Celeriac & Potato Gratin (3 Ways)

I’ve received quite a bit of celeriac in my veg. box delivery from Oddbox recently. My go to recipes with celeriac are normally soup & mash but I do like to vary my meals as often as possible and this week my partner suggested a gratin. As I already had potatoes and onions in the cupboard, it seemed like the perfect accompaniment to serve with Pork for a Sunday Dinner. There’s loads of recipes for celeriac gratin on-line, but here is my attempt. Feel free to adjust the quantities of celeriac & potato if you have different amounts to use up.

INGREDIENTS

  • Half a celeriac (approx 500g.) chopped in similar size pieces to the potato. (I peel with a knife post boiling as find it easier)
  • 600g potatoes halved or quartered depending on size. (I didn’t bother peeling but this is completely up to you)
  • 2 x small onions, finely sliced
  • 150ml cream
  • 150ml milk
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 x cloves of garlic
  • 1 x sprig of rosemary

METHOD

Parboil the celeriac & potato for 10 mins (I start with cold water & start the 10 mins when the water starts to boil)

Melt knob of butter in pan and slowly cook the onions over very low heat for 10 mins, or until they start to brown.

Add cream, garlic, rosemary and enough milk to cover the onions, bring to a simmer and then simmer very gently for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes is up, remove the garlic cloves & rosemary sprig.

Slice the potatoes & celeriac thinly (I use a mandolin) & roughly layer in an ovenproof bowl pouring over some of the cream & onion mixture after each layer.

Top the final layer with any remaining onion mixture, and bake in the oven at 180c for approx 1 hour or until golden brown.

This dish is such a rich, hearty and alternative side to a Sunday roast and it makes for incredible leftovers. I think gratin is one of those dishes that almost tastes better second time around. On this occasion, I completely mixed up the leftovers and served with fried pancetta and fried egg for a incredibly tasty and wholesome mid-week dinner.

My 20 month old son also enjoyed a portion of the gratin, he’s had celeriac a few times and I think originally found the taste maybe a bit too strong, but this time coupled with the cream, he ate every single last bite. Remember that celeriac is an allergen to if your child hasn’t tried it before, start with small quantities. My tactic with my son is to continue to expose him to as many tastes as possible and offer again and again even if he has refused the item on one occasion. It can be hit or miss but he’s generally a pretty good eater and the things he does enjoy often amazes me.

Weekly Meal Plan – 20.05.2021

It’s been a long old time since I last blogged and a lot has changed. I’ve had a baby, moved house, joined Instagram and lived through a global pandemic. My one constant through all this time though has been my commitment to food-waste and my love of a weekly meal plan. Therefore it seems apt that my first post back is about how I meal plan, the recipes will follow throughout the week.

When to meal plan?

This is completely dependent on when you have the time to do so and when you’re planning on doing your weekly shop. For me I tend to meal plan twice a week for 3/4 days at a time, the reason for this is that I receive my weekly vegetable box from Oddbox on a Wednesday morning and I hate going to the supermarket at the weekend, therefore on a Wednesday, I tend to meal plan from Wednesday through to Sunday and do one large weekly shop for everything I need to see me through to the end of the week. When I get to Sunday, I then review the contents left-over in my fridge and plan the meals for the Mon/Tues. Leaving a few days blank in the meal plan also leaves a bit of leeway if something hasn’t gone to plan such as an impromptu night out (extremely rare in these days of Coronavirus) or a lazy emergency pizza night after a long day at work.

For a lot of people meal planning at the weekend might be best and it might make more sense to leave the weekends unplanned if they’re the times you are most likely to eat elsewhere/off-plan. This is something you need to make fit in with your own personal life-style.

Where to start?

I always start by cleaning my fridge on a Tuesday night and assessing any left-over ingredients that might have been forgotten about, my fridge is normally pretty empty by the end of the week so this isn’t a big job. The leftover ingredients from the previous week will be the ones I aim to use up first.

When my Oddbox arrives, I then look at all the ingredients together and try to come up with a number of recipes for the week ahead, incorporating as many of the ingredients as I possibly can.

