Celery Root, that is!! Also called Celeriac, this is a variety of celery that is cultivated for its root, not its stalks. It is NOT the root of the traditional celery stalks you keep in your fridge (you have some on hand at all times for flavoring soups and stews, as well as snacking, right?!?)
Celeriac (pictured above in Lula’s for Lunch…and More! ‘s Creamy Pear and Celeriac Soup) has a knobby, dirty, formidable looking root that you will want to peel. Because it’s starchy, in general you want to pick the smaller of the roots available to you. The end product will be sweeter. The more you cook it the sweeter it becomes. It makes a great, “different” puree when you’re looking for a base for proteins (think parsnip instead of potatoes), and it provides one of those mysterious “what’s IN this?” flavors to sauces, soups and stews. Now GET IN THAT KITCHEN and try something different!
Did you know that game (venison, boar, etc) are healthier for you than other kinds of meat? They are much higher in good Omega 3’s and lower in bad Omega 6’s. In addition, you can eat them with a clear conscience (IF you’re an omnivore, that is!) knowing for sure they lived well and naturally. The next time you have an opportunity, open your mind (and mouth) and give them a try. – Lula
Ground Cayenne comes from the De Arbol Chile – which is found in abundance in New Mexico. I’m currently reading a book about chiles (yes, there are whole BOOKS written about chiles!), and it made me remember a time long ago when I traveled to New Mexico and experienced many things for the first time. I was so excited about the chile wreaths and decorations they make there that I purchased one and brought it back home to Cincinnati. I hung it in my catering kitchen. It was beautiful! A couple of months later, I noticed what appeared to be “fruit flies” but smaller, one at a time, floating around the house. A swat here, a swat there, no problem! But within days, they were getting in my eyes, and crawling up my nose, when I walked into the kitchen. I called mom. They know everything, right? Well, if they don’t, they care enough to find out. After 2 or 3 calls back and forth after she consulted with friends, and alot of questioning, it turns out the chile wreath had been the host of thousands of microscopic eggs, which hatched and became fleeting residents of Cincinnati Ohio. The remedy: freeze the wreath. It was winter by then so I just set it out on the back deck overnight and voila! Problem “debugged”. Wreath rinsed and back in place for all to enjoy! Moral of the story: rinse your chiles before eating – even if you’re not a caterer!! – Lula