As I sit here writing this post the sun is shining and the heavens have opened up to rain down on South Florida. It doesn’t get more humid than that! It’s like a giant outdoor sauna.
I have a love hate with the humidity.
On the one hand, it keeps my skin supple and looking young for my age; I don't look 20 or even 30, I just have good skin for my age (which I've just revealed is more than 30). On the other hand; my naturally curly hair looks like a big ol’ ball of frizz (think Frampton Comes Alive cover, only longer), which means it’s all ways in a ponytail, which has me contemplating cutting my hair off again. On still another hand (really I’m not a mutant), it’s terribly uncomfortable to be outside.
Really the only thing I love about the humidity is that my skin looks good. I’m not tooting my own horn, I’m not saying that I look better than anyone else; most everyone that I know who lives in FLA and avoids the sun (avoiding the sun is key; I’m the geek in the giant floppy hat) has great looking skin.
So far I’ve not had to consider any kind of injections or plastic surgery; because I am vain enough that I would totally consider either of those things, even though the thought of injecting poison into my forehead freaks me out.
I’m going to say that I love the humidity more than I hate it. I’ll take the Peter Frampton hair and the thick, sticky, suffocating air if it means that I avoid the needle and the knife!
So when it’s hot and humid one doesn’t normally crave a bowl of mashed potatoes, but only a couple of days ago our climate was warm and dry, so it makes more sense that I would have made these comforting mashed potatoes. Sometimes I like to change up my mashed potatoes by adding celery root (aka celeriac). Celery root is not celery, but it does have subtle celery like flavor.
I also made for dinner some Braised Sirloin Pork Steaks. See them there in the back ground of the photo? There's no photo of just the pork or how I made it because I had no intention of posting the recipe; but Billy was oohing and aahing over how tasty and how tender the pork was, so I decided that I just had to share the super simple recipe photo or no photo!
I almost forgot to mention...you're gonna wanna make extra potatoes for the yummy Baked Croquettes that I'll be posting next week!
Here’s what you do.
|This is what celery root (aka celeriac) looks like. Kinda gnarly!|
But it cleans up nice.
I use a knife to cut away the peel, and then run it under cold water to rinse it off.
|Dice the celery root and potatoes the same size, about 1/2 cubes.|
|It may be difficult to tell that I covered the potatoes by about an inch with cold water, cuz the celery root is floating on the top.|
|Off of the heat, mash the celery root and potatoes, don't over work them.|
|Season with a little salt and pepper.|
|Add the butter, milk, and half & half.|
Return the pan to the heat over medium; stir with a wooden spoon, just until the butter is melted, and remove the pan from the heat.
Celery Root Mashed Potatoes taste mostly like the mashed potatoes that you know and love; the celery root flavor is subtle but definitely makes mashed potatoes special.
CELERY ROOT MASHED POTATOES
1 - 12 oz. Celery root, peeled and diced into 1 ½ inch cubes
1 ½ lbs. Waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold or red skin, peeled and cut into about 1 ½ inch cubes
2 Tbsp. Butter
½ cup Milk
¼ cup Half & half
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the celery root and potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water by about an inch. Put the lid askew on the pot.
2. Bring the water up to a boil and add about a 1/2 table spoon of salt to the water, turn the heat down to medium high and replace the lid askew on the pot.
3. Cook until the celery root and potatoes are for tender, 12 to 15 minutes from the point where the water boils.
4. Drain the potatoes well.
5. Return the potatoes to the pot, and mash with a masher. Don't over work the potatoes.
6. Put the pot back over medium heat, and stir in the butter, milk, half & half, salt and pepper to taste. When the butter is completely melted remove the pot from the heat.
BRAISED SIRLOIN PORK STEAKS or PORK CHOPS
1 ½ lbs. Thin cut sirloin pork steaks, or thin cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
½ cup Dry white wine
1 cup Chicken stock, low or no sodium
1. Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper.
2. Dredge both sides of the pork in the flour, shaking off any excess.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
4. Brown both sides of the pork, about 3 minutes on each side.
5. Add the white wine to the skillet and allow the wine to reduce by half.
6. Add the chicken stock to the skillet and bring it up to a simmer. When it begins to simmer reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until the stock is reduced to a sauce like consistency.
Serve with mashed potatoes, or rice.