Where to get inspiration?

For this part I use a combination of sources; my own personal experience & ideas, the internet and recipe books. As an idea, below are the ingredients I have this week.

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The first picture is of the leftovers from the previous week, and the second picture is of the Oddbox ingredients received this week.

Of the old ingredients which I want to use first, I couldn’t think of any combination containing courgette & red cabbage but the internet tells me that a Chana Dal is a good option so I’ll be adapting this recipe from One Green Planet. This recipe is great as I can also throw in the coriander and spinach, I also know that I have the chana dal / split lentils in my cupboard.

Moving on to the other ingredients, my boyfriend saw the celeriac and asked for a gratin which will make use of the potato, onion & half of the celeriac, we’ll get at least 4 servings out of this and the only additional ingredient I’ll need to purchase is some form of cream. I’ll probably throw in some of the Rosemary and serve it with pork chops as pork and celeriac go really well together.

Each week Oddbox suggest a recipe in their news-letter, this week they suggested a pesto pasta using up the peppers. This is a super quick & simple mid week dinner that I’ll make 4 portions of and have the leftovers for lunch.

I fancy keeping the broccoli simple, so I’ll serve this as a side with some fish and also use the tomato, onions & coriander to make an accompanying salsa.

For the additional courgettes I had no inspiration this week so I picked up one of my recipe books and searched for courgette recipes. The first one that came up was a Chorizo & Courgette Salad from the Hairy Bikers One Pot Wonder book. I’d never have dreamed of combining these ingredients so I’m excited to try it. 

With my recipe books, I tend to pick a different book each week for inspiration and I find it’s a great way of trying out recipes and actually using the books as opposed to just looking at the pretty pictures.

The above meals incorporate all of the ingredients above except the dill which I’ll probably serve with the fish and I might also consider a salmon, cream cheese & dill bagel for lunch. I confess that I will struggle to get through the whole packet before it’s past it’s best so I’ll probably have to get creative in finding a use for it.

What next?

Next I need to determine what days I’ll be eating each meal on and do the shopping list. For the latter I’ll work through the recipes and figure out do I already have the ingredients I need in, if not can they be substituted for something else, and if not then I’ll add them to my Alexa shopping list. We keep Alexa in the kitchen solely for this purpose and it’s great to be able to add items to the shopping list as you run out of them. Using Alexa in this way means we rarely end up at the supermarket wondering if we do or don’t have something in.

To determine what days to have the meals on, I tend to consider what’s going on that week and what ingredients need using first. I’ll try to use the older or more perishable ingredients  to start with and I also consider what days I’m likely to be the most busy on as these are the days that call for easy recipes or leftovers. My partner and I both work from home at the moment which means we can prep throughout the day sometimes, I’ll often prep my veg at lunch which takes some pressure off in the evening however as we potentially return to the office we may lose this luxury. My other consideration here is what do I want to eat at the weekend, I’d rather have the more unhealthy or naughtier meals at the weekend which is just a mental reward thing for me to differentiate the weekends from mid-week.

Once I’ve done all this, I write the plan up on my kitchen blackboard and that’s it.

Below is the plan for the week ahead (we’re busy on Thurs/Fri which is why the plan doesn’t start until Saturday. I’ve also cancelled next weeks Oddbox as we’ve got plenty of food in to see us through the week), I’ll share more of my plans in the weeks ahead and of course post any recipes that I create.

What are your tips to meal planning, I’d love to hear.

Meal Plan

Saturday

Dinner: Fish w. Broccoli & Salsa

Sunday

Dinner: Celeriac Gratin & Pork Tenderloin

Monday

Lunch: Leftover Pork Sandwich

Dinner: Courgette & Red Cabbage Chana Dal

Tuesday

Lunch: Leftover Courgette & Red Cabbage Chana Dal

Dinner: Leftover Celeriac Gratin w. Eggs & Pancetta

Wednesday

Lunch: Salmon, Cream Cheese & Dill Bagel

Dinner: Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

Thursday

Lunch: Leftover Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

Dinner: Chorizo & Courgette Salad

Fridat

Lunch: Leftover Chorizo & Courgette Salad

Dinner: TBC

Turkey and Potato Bake – The Last of the Turkey

On the 3rd day of Christmas…

Turkey & Potato Bake

Here’s a recipe that continues to use up any remaining turkey and other leftover Christmas ingredients including potatoes, cream, cranberries and cheese.

