Thomas Keller Recipes

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I got to meet with Thomas Keller while he was in Boston for a signing of his new book, Ad Hoc At Home. He was kind enough to share one of his vegetarian recipes with Veggiewala: Celery Root with Melted Onions.

Excerpted from AD HOC AT HOME by Thomas Keller (Artisan Books).

Celery Root with Melted Onions

4 large celery root (about 4 pounds total)
8 tablespoons (1 stick; 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
4 cloves garlic, crushed, skin left on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Melted Onions (page 337) [found at the bottom]
1/2 cup Chicken Stock (page 339) or Vegetable Stock (page 341),
plus more if needed

This is kind of a play on potatoes Lyonnaise, a classic potato and onion dish. Here celery root replaces the potatoes and is sautéed in brown butter and combined with “melted” onions.

Cut off the top and bottom of each celery root (see Lightbulb Moment, page 142). Stand each one up on a cut side and cut off the skin in strips from top to bottom, working around the celery root. Quarter each one lengthwise and then, with a Japanese mandoline or knife, cut crosswise into thin slices.

Heat two large sauté pans over high heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to each pan, then pull the pans off the heat and let the butter brown. Add one-quarter of the celery root to each pan and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, without stirring. Add one-quarter of the thyme and 1 garlic clove to each pan and cook, stirring from time to time, until the celery root is tender throughout, 9 to 10 minutes total cooking time. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain the celery root on paper towels. Pour off  any excess fat from the pans (and remove any thyme); discard the garlic cloves. Repeat with the remaining celery root. Add the melted onions to one of the pans and cook to give them a little color, about 3 minutes. Drain the onions to remove excess fat, and return them to the pan. Add the celery root, stir to combine, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Increase the heat to high and swirl in 1/2 cup stock. Bring to a simmer, adding additional stock or water if needed to create a creamy dish. Transfer to a serving bowl.

SERVES 6

Melted Onions

8 cups sliced onions (about 3 large onions)
Kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick; 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 Sachet (page 342)
It’s difficult to overstate the power of this simple preparation.

Onions, aggressively flavored when raw, acquire a wonderful creamy sweetness when they’re cooked slowly, until they’re so tender they virtually melt into one another. They can be added to almost anything and make it better. Their sweetness will enhance soups and stews,[…]or at room temperature, they can top a[…]sandwich, be added to salads, or stirred into a sauce. Butter is added to these to make them very flavorful and creamy.

Put the onions in a large sauté pan, set over medium-low heat, sprinkle with 2 generous pinches of salt, and cook, stirring from time to time, for about 20 minutes, until the onions have released much of their liquid. Stir in the butter, add the sachet, cover with a parchment lid (see page 120), and cook slowly over low to medium-low heat for another 30 to 35 minutes. The onions should look creamy at all times; if the butter separates, or the pan looks dry before the onions are done, add a bit of cold water and stir well to re-emulsify the butter. The onions should be meltingly tender but not falling apart or mushy. Season to taste with salt. Once cooled, the onions can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

MAKES 2 CUPS

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