Daily Archives: April 2, 2007

Take It Bake It

I’m hosting Take It Bake It later this month, which is sort of like a Soup Swap, only not with soup. There has been some disagreement regarding whether it should be called Take It Bake It or Bake it Take It Bake It, because invariably there will be dishes that require baking before bringing them to the swap. In that case, I’d probably have to call it Make It Bake It Take It Bring It Home Bake It, which seems like sort of a mouthful.

Anyway. The theme is Dinner Party, so people will be cooking something in mass quantity, freezing it, then bringing it to TIBI to trade it for many other yummy things. This time invitees also have to bring some of their Thing already baked, so people can actually taste everything before the swap starts.

Here are the things I’m thinking about making, just to give you an idea of what’s in the running (and how much you might need to make, and how to bring it, if you’re coming):

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies, portioned out with an ice cream scoop, frozen on baking sheets, and portioned into bags (18 cookies/bag)

Mac & Cheese with Guanciale, put into little foil ramekins as appetizer portions, wrapped in plastic, frozen, and bagged 6 to a big zip-topper

Homemade Gnocchi, frozen first on a baking sheet, then in individual portions in small zip-top bags

Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with Blood Orange Glaze, rolled and frozen and brought in 6 foil pie plates.

Get it? Think of the whole menu. Frozen spanikopita for hors d’oeuvres, frozen mini chocolate souffles for dessert. Et cetera. I suppose if you’re feeling lazy (or generous) you could just bring six bottles of wine, because hey, every dinner party needs a beverage.

I can’t wait.

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The King of Ugly

Celeriac, the king of ugly

The tough, nubbly skin of celeriac (AKA celery root) hides a sweet flesh with a potato-like consistency and a mildly herby celery flavor. It’s grown just for its root; the root of regular celery is a little different (though related). If the skin is thin, you can probably shave it off with a good peeler; otherwise use a small, sharp knife to cut it off.

Blurry celeriac, leek, and potato soup

Recipe for Celeriac, Leek, and Potato Soup
Recipe 92 of 365

I used tiny spring leeks for my soup, and was so captivated by how fresh the green parts seemed that I couldn’t avoid using them, as many leek soup recipes do. Spike the soup with few tablespoons of freshly grated lemongrass or ginger, if you’d like.

Baby leeks

TIME: 45 minutes
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound leeks (white and green parts), trimmed, cleaned, and cut into 1” chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes
1 1/2 pounds celeriac, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes
6 cups chicken broth or stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup milk, cream, or coconut milk, for thinning

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter and the oil. When the butter has melted and begins to sizzle, add the leeks. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the leeks are soft. Add the potatoes and the celeriac, season again with salt and pepper, add the broth, and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are completely tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Carefully puree the soup in small batches in a food processor or blender until completely smooth, and transfer the soup to a clean pot. Thin the soup with the milk (and additional broth or milk, if desired), and season to taste. Serve immediately or chill overnight and serve cold. (If serving the soup cold, make it a little thinner!)

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