If you still have turkey leftover it can be frozen, especially useful if you’re sick of poultry based dinners by now. The dark meat is particularly good for curries and I’ll be posting some more turkey related recipes over the next 9 days.

The Food Waste Diaries

6 days into Christmas and the turkey battle ensued  but we were finally down to the last couple of portions of the 5kg turkey. Other ingredients left over from Christmas day included half a bag of potatoes and a pot of double cream. Being a big fan of dauphinoise potatoes I decided to use this as a base for the final turkey throw down.

First of all my sous-chef (aka Mr Foodwaste) par-boiled 4 potatoes for 10 mins and left to cool. Whilst they were boiling I fried up an onion for a couple of minutes in a large saucepan before adding the last pieces of turkey. After a couple of minutes I added a good glug of white wine (a half open bottle that shock-horror, we’d somehow failed to finish). This was simmered at a high heat until it had reduced slightly before the leftover cream was added (I probably had about 200ml left). I…

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Parsnip & Potato Rostis (from left-over veg)

On the 2nd day of Christmas…

Parsnip & potato Rostis

It’s not just the Turkey that gets left over after Christmas Day, and here’s a great idea of what to do with the leftover veg.

The Food Waste Diaries

Glancing in my fridge on boxing day I was met with a huge array of left-overs giving me plenty of ammunition for a few experimental dishes.

We’d cooked far too many vegetables to accompany Christmas dinner, a common mistake when cooking up roasts, but being determined not to waste a morsel I’d kept all the surplus in the fridge. Some of the left-over vegetables had made it onto my boy-friends turkey sandwich – ‘a roast dinner sandwich’ (or a manwich in his words), which was pretty delicious but it hadn’t made a dent in the left-over roast potatoes, parsnips and baby carrots.

I’d seen Nigel Slater cook up some Bubble and squeak patties so I decided to do something similar with my left-overs. I mashed up all the potatoes, parsnips and carrots but the mixture was very dry, so for moisture I added a dash of left-over turkey stock…

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Cheese, Onion & Potato Pasties

I’d managed to overbuy some potatoes for this weeks meals, and having already peeled & diced the potato, I wasn’t quite sure what I could do with the leftovers.  It turns out that potatoes can be frozen, providing that they are blanched first to prevent them from turning black.  To blanch potatoes, you simply immerse in boiling water for about 4 minutes before quickly transferring into a bowl of iced cold water until cooled (about 10 minutes).  Once cool, dry the potatoes using kitchen roll or a tea towel and transfer to freezer bags before placing in the freezer to be used at a later date.

As well as the potatoes, I also had a packet of puff pastry left over from a family party where I’d used it for canapés, and as a Northerner born and bred, I love a good pasty, I already had some cheddar cheese in the fridge so Cheese, onion & potato pasty was the obvious choice for me.

 Whilst I could have just gone ahead and made Cheddar cheese & onion pasties, I love the bitterness of white crumbly cheeses, such as Lancashire & Wensleydale, so I decided to use a mix of Cheddar & Lancashire cheese in my pasties, but any cheese you have to hand will do.

As a side note, ready made puff pastry is one of my favourite time saving ingredients, you can do so much with it; canapés, pies, a twist on a pizza etc. and the results always look really impressive, when in reality, you haven’t had to try that hard, as you’ll see from the following recipe.

