December 6, 1999
From "Cafe Boulud Cookbook" (Scribner)
By Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan
Put the milk, 4 cups water, the coarse salt, celery root, and potatoes in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and cook at a simmer until the vegetables can be easily pierced with the point of a knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the vegetables and return them to the pan. Put the pan back over low heat and toss vegetables in the pan just enough to cook off their excess moisture; transfer the vegetables to the work bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and process -- taking care not to overwork the mixture -- just until the puree is smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Keep the puree warm in the top of a double boiler over simmering water.
Trim the bottom of each bunch of celery -- but make certain the stalks remain together -- then measure 4 to 5 inches up from the bottom and cut the celery top off at that point (you'll be using the bottom part). Remove and discard the 3 to 4 tough outer stalks. Run a vegetable peeler over the exterior of the outer celery stalks to remove the stringy part of the vegetables, then cut each bunch of celery lengthwise into quarters. Keep close at hand.
Warm the oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the carrot, turnip, and celery quarters, season with salt and pepper, and cook, without coloring the vegetables, for 3 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Adjust the heat so that the stock simmers steadily and cook the vegetables for about 25 minutes, or until they can be pierced easily with the point of a knife. When the vegetables are tender, the liquid should be just about gone, so that you should have tender vegetables lightly glazed with the stock. Remove and discard the carrots and turnips and serve the celery immediately.To serve: Place the celery root puree in the middle of the plate. Top with the short ribs. Drizzle sauce over the ribs and around the plate. Sprinkle the celery stalks around the edge of the plate and serve.
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