Here’s a really easy yet unusual and elegant started for a meat heavy holiday meal — celeriac with prawns in a creamy mayonnaise with mustard and lemon juice. If you are lucky enough to score some locally grown celeriac, like this one I featured a few months ago, all you have to do is peel off the rather rough and hairy exterior and wash it well. Next, I cut it into more manageable sized pieces and carefully shredded it on a large mandoline. If you don’t have that fancy schmancy contraption, you can grate it on a large size box cheese grater, or cut it into matchsticks with a knife…
Next, I mixed up a mayonnaise dressing with some lemon juice, mustard with whole grains, salt and pepper and some chopped Italian parsley and tossed this with the shredded celeriac and placed it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, I brined some prawns and briefly boiled them until JUST done. Do not overcook prawns, and don’t store them in the fridge after you cook them unless you want them to toughen up a bit. Peeled, I added the cooled prawns to the celeriac salad just before serving. Yum. Refreshing, delicious and a tad less costly than say shrimp cocktail or a crab cake to start the meal… The celeriac has a faint celery like flavor, and it also pairs well with tarter green apples like Granny Smiths in case you want to add those to the dish (I did that once, and it worked very nicely).
With some celeriac left over, I tried to deep fry some thin slices, and while they tasted pretty good, I was a bit perturbed by the burned edges and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t brown the chips evenly. Maybe my fat was way too hot and it burned the edges of the slices. At any rate, I suspect these would be pretty good if baked as well. It’s so nice to have different varieties of produce previously unavailable in the Philippines being grown for local consumption… :)