…and a way with celeriac, instalment number 1
Trashy TV need some trashy themed food. Ribs, wedges and coleslaw.
I marinaded some ribs for the day (overnight will do)
For about 500 g ribs you’ll need
8cm fresh ginger (grated)
30 ml vegetable oil
30 ml soy sauce
30 ml sweet chili
(if you are feeding more, 1.5 k ribs will want 100 ml each of the oil, chili and soy)
Mix all together in a bowl. Instead of sweet chili, I actually used aforementioned chili jam, which worked really well. Marinade for a good 4-5 hours, the longer the better though!
The slaw was actually a recipe from Ottolenghi, sweet and sour celeriac and swede grated with a tangy mustardy cider vinegar dressing, capers and dried sour cherries.
Rumours of the demise of this blog have been greatly exaggerated (for ‘exaggerated’ please read ‘one or two people asked about it’). OK, so it did look, for a while, like this whole thing had ground to a halt before it had really got going. I blame a certain film about both food and blogging that came out recently and sent me into a curled up ball of insecurity, rocking myself to sleep whilst mumbling ‘I can’t do it… I can’t…’
Alright, so that might actually be exaggerating. But it’s true that I did feel a little lost and unsure about this whole thing. I’ve sort of gotten over it a little bit and decided the only way forward is to keep going and see what happens. Out of the frying pan and all that.
And so. This brings me to my next blog. Which is about an ingredient that has brought a whole lot of joy into my heart…and belly, of course. I’ve become a little obsessed with Swiss Chard of late- it’s in season at the moment so i came across it at a market and couldn’t really resist it- it’s so pretty! And tasty. Sort of like an woody spinach, it looks a bit like rhubarb, but has distinctly peppery, earthy taste.
My favorite recipe that I’ve been using it for recently is in a lentil soup with lots of spices and lemon. It’s originally from the Ottolenghi cookbook and I’ve reproduced it for you here. You can definitely be a bit more slapdash with the ingredients, if you don’t have coriander seeds at home, for example, maybe some cumin or fennel ones would do. What I’ve really enjoyed about this is it’s practicality. I’ve done big batches of the stuff and then ladled it in to plastic bags and frozen them. In the morning I grab one of these bags and take it with me to work, where I heat it in the microwave for lunch. My colleagues have been mighty jealous!
I know that anchovies and tarragon aren’t necessarily to everyone’s liking- in this recipe they really are both very subtle flavours and not at all overpowering. However, if either of those two ingredients send shivers down your spine, I would suggest omitting the former and replacing the latter with flat leaf parsley.
Polpettone di Bietole (Swiss Chard Torte)
7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1kg Swiss chard
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
6 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
3-4 anchovy fillets, chopped
1. Cook your spuds in their skins
2. Drain the spuds and peel them (when they’ve cooled a bit) and then puree them by mashing, ricing or pulsing. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil.
3. Remove the green leafy parts of the chard (Anna Del Conte suggests using the stalks in a cheesy béchamel sauce… mmmm…). Wash the leaves thoroughly and put them, still wet, in a large pot with a tsp of salt. Cook over a lively heat until tender.
4. Drain the chard and squeeze out any moisture. Chop coarsely
5. Fry the onion in 3 tbsp of oil for about 7 min or so. Stir in garlic, tarragon and parsley and sauté for about 5 min. Add the chard and sauté for another 5-7 min, stirring frequently. Transfer contents into the bowl containing the potatoes.
6. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees/ gas mark 5.
7. Add eggs and egg yolk, Parmesan, cheese, anchovies and pepper to the vegetable and spud mixture, and mix thoroughly- Anna says hands are best! Taste to check the seasoning.
8. Use a 18 cm/ 7 in spring-clip tin that has been greased and lined and then greased again before having breadcrumbs sprinkled into it.
9. Spoon the swiss chard mixture into the tin and drizzle the remaining oil on top. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until set.
10. When cooked, turn the torte out onto a plate and allow to cool a bit. Anna suggests serving this at room temperature, but I also had it cold for lunch the next day with a bit of salad and ham and it was a very pleasant experience indeed.