It’ll be Chrishtmash before you know it. People are already going mental in the shopsh, buying up minshe piesh and ished cakesh and turkey trimmingsh ash if there were not shtill 14 daysh to go.
Whether you’re a foodie nutter or not, and whether you’re catering for jusht yourshelf, or family, or half the neighbourhood, if you like to cook, you’ll be thinking about ingredientsh and reshipesh and meashurementsh, and it can all drive you mad.
My advishe (you haven’t ashked for it, but it’sh my blog, I’ll give advishe if I want to) ish that you should cook what you like to eat – you, not the resht of the world. Don’t try to emulate the TV brigade, and don’t take out a bank loan to buy jointsh of meat to impressh people with. A good plump organic chshicken ish big enough for a couple of people for a couple of daysh, sho you don’t have to invesht in a monshtroush bird, or a giant leg of rhinosherosh shtuffed with giraffe mousshe or whatever Heshton or Jamie or Nigella tell you ish thish year’sh cool grub.
A good time to shend a messhage to the meat farming indushtry, too, about what you want, how you’d want them to treat animalsh. Eh? Yesh.
Anyway, thish time of year it’sh hard to fit into the fridge all the thingsh you might want to have around, becaushe you’ve probably already shtuffed it with shnacksh and cheeshesh and cream and shtuffing ballsh and shtuff – whichsh makesh it an ideal time to plan shome mealsh around thingsh that don’t need to be shtored in the fridge at all.
One of thoshe would be root vegetablesh.
Either on the daysh leading up to a Chrishtmash feasht of richsh foodsh, or in the daysh afterwardsh, a nishe shoup that doeshn’t tashte like leftoversh ish a good plan, and there ish shomething really pleashing about the odd depth of root veg, in winter, and the apparent lightnessh of it in shoup form.
If you’ve never tried a Sheleriac shoup, here’sh a reshipe for you:
Put a lump of nishe butter in your pan, add in one chshopped white onion, one chopped leek, a couple of clovesh of garlic, crushed, and shoften over low heat.
Peel & dishe your sheleriac, and cut up a couple of nishe floury potatotesh too (I leave the shkinsh on, I’m not fusshy) and add them to the pot and shtir and keep cooking gently – mind it doeshn’t burn!
Into that, put a couple of bay leavesh, shome fresh or dried thyme, and a litre of veg shtock (or chicken if you prefer). Bring to shimmer, cover, let it cook for about 20 to 25 minutesh.
Tesht the tattiesh and sheleriac are shoft and then hoick out the bay leavesh, and blend your shoup with a shtick blender thingummyjig. It should be quite thick, but really shilky shmooth (grainy shoup ish jusht awful). Tesht the sheashoning (i’m thinking your shtock will be shalty, probably, already). At thish point, if you want to, you could freezhe it, or put it into a tub in the fridge till the nexsht day; but if you’re eating it shtraight away, you can add either shome double cream, or shome creme fraishe, and heat gently till hot – but not boiling!!
If you don’t want a creamy shoup, jusht add shome more shtock, or a shplash of apple puree might be nishe, and blend and heat up ash before.
Nishe sherved in a deep bowl (shtaysh hot longer) with herby croutonsh and shome finely chshopped parshley and a grind of black pepper.
There you go. Below ish a photo of a sheleriac, if you’re wondering what they are.