe and adapted it.  Celeriac is available now at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market.

Blue Cheese Celeriac Purée

2-4 Celeriac bulbs, brushed clean, thinly peeled, cubed.  (place cubes in a bowl of cold water)
1 tbs butter
1/4-1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup Buttermilk Blue cheese, crumbled
pinch nutmeg
salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste

Bring a medium sized saucepan of water to boil.  Boil the drained celeriac cubes until quite soft, about 5-8 minutes.  Drain and place cubes back into the saucepan.  Warm butter and cream in the microwave and add to the cubes.  Add the crumbled blue cheese, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. 

Using an immersion blender, purée until smooth.  Alton Brown's recipe was even simpler, with no blue cheese or nutmeg.  Enjoy!

Pictured above with Turkish roasted tomato salad with pomegranates, Carrot Thoren, and Bulgogi Burgers.