Dash & Hash

14 Dec

Oh people, it’s the holidays!

Of the last seven nights, I’ve been invited to parties on five of them. I only attended four. Of this I am proud.

LES At Night

Usually by this week on the calendar I’m exhausted, sick and cranky, just in time for my parents to make their annual trek down to the city. They come to finish their Christmas shopping, eat and spend time with Isaac and I.

This year I’m only feeling like I might possibly be coming down with something. I consider this a minor victory.

On the one night I managed to spend at home this week, Isaac and I feasted on some very good, heartwarming and delicious leftovers; Celeriac Hash. With a piece of salmon and my crazy beet salad, this was dinner on Sunday night.

I know I said salmon is the one thing you will never see on this site. Well, I lied. I still don’t like it. At all. But, much like the walnuts, something’s happening to my palate. I’m craving things that for years I have forsworn. This is all to Isaac’s great delight. He loves fish. If it were up to him, this site would probably be called A Salmon In Every Granny Cart.

Perla Meyers' The Seasonal Kitchen

But it’s not, and so rather than talking anymore about the fish, let’s talk about the hash. The inspiration came from two huge celery roots that Isaac brought home from the greenmarket and a cool old cookbook I picked up months ago at the Strand from 1973 by Perla Meyers called The Seasonal Kitchen: A Return to Fresh Foods.

If the title doesn’t grab you, the book’s design might. The cover is an elegant orangey-red on which the title is embossed in perfect Helvetica and the end papers are the most brilliant shade of vivid royal purple. Inside, the recipes are presented in an elegant fashion, both as complete meals and courses with cool symbols on beautiful, thick beige pages in sepia ink. It’s the ultimate gift for every foodie/design dork on your list!

Perla Meyers' The Seasonal Kitchen

Ms. Meyers’ recipe, Celeriac a l’Italienne, sounds amazing, but heavy. Cream, butter, cheese. Who wouldn’t love that? But I wanted something lighter, I mean, my diet over the past week has been largely made up of those three food groups, uhm, I mean ingredients. My version is a delicious, easy, hearty, and yes seasonal, side dish or quick late night supper mixed with some leftover roasted beets and a crumbling of blue cheese.

Celeriac Hash

But now, I’ve got to dash. I have work to do, decongestants to ingest, an endless shopping trek through freezing rain to plan and reservations to confirm. Happy weekend all!

Head below the jump for the recipe for Celeriac Hash.

Celeriac Hash

prep time: 40 minutes ~ cooking time: 1 hour or so

  • 2 large Celeriac, peeled, cut into cubes and if not being used immediately dropped into a bowl of acidulated water
  • 1/4 lb Pancetta, cubed
  • 2 small Purple Onions, diced
  • Garlic to taste, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • fresh Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Lemon Juice

Drop the celeriac into a pot of salted boiling water and cook until tender but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.

Warm a small glug of olive oil in a large sautée pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and the pieces are crispy. Remove the pancetta and add the onions and garlic to the hot fat. Cook until tender then add the pancetta back to the pan plus a few sprigs of thyme. Add the celeriac cubes, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.

You can now cook the hash on the stove top over high heat until the celeriac takes on a little color or you can put it in a hot oven to hold until dinner. Just before serving, sprinkle with a little lemon juice. Enjoy!


17 Responses to “Dash & Hash”

  1. Terry B December 14, 2007 at 1:20 pm #

    Ann—Marion just got a celery root at the store for some purpose. I don’t know what that is yet. It looks absolutely like some alien spawn, biding its time in the fridge, waiting for the right moment to take over the household.

    Regarding the instructions to “cook until tender but not falling apart” in your recipe, about how long might that be? Also, I think we have that very cookbook, probably similarly acquired!

  2. mary beth December 14, 2007 at 1:56 pm #

    I own (from the downtown Strand) Perla’s ‘A Peasant Kitchen’ which has the same pleasing design and also the pages are this brownish color which is no reason to buy a cook book but i did! Is ‘Seasonal’ brown? i can’t tell.

  3. sher December 14, 2007 at 6:38 pm #

    Oh, you make me feel soooo boring!

  4. Julie December 14, 2007 at 10:05 pm #

    I own the paperback version of that book, purchased new in about 1978. It was the second cookbook I ever bought (the first was The Art of Jewish Cooking another great book). I

    I’ve just discovered celeriac and I love it. I’ll bet this hash is fabulous.

    Hope you stay well. Shopping in freezing rain doesn’t sound like a good way to fight off an impending cold.

  5. Lydia December 15, 2007 at 9:57 am #

    I remember that book — how great that you were able to snag a copy at The Strand. I love celeriac but don’t cook with it often enough. This definitely looks like a recipe I want to try.

  6. Kevin December 15, 2007 at 10:47 am #

    Oh, how I hope you get converted. Fresh wild salmon is at the top of my list of favorite foods.

