Posts Tagged ‘beets’

Thanksgiving – Celery Root and Cilantro Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Beets and Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom Gravy

December 26, 2009

Thanksgiving - Celery Root and Cilantro Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Beets and Brussels Sprouts, Mushroom Gravy

Better late than never, eh?

I’m a few weeks behind with this one (amongst others), but I figured it was time to get it up.

My Thanksgiving tradition involves a few essential pieces: 1) a different flavored mashed potato every year and 2) everything is organic – all the way down to the olive oil used to make roux. It certainly does not make it a cheap meal, but it’s once a year, so I go for broke ($5/pound for organic brussels sprouts!).

After the success of the celery root mashed potatoes a few weeks prior, I knew I’d have to give them a shot in primetime. I added some cilantro to them to give them a nice, fresh flavor – along with some roasted garlic.

For the vegetables, I normally make steamed broccoli (which I made, but is not seen here), but I wanted something a bit more. I had what I thought was a great combination – beets and brussels sprouts. I didn’t expect, however, to see that combination on a dozen other blogs. I tossed mine with maple syrup, dijon mustard (homemade), olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them on 450 until the brussels were crisp on the outer leaves.

For the gravy, I sauteed baby portabella mushrooms, removed them from the pan and sauteed green peppers and onions until they stuck to the pan. Deglazed with some balsamic vinegar and added whole wheat flour to make my roux. A little vegetable Better Than Bouillon (the No Chicken wasn’t organic, so I went with the vegetable) with water and a quick puree using the good ol’ immersion blender. I then added my reserved mushrooms back to the gravy and began to season. You can find Poultry Seasoning all over the place this time of year and that’s what I used.

And there you have it – Thanksgiving dinner.

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Really Red Beets (and the Greens, too!)

April 23, 2009

Cous Cous, Red Beets, Greens
Looks a little like Christmas in April

Ever since I introduced golden beets into my wife’s diet, she can’t seem to get enough of them. Every time we’re grocery shopping and a store has them, we have to get them – it’s a rule. Well, there weren’t any golden beets around this time, but we were both craving them. I’ve been nervous to substitute red beets for fear of her foregoing beets altogether, but I was left without an option. Well, I guess I could have had no beets, but who wants that?

For those who don’t know: red beets bleed. A lot. Having worked with them many times, even I was taken off guard by how red the cous cous got after I sauteed them.

Really Red Beets
See?

A lot of times when we shop, the stores will take off the “unwanted” greens – but that’s sacrilege! We love the beet greens almost as much as the beets themselves (so much so that at work, I had our produce rep source out just the greens so I could feature them. She couldn’t do it, suggesting turnip greens instead).

Like most Israeli cous cous recipes, this one was incredibly easy. I peeled and diced the beet root and sauteed in roasted garlic oil. Once you’ve got a nice smell going add the cous cous and stir to coat. The cous cous will absorb all of the water in the pan and begin sticking – this is a good thing as long as it doesn’t burn. The more you can cook the cous cous, the more it caramelizes, giving it a slightly nutty flavor. As it reaches the point of almost burning, add some white balsamic (dark balsamic or any other vinegar [or wine] will work as well) and scrape everything off the pan. Add water to cover, reduce to simmer and stir frequently. Almost seems too easy, eh?

When the water is gone, taste some of the cous cous to make sure it’s cooked all the way. If not, add more water. Once it’s to just below the desired consistency, add your beet greens. They will release water which will help finish off your cous cous. Stir until they are completely wilted. I finished mine off with a little tarragon “pesto”. I use quotation marks because it lacks both pine nuts and parmesan cheese (or vegan equivalent). Salt and pepper to taste and you’re ready to go.