I love second-hand stores.
What do I buy? Pretty much anything. Most frequently it’s clothes, dishes, glassware, kitchen tools, or books.
I’m happier wearing clothes that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Because I'm a thrift store regular, I make amazing finds. Lately, my husband’s been looking debonair in an Armani blazer I bought for $1.00. It’s in flawless condition and fits him perfectly.
Since I’ve been writing Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, I’ve purchased an assortment of second-hand plates and bowls. They help make my photographs more interesting and allow me to use dishes that best set off each individual recipe.
Since we’re both notorious breakers, I long ago gave up buying nice wine glasses. The few we have left are put away and brought out only for company. For us, thrift store glassware is definitely the way to go.
Most of the dishes, pots and pans, and kitchen tools in our Greek house came from American second-hand stores and were hauled to Greece in our baggage. The pride of my Greek kitchen is a Kitchenaid stand mixer I bought for $12.50 at Salvation Army.
Our Greek relatives don’t understand why I would buy anything second-hand. They find the whole concept to be confusing and vaguely distasteful. Why would we want something that had been previously owned by a stranger? Not surprisingly, there isn’t a single second-hand store on the island.
I’ve bought and thoroughly enjoyed used books I never would've bought new. One of these books is A Passion for Vegetables: Simple and Inspired Recipes from Around the Globe by British chef Paul Gayler. Published in 2000 for $35.00, I brought the book home for the shockingly high price of $3.50.
A Passion for Vegetables is full of interesting ideas for cooking vegetables (it is not 100% vegetarian). Gus Filgate’s photographs are gorgeous and very inspirational.
Lately I’ve been thinking about Gayler’s recipe for celery root (celeriac) waffles and smoked salmon. I had a celery root from Full Circle Farm and plenty of Gravlax in the freezer. I paired the two for brunch last Saturday.
Although I liked Gayler’s concept, I modified his recipe to eliminate waste and make a batter that worked in my waffle iron. The result was a crisp waffle with a mild celery flavor that nicely complemented Gravlax. I finished the dish with a dollop of tasty horseradish cream and a sprinkling of fresh dill.
Although we enjoyed it for brunch, Celery Root Waffles with Smoked Salmon (or Gravlax) and Horseradish Cream would make a scrumptious cold appetizer. I’m definitely making this again.
Celery Root Waffles with Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Cream
Makes 6 6 - 7” waffles (serves 4 for brunch) or 24 appetizer pieces
Adapted from A Passion for Vegetables by Paul Gayler (Lyons Press 2000)
1 pound celery root (3/4 pound cleaned)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black or pepper
3 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. whipping cream
1 1/2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
3 Tbsp. finely minced red onion or chives
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt
6 - 8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon, lox, or gravlax
2 Tbsp. minced dill
Prepare the Celery Root: Cut the top and bottom off the celery root, leaving broad flat surfaces on either end. Put the celery root on a cutting board with a flat side down. Use a sharp knife and cut down towards the board to remove the peel; doing this in small pieces makes the job faster and easier. Once the celery root is peeled, cut it in half and then in wedges. Use a paring knife to remove the soft cottony center of each wedge. For pictures of how to do this, go here.
Cut the wedges of celery root into chunks. Put the milk and celery root in a saucepan, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the celery root is tender.
Make the Horseradish Cream: While the celery root is simmering, whisk the whipping cream until it starts to stiffen. Whisk in the horseradish, minced onions, lemon juice, and salt until the cream is fully whipped.
Make the Waffles: When the celery root is tender, remove it from the heat. Puree the milk and celery root using a stick blender, food processor, or blender. Quickly whisk 1/2 cup of celery root puree into the eggs, and then whisk this mixture back into the celery root puree.
Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Melt the butter and whisk it into the batter.
Preheat the waffle iron and cook the waffles. As each waffle is done, put it on a baking rack to cool; this helps prevent condensation and keeps the waffles crisp.
To Serve: Cut or break each waffle into quarters. Arrange a slice of smoked salmon or gravlax on the waffle, top with a small dollop of horseradish cream, and sprinkle with minced dill.
This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Lia from Swirling Notions.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I love second-hand stores.