20140413-202229.jpgINGREDIENTS

  • Knob butter
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 small potato, cubed
  • 375g packet of puff pasty
  • 75g cheddar cheese
  • 75g white crumbly cheese

Serves 4

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180c

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over gentle heat

Add the onions and potatoes and sweat over a low heat with the lid on for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

Season well with crushed black pepper (I tend to avoid adding salt as it should get this from the cheese & butter)

Mix in the grated cheese and allow to cool otherwise the heat from the mixture will make the pastry difficult to work with

Whilst the potato & onions are cooling, cut the pastry into 4 circles approx. 6cm diameter (I use a bowl to measure). You’ll find that you will need to reroll the in order to get all 4 circles

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Add about a quarter of the mixture to one half of each pastry circle; leave about 1/2 cm gap between the mixture and the edge of the pastry. Don’t overfill the circles with mixture or you’ll find it difficult to close your pasty.

Fold each circle in half and press the edges together with fingers or a fork, cut a couple of small incisions in the top of each pasty

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Brush the pasties with egg and place in oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown

TIPS

Egg works best for glazing the pasties, as it will give nice golden colour but you can use milk if you’d prefer (which I did in this recipe)

If you have too much mixture for your pasties, bake it in oven for 15-20 minutes and it will make a lovely accompaniment for a meal

The pasties can be frozen when cooled and are equally delicious, whether served hot or cold

Pork & Potato Broth

In my previous post No Shop Week,’ I promised to write up the recipe for this dish which was made solely from left over vegetables, frozen items and stock cupboard items…no supermarket visit involved. This recipe is a great example of how knowing the base of a few simple dishes can really help to reduce food waste.

The perishable ingredients that I had to use up were:

Celery

Potato

Carrots

Onions

Ingredients in the freezer included:

Pork mince

And store cupboard essentials that I had in stock were:

Vegetable stock

Worcester sauce

Chilli sauce

Ketchup

Garlic

The idea for this recipe came from my hate of celery. I’m really not a fan of raw celery, in my opinion, anything that contains less calories than it takes to eat isn’t a food. The only time I ever use celery is in stews and soups, which are conveniently both fantastic recipe ideas for using up leftover veg.

Now I could have cooked a simple soup out of my leftovers and for you vegetarians out there, feel free to adapt this recipe by leaving out the pork, or if a thicker blended soup is more your bag, throw in a few extra potatoes and blend before serving.

Anyhow, back to the pork…

I know how long most veg takes to cook, and this is what dictated the order of which they were added into the pan, so if you’re using different vegetables, follow this methodology to work out your timings.

For this specific recipe though, here we go with the method:

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil and fry onions for 2-3 mins until soft
  • Add pork and fry for 4-5 mins or until browned
  • Add chopped celery and fry for a further 2 mins
  • Drain off some the fat from the pork, this will avoid a scum forming on top of the broth
  • Add stock (see notes) and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer, add diced potatoes and cook for 5-7 mins
  • Once the potatoes start to soften add in the chopped carrots and continue to simmer for a further 3 mins
  • Finally add Worcester sauce, ketchup and seasoning to taste

Tip

If you don’t like your vegetables quite as al dente as me, feel free to keep simmering until they are cooked to your liking.

And that’s it, a quick simple broth from leftovers.

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In terms of the measurements I was unsure how much stock to use. 250 ml per portion sounded like a reasonable amount and I wanted 4 portions so I made up 1 litre of stock.  When I came to add this to the meat, it just felt like too much so I reckon only about 800ml went in.

The trick with inventing dishes and also when following other peoples recipes, is to follow both your instinct and your taste buds. Don’t be afraid of messing up dishes by adding too much of an ingredient or diverging away from a recipe. If you’re unsure of how much of a particular ingredient you should add, start with a smaller quantity and keep adding until you’re happy. In this instance I started with 1 tbsp of both ketchup and Worcester sauce and continued until I was happy with the flavour. In total about 2 tbsp of ketchup and 1.5 tbsp of Worcester sauce went in.

I mentioned in my “No Shop Week” blog, that knowing a few basic recipe bases & tips will help with inventing dishes. My tip to take away from this recipe is that adding ketchup and Worcester sauce to casseroles and soups is a great way to add flavour without having to buy any extravagant sauce mixes.

Believe it or not, Ketchup is a fantastic ingredient to sweeten up dishes, Worcester sauce adds a bit more depth to stocks and stews with its unusual and unique taste, and although not used in this recipe; if you like things spicy, Tabasco/chilli sauce is an easy way to add a bit of a kick to recipes.

