It’s time to talk Thanksgiving – and in particular delicious sides. Who better to have in your kitchen to help you cook your feast than Chef Daniel Boulud? For Made in America Daniel gave me a recipe for celery root purée, as a side for his Short Ribs recipe, which is super easy to make. One dish people seem to all want for Thanksgiving is mashed potato – but with all the time management in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, regular mash seems so labor intensive, however delicious. It’s time to turn to Daniel for help:
This simple alternative of celery root hits all the same notes as soft creamy mashed potatoes and adds in some extra depth of flavor. Plus it sounds French and fancy – a sure way to impress your guests.
Here’s the real reason I’ll be making this every year from now on, you can use a food processor. Yes that’s right – a food processor. Usually there is no cutting corners with mashed potatoes – it’s either a lot of elbow grease with the potato masher or the ricer (my preferred way of getting creamy fluffy mash). Have you ever tried making mash with a processor or an immersion blender? I don’t suggest it. You basically end up with sticky glutonous white yuk. Not so with this celery root purée from Chef Daniel Boulud. Don’t ask me why, but it works.
In true French culinary fashion Boulud uses white ground pepper for his purée – I think they consider black pepper unsightly in this lily white side.
Celery Root Purée by Daniel Boulud
From Made in America
1 quart whole milk
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and halved
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
To Make the Celery Root Purée
1. Put the milk, 4 cups water, the coarse salt, celery root, and potatoes in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and cook at a simmer until the vegetables can be easily pierced with the point of a knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the vegetables and return them to the pan. Return the pot to the stovetop over low heat and toss the vegetables around in the pot just long enough to cook off the excess moisture.
2. Transfer the vegetables to the work bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and process—taking care not to overwork the mixture—but just until the purée is smooth and creamy. Season with salt and white pepper. Keep the purée warm in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until ready to plate.