Saturday, 7 November 2009
Apium graveolens is a tasty plant commonly known as celery, or celeriac, depending which part of the plant is being eaten. We often eat the roots, or celeriac. We love it mashed with cream and herbs, it makes a fantastic gratin and as a soup, it's just lovely. (I make a mean Celeriac, Apple and Stilton soup that is to die for!)
The seeds are wonderful in salads. I always like to add a few to my coleslaw and they are fabulous in a vinaigrette dressing.
Dieters love celery, as it is relatively low in calories, being mostly water. It's when you add the cheese or the peanut butter topping that it ceases to be real diet food. I think because it is normally eaten by dieters that it gets a bit of a bad rap, not to mention it's also really hard to eat quietly.
I can't imagine making a soup or stew without adding at least a few chopped stalks. It adds a lovely flavour in my opinion. And a tuna fish or chicken salad sandwich just wouldn't be that good without chopped celery added in my opinion!
Today I'd like to show you a rather unique and unsual way of using it. These scone like whirls are quite, quite tasty . . .
It goes without saying that wrapping this crunchy vegetable in scone dough, rather takes away from it's fat busting qualities . . . but what the heck!
*Cheese and Celery Whirls*
Very pretty with a lovely green celery swirl in the centre. They make an excellent accompaniment to a soup meal and are wonderful as a tea-time savoury. Wonderfully light and very tasty!
340g self rising flour (2 1/3cup)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry English mustard powder
56g butter, softened (1/4 cup)
115g mature cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 large free range egg, beaten
5 fluid ounces milk
3 to 4 stick of celery, trimmed and coarsely chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 220*C/425*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt and mustard powder in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add most of the grated cheese, reserving a small amount for sprinkling on top before baking. Mix together the egg, milk and garlic and then stir this into the flour mixture, mixing in well until everything is well mixed together. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly. Pat or roll out into a 12 by 9 inch rectangle. Scatter the celery over the surface. Roll up like a Swiss Roll, starting at the narrow end. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place flat side down on the baking tray. Sprinkle each with some of the reserved cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and well risen. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
Note - I'm not sure why this happens but from time to time the flour doesn't seem to absorb as much of the liquid as it should. This could be down to the brand of flour used, the humidity etc. IN any case, only add as much of the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture as will give you the consistency of a soft dough. Sometimes you may need more of it than at other times.