Turkey and Potato Bake – The Last of the Turkey

6 days into Christmas and the turkey battle ensued  but we were finally down to the last couple of portions of the 5kg turkey. Other ingredients left over from Christmas day included half a bag of potatoes and a pot of double cream. Being a big fan of dauphinoise potatoes I decided to use this as a base for the final turkey throw down.

First of all my sous-chef (aka Mr Foodwaste) par-boiled 4 potatoes for 10 mins and left to cool. Whilst they were boiling I fried up an onion for a couple of minutes in a large saucepan before adding the last pieces of turkey. After a couple of minutes I added a good glug of white wine (a half open bottle that shock-horror, we’d somehow failed to finish). This was simmered at a high heat until it had reduced slightly before the leftover cream was added (I probably had about 200ml left). I also added in some chicken stock to ensure all that all the turkey mix was covered and to slightly thin out the creaminess. For a bit of extra flavour I threw in some leftover thyme.

After bringing the mixture to a boil and simmering for 5 or so minutes I added the leftover cranberries and simmered for a further 5 minutes before seasoning to taste. The sauce was incredibly rich and the cranberries quite bitter so I was a little concerned about how the dish would turn out.

Using a large casserole dish I thinly sliced potatoes and layered on the bottom of the dish before adding a layer of the turkey mix. I continued the layering until all the turkey mix was used up, finishing with a layer of potatoes. For extra creamy goodness I’d recommend saving some of the liquid from the turkey mix and pouring over the bake which will then filter down through all the layers.

For an extra bit of fatness I topped the bake with a few small slices of camembert cheese before placing in  the oven (200c) for 40 minutes by which point the bake had turned a beautiful golden brown.

The oven baking seemed to have taken away some off the richness from the initial mix and the bitterness of the cranberries had reduced as well. All in all the dish was a very calorific winner, so much of a winner that Mr. Foodwaste couldn’t wait to tuck in, leaving me with a picture of a half eaten dish.

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Parsnip & Potato Rostis (from left-over veg)

Glancing in my fridge on boxing day I was met with a huge array of left-overs giving me plenty of ammunition for a few experimental dishes.

We’d cooked far too many vegetables to accompany Christmas dinner, a common mistake when cooking up roasts, but being determined not to waste a morsel I’d kept all the surplus in the fridge. Some of the left-over vegetables had made it onto my boy-friends turkey sandwich – ‘a roast dinner sandwich’ (or a manwich in his words), which was pretty delicious but it hadn’t made a dent in the left-over roast potatoes, parsnips and baby carrots.

I’d seen Nigel Slater cook up some Bubble and squeak patties so I decided to do something similar with my left-overs. I mashed up all the potatoes, parsnips and carrots but the mixture was very dry, so for moisture I added a dash of left-over turkey stock and gravy. After adding seasoning, I divided the mixture into 4 (although the number of röstis will depend on how many left-over veggies you have) and moulded into patty shapes which were probably about 1.5cm thick.  I heated a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan but was unsure of cooking time so I turned the röstis over every two minutes (I find if you turn too often the röstis start to fall apart). After a total of about 8 minutes, they were a nice golden colour and hot all the way through.

The röstis would make a delicious side dish but I also had some left-over stuffing from the turkey which I decided to serve with the röstis. I moulded the stuffing into thin patties, again adding some left-over stock for moisture and popped them in the oven at 200c for 15 minutes. Again I was unsure of timings so I kept my eye on them, the stuffing patties were very moist and I was unable to turn during cooking but after 15 minutes they had dried out and become golden.

To serve, I placed the stuffing ontop of the vegetable röstis and for the final touch I reheated a small amount of leftover cranberry sauce in the microwave. The röstis were absolutely delicious with all the flavourings of a roast dinner, they’d make a great starter or a light supper  and the best thing is that I’m pretty sure they can be made with any left-over vegetables. I’ll definitely be making them next time I cook too much vegetables.

This is the first time I’ve made something out of left-over cooked vegetables and it would be great to hear about what other people do with theirs.