    Yesterday, I went to the new Walmart [for some photo development – I loathe Walmart] and they have a new food section in this store the size of a small town. I had to gawk. In it, they sold ‘Steelhead Salmon’. Funny. Pretty sure that particular fish does not in fact exist. I’m guessing they either a) goofed, or b) sell more if they label it incorrectly as salmon rather than the Trout that it was. Hah.

  7. ann December 15, 2007 at 10:55 am #

    Hi Terry! What a great way of describing celeriac. They are so weird! The ones that I’ve been seeing at the greenmarket have been GINORMOUS this year. Must be something in the water.
    Cook until tender but not falling apart…. Well, it’s kinda difficult to judge, b/c it depends a lot on how big or small your cubes are. Mine were pretty small, smaller than a die, I think they took about 20 minutes. It’s important they not get to the stage where they being to lose the crispness to their cuts because they’re going to get another bout of heat and cooking with the pancetta. I guess it’s one of those judgment things. Its nice to know other folk out there have this book, its really nice!

    Mary Beth — The paper is brown! It’s so pretty. I’ll have to keep my eye out for Peasant Kitchen now. Don’t you love the downtown Strand? Such an oasis of calm compared to the 13th St. branch!

    Sher — Oh stop! Most of the parties were for work ;-)

    Julie — The things we do for family, right? That Jewish cookbook looks fabulous. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one too!

    Lydia — Try it mixed with mashed potatoes. Your hubby would love it I bet!

    Kevin — You make an excellent point. I’ve had truly wild salmon once, and it was revelatory! But the thing about wild salmon in NYC is that it commands such a premium out here that most stores sell bogus salmon. You never know what you’re really getting and you pay an arm and a leg for the privilege. I prefer to avoid it all together. That’s hilarious about the Wal-Mart however!

  8. Ann December 16, 2007 at 6:53 pm #

    I’m not a huge fan of salmon, either… unless it’s smoked and thinly sliced and on a bagel :-)

    But Jack absolutely adores it.

    Now celeriac… YUM! ! ! ! ! !

  9. Grant December 18, 2007 at 1:36 pm #

    That book looks great! I love seasonal cooking and this recipe sounds great. I’m going to have to check Alibris to see if they have a copy. Thanks!

  10. ann December 18, 2007 at 10:15 pm #

    Ann — I even get a little skeeved by the smoked salmon, sad, being a New Yorker and all!

    Grant — Hi Hi Hi!! Nice to “see” you around! I hope you can track down a copy of the book, it’s a beauty and full of wonderful stuff I bet you’d love. Have happy happy holidays!

  11. Tiny Banquet Committee December 19, 2007 at 1:21 pm #

    That is maybe the best-looking cookbook ever – what a great find!
    If you feel like you might be getting sick I have to recommend this stuff, which I only recently discovered. It’s got even more ingredients than the ones listed on that page. It tastes awful but it really, really helps, even if you’ve already progressed to full-on cold. I got it at the health food store on Avenue A near 3rd or 4th Street but maybe Whole Foods has it?

  12. K December 19, 2007 at 5:25 pm #

    That book is fantastic! Even if the recipes were crap, it’d be worth buying just as eye candy. :)

  13. leahwatson December 19, 2007 at 6:34 pm #

    I’ve never cooked with celeriac, I don’t even put in my chicken noodle soup. I know, know but I just don’t like the way it tastes I use lime slices in my Bloody Mary’s just to avoid it. Sorry ;)

  14. Toni December 19, 2007 at 11:11 pm #

    I confess I’ve never even seen celeriac, let alone tried it. But having read Terry’s comment, it makes me want to find one – quickly! – before they all find other households to spawn in.

    And the book sounds absolutely spectacular! Your description of it even made me drool. (I DO have a thing about color!)

  15. ann December 20, 2007 at 9:17 am #

    Heeeey TBC!!!!! How are you!?! Thanks for the tip. I should definitely be taking some of that. Have a great Holiday (and say hi to the fuzzy committee member for me)

    K — That’s the best part too, they’re amazing!

    Leah — Lol, that’s pretty funny. Celery is can be an acquired taste I guess! Man I love bloody marys.

    Toni — Terry’s a funny guy isn’t he? :-) Its such an intimidating looking vegetable and then you cook it up and it’s so gentle and subtle. Such a strange vege.

  16. Debby December 23, 2007 at 9:15 am #

    Does anyone have Perla Meyers recipe for her lemon chicken? I used to make it all the time and have lost the recipe and the cookbook. My daughter has requested it for the holidays and I would love the recipe to make it for her. Please send asap! Thank you!
    dwerthmann AT chartermi DOT net

  17. ann December 23, 2007 at 10:16 am #

    Hi Debby — I just looked through my book but it’s not in there. Sounds like one worth finding though! If anyone can help Debby out, shoot her an email, it’ll be a Christmas miracle! (btw, I edited your email address so that spammers won’t be able to get to it). Merry Christmas!

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