HAPPY 2016 EVERYONE! While 2015 was a very good year for me personally and professionally, I’m eager to take on the challenges I will face in 2016. I think the best way to prep for success is to start with with what we’re eating. It sounds cliche but I vow to eat more veggies, less meat and less alcohol. I’m doing “Sober January” again and am cutting out pork products from my diet for the forseable future. I also plan to be more adventurous in the kitchen. To try new things and work with ingredients I’ve never used before. Speaking of ingredients I’ve never used before, let’s talk about what I ate on NYE!
When you spend the holidays in watching Food Network marathons it’s easy to get hungry and inspired. Like most sensible people, I LOVE Jamie Oliver. He’s a sassy, smart, talented chef who doesn’t take himself too seriously. He made some beautiful things that I can’t wait to try but one dish that stood out to me was a pan roasted celeriac, also known as celery root. It was so simple and I wondered why I had never seen recipes about this vegetable or ever attempted to use it. When I was to the supermarket I soon realized why. First of all, this thing is hideous. If burlap sack was a vegetable it would be a celeriac. Second of all, there were only 4 of these goblins on display with NO sign as to what they were. I had to guess and hope for the best when the confused cashier frantically looks for a code for this thing.
However, once I got it home and cut the rough exterior off with a knife I was left with a beautiful white interior reminiscent of a potato parsnip hybrid. I used Jamie’s recipe as a guide but added my own twist.
Because I couldn’t find fresh lemon thyme I used fresh tarragon and dried thyme instead. I also put a tiny but of water in my cast iron dutch oven because I swear that’s what he did on TV (although it doesn’t mention it in the recipe). Once I took the lid off, I cooked them a little bit longer to brown them slightly and because some nice bits were sticking to the bottom I deglazed it with a small splash of prosecco! I mean, I was drinking it anyway so why not? You don’t have to do this part but I thought it was fun and added an extra little layer of flavour. I let the prosecco cook off for a minute of two and added more fresh tarragon. Beautiful! It tasted like a mild, earthy parsnip with a hint of celery essence.
For my other side dish I turned to trusty old brussel sprouts and elevated them with a honey sriracha glaze. Check out this easy recipe!
Roasted Honey Sriracha Brussel Sprouts
1/2 pound brussle sprouts, wash, halved.
1/4 cup honey
2 big squeezes sriracha
1/4 cup avocado or olive oil
1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1 squeeze dijon
2 tsp garlic powder
Mix up all the ingredients and toss in the sprouts. Let them marinade for about 10 minutes. Heat oven to 400. Arrange sprouts, face down on a lined baking sheet sprayed with oil. Sprinkle with good salt. Roast for 20 minutes (check them and toss em, around) and another 5 if they need it.
BAM! They were like mini flavour explosions. The units of measurement for the marinade are just a guide so if you like it sweeter, add more honey or if you want more spice, add more hot sauce. Just give it a taste before you plop the sprouts in.
I also sautéed some mushrooms in a lot of butter and olive oil (for about 10 minutes on med high so they got nice and brown) and finished them with some truffle salt. YUM!
OK, so all these sides are well and good but what did I serve them with?
BEEF TENDERLOIN! YAAAAAY! NYE is the one time where I can justify spending a bunch of money on beef. I went to the butcher section of the super market and asked that he cut me 2, 1 inch thick. I did a simple rub using a pre-made salt free steak spice, smoked paprika, garlic powder and oregano. Once the steaks came to room temp I seared them in butter in my cast iron pan for about 4 minutes on each side and let them rest for 10. I left the salt for serving because apparently that makes for juicier meat. They were so tender I could have eaten it with a (sharp) spoon.
Arrange all this goodness on your plate and hit it with a squeeze of fresh lemon to elevate all of those flavours and give a pop of acid. If you feel like you need more of a starch with this meal, make some garlic bread! I actually had a frozen garlic bread that I completely forgot to make until we were half way through eating…
January 1st was a write off because of all the NYE excitement. Matt and I got Burgers Priest and then ordered Indian food for dinner while watching 10 hours of Making a Murderer.
I woke up on the 2nd with a new zest for life! After making an epic “To do” list and downing a spinach and berry smoothie I hit the gym (not too hard…it’s been a while!) and made a huge grocery list comprising of mostly veg. Famished, I decided to make a breakfast hash using all of my delicious NYE leftovers. I sautéed sliced mushrooms and my pre-roasted celeriac and sprouts in a pan, adding few shakes of red pepper flakes and garlic powder. In a separate pan I “pan poached” 4 eggs. Simply crack your eggs into a warm frying pan, throw in 2 ice cubes and cover. The ice will melt and create steam and poach the eggs. Keep an eye on them because they cook fast! You won’t necessarily have to let all the water evaporate. When my eggs were almost done I sprinkled some cheddar on my hash. Plate your veg and top with the poached eggs, green onion and fresh tarragon if you have it.
Oh BOY! This was good. Like, reaaaally good. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; you can make anything into a hash! It uses up all your leftovers in a creative way so you feel like you’re eating a brand new dish.
That’s all for today folks! What did we learn today?
- Try new vegetables, even if they’re super ugly!
- Anything can be a hash (duh!)
- A squeeze of fresh lemon always jazzes up a dish.
- Join me for sober January?
Haha, ok that last one is totally optional BUT let me know if you do it! I love to hear your comments. I’ll be posting a ton of non-alcoholic fun drinks next time so stay tuned!
Happy 2016 and thank you so much for eating with me. This will be our best year yet 🙂
PS: Please note that I am NOT a professional food photographer. One of my resolutions is to watch some online tutorials so I can make these pics look as good as they taste.