11/16/2017

Roasted Roots for Blood at the Root

 
Blood at the Root, by Peter Robinson, is the 9th in his Inspector Banks mystery series.  I don't like to admit it really, but a male author's perspective is frequently coming directly from Mars (just my personal opinion here) and I often find the writing of women more simpatico. It would be obvious to most why Banks' marriage is failing.  The real mystery is the length of time his wife put up with things.  But his problems, marital, and job related tend to get in the way of the murder solve, and there is a lack of real resolution at the end.  We're supposed to read the next book apparently.   All that aside, I know some of you are total Peter Robinson fans, and actually the plot was quite intriguing with the supposed "good boy" turning out to be something else altogether.  Neo Nazis, race riots and drug exporting behind it all.

As the Publisher's blurb says:
 
"In the long shadows of an alley a young man is murdered by an unknown assailant. The shattering echoes of his death will be felt throughout a small provincial community on the edge—because the victim was far from innocent, a youth whose sordid secret life was a tangle of bewildering contradictions. Now a dedicated policeman beset by his own tormenting demons must follow the leads into the darkest corners of the human mind in order to catch a killer."

 Does the book have anything at all to do with my meal?    There was nothing food related in it, aside from Pub grub, so not really, other than the "root" in the title.  No blood involved here.  I was just wanting to make something with celery root in it, never having cooked that vegetable before.  Luckily, my market had some lovely looking specimens on offer.  Greens still on them.

I cut down and adapted a recipe recently posted by someone, whose name I neglected to record.



                                      Roasted Celery Root and Carrots

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (I used fresh sage)
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika (I used smoked paprika)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions
Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and preheat to 425 degrees F.
Toss the celery root with 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and salt to taste in a bowl. Pile onto a double layer of heavy-duty foil; bring the ends together and crimp closed to seal. Put the packet on another baking sheet and roast in the middle of the oven until almost tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the carrots with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon paprika in a bowl; season with salt. Spread on the preheated baking sheet and roast until tender, about 35 minutes.  Note: I wouldn't put it back on the lowest rack, my carrots came out a bit too blackened on their bottoms.
After the celery root has roasted for 25 minutes, open the foil and spread on the baking sheet; roast 15 more minutes. Toss with the carrots and parsley. 


A perfect accompaniment for our seared steaks, and some tomatoes with basil.  The subtle celery flavor was quite nice with the added smoked paprika and sage.  I'll share this with Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event, which you are welcome to visit, check out lots of good food and things to read, or also to contribute a food related post on the weekend.

11/02/2017

Pacific Spinach Cannelloni and Nero Wolfe


 Don't you love discovering new authors and new foods?   Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Mysteries have just done it.  He's been around (1886-1975) for quite a few years, but new to me all the same.  The detective hero, Nero Wolfe, head of his own agency,  has been described as "overweight, epicurean and orchid-loving."  And I love how he spends as much time with the orchids as he does solving mysteries and helping his chef, Fritz, to perfect various culinary creations.  In the first of this volume, two novels in one, Black Orchiids and The Silent Speaker, Fritz was making some special sausages, saucisse minuit.  Later on he and Nero, on the advice of a Southern girl, material witness in an ongoing murder investigation, tried adding chitlins to a batch of corned beef hash, in a quest to solve that cooking problem, of nearly equal importance to solving the identity of the murderer.