Since there were multiple beautiful mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving posts, I didn't feel compelled to add yet another. Simply wanted to tell you about my mashed potatoes chronicles, as I dreaded making my version for an American crowd, much less this past Thanksgiving weekend, a European one. Though I am always determined and make it my mission to win over even the most skeptical audience with my olive oil creamed potatoes.
Sagie came home with three buddies of his from college. One adventurous Midlands Brit, another, Sagie's roommate, a Manchester Brit, just in the middle there, and a third, a Glasgow Scot*, extremely fussy in addition to a severe gluten allergy. Might have developed the fussiness due to intolerance but we will never know. All three, adorable. I am as usual outnumbered!
Fussy or not, we are speaking mashed potatoes here, and I stripped these fat ladden staple and thinned them out with olive oil. The blasphemy! Gasp! I felt insecure, it's cyclical, but protective of my mashed loved ones. At the table, I avoid direct eye contact, just an occasional glance, wonder if they would pass and get a seal of approval?!
This time I tempted my luck further and added celeriac into the boiling sorcerer's?! potatoes pot, not to mention my usual 2-4 whole garlic cloves, still wrapped in their skin turning into smooth mild paste in their coats. Dancing in the sputtering torrid waters knocked left and right by celery root and potatoes. Then to add insult to injury sauteed some sliced leeks and added to the mashed mix.
The adventurous one, the one just right there in the middle and the third fussy one, thought it was just splendid, and helped themselves to seconds and had them celeriac mashed potatoes for leftovers. They said it was just like Christmas dinner back home, and I felt relieved, thankful and most of all, in all truthfulness, victorious!
Tad of 411 on potatoes and celeriac:
The potato, a starchy edible tuber originated in Peru and domesticated there between 8000BC - 5000BC. I have discussed the origin and domestication and spread of the potatoes worldwide in Smashed Majestic Purple Potatoes post. You can further read about this fascinating spud dominating our diets here.
The celeriac, pictured at the top, was the added twist that made this dish. A root vegetable low in starch unlike other root vegetables. I find it has a milder celery flavor and it is not difficult to work with as you might suspect. In Israel we have it often peeled, sliced raw with some lemon, olive oil and salt and sometimes some paprika sprinkle. You can read more about celery root here.
*Technically all three are British.