December 14, 2009
Menu for Hope 6

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'Tis the season for giving! And while we are all busy running around finding the perfect gift for our families and friends, Pim has again been busy preparing the sixth annual Menu for Hope. What is Menu for Hope, you ask? Well, clearly you've been living under a rock, because last year Menu for hope raised a whopping $92,000 for the United Nations World Programme's Purchase for Progress program, which assists low-income farmers to raise crops and support their local economies. The idea is very simple and I've pinched the explanation directly from Pim:

Each December, food bloggers from all over the world join the campaign by offering a delectable array of food-related prizes for the Menu for Hope raffle. Anyone and that means you too - can buy raffle tickets to bid on these prizes. For every $10 donated, you earn one virtual raffle ticket to bid on a prize of their choice. At the end of the two-week campaign, the raffle tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim.

And to that end, Too Many Chefs is delighted contribute in a small way with a basket of goods you can bid to win. We are offering a Taste of Sussex in the form of jams, pickles and honey. The winner of our bid item will receive: a jar of apple butter and a jar of pear butter (recipes courtesy of Elise's Simply Recipes), a jar of spiced apple sauce, a large jar of spicy pickled onions and a large jar of vegetarian mincemeat, a jar of spicy salsa, marinated roasted red peppers (again recipe courtesy of Elise), a small jar of unpasteurized, unfiltered and utterly delicious honey from a local farm and a jar of ginger and rhubarb jam, also from a Sussex farm. To top it off, we are throwing in a tea towel illustrated with the cultural sites of Plumpton, East Sussex. Well, actually it shows every building that isn't a house or a school, really. But it's classy nonetheless.

To make a donation and buy a raffle ticket for this basket of goodies, just go to the Menu for Hope 6 Donation page and enter the code EU20. The more tickets you buy, the better your chances of winning - and the more hungry families you will help! I will ship this anywhere in the world, so all bids are welcome!

And if you'd like to see some of the other fantastic items on offer, you can browse by region at the following sites:

Europe (hosted by David Lebovitz)
Asia Pacific (hosted by Ed of Tomatom)
USA: East Coast (hosted by Helen of Tartelette)
USA: West Coast (hosted by Shauna of Gluten Free Girl)
Canada (hosted by Tara of Seven Spoons)
Wine items (hosted by Vinography)

For more details on the event, do visit Pim's site and feel free to post any questions on our item in the comments below. Happy giving everyone!

Posted by Meg in Sussex at 4:09 AM | Comments (20)
December 7, 2009
My Waldorf Salad: a new twist on an old classic

waldorfsalad.jpgCeleriac is a problematic vegetable. It's not very pretty. And although it has a subtle celery flavor, it is easily overpowered by other flavors. Despite many recipes floating around for mashed celeriac, its texture really doesn't lend itself well to mashing. And subtle can easily fade into "dull" if you aren't careful. The classic French treatment is a remoulade, i.e. a kind of a celariac coleslaw. It's not unpleasant, but it lacks the crunchiness of a good coleslaw and rarely has enough pepper for my taste. So what do you do when it turns up in your CSA box with irritating frequency? I have mashed it. I have made a gratin. I have paired it with beans for a hearty soup. But I still felt I was missing the poor vegetable's potential somehow.

And then I had a bit of an epiphany. Lunching with a friend recently, I tasted the Waldorf salad that she'd bought. Until then, my knowledge of the great Waldorf Salad was confined to laughing at the Waldorf Salad episode of Fawlty Towers and paging through the 1938 edition of The American Woman's Cookbook, which I inherited from my grandmother. I thought the idea of mixing mayonnaise and apple was faintly disgusting and best avoided. And yet...when I finally tasted the supermarket generic salad that she'd bought, I found I liked it. The flavor combinations worked just as well as you would expect in a recipe that has stood the test of 110 years' time. And so I thought of my humble celeriac, waiting in my veg box at home. Celeriac Waldorf Salad. Perfect.

And it is. Crunchy and savory and just a bit sweet, it's a very satisfying and reasonably healthy lunch. I have to admit, though, that I'm not as much of a genius as I thought I was when I first came up with the idea of using celeriac instead of actual celery in a Waldorf Salad. A quick web search revealed that I was not the first to come up with the idea by far. But that does not make it a bad idea - far from it! So here is my version, coming in at a bare 2 WeightWatchers points per serving.

Celeriac Waldorf Salad (makes two small salads)

1/2 a medium head of celeriac (about 250-300 g), peeled and chopped in small sticks
2 apples, washed, cored and chopped in small chunks
10 walnuts
1 Tbs low fat mayonnaise
2 Tbs plain yogurt
1 tsp red wine vinegar
celery salt to taste
Garnish: a bit of chopped chives, a lettuce leaf or two

Heat the oven to 175C/350F. Spread the walnuts on a tray and place them in the oven for about five minutes, removing them just as they start to smell nutty. Do not leave them too long as they will easily burn. In the meantime, mix the mayonnaise, yogurt and vinegar in a medium bowl. Add a dash of celery salt and taste. Fold in the apples and celeriac. Chop the nuts and fold them in as well, reserve a couple pieces to place on top of the salad. Place a scoop of the mixture on a lettuce leaf or two, garnish with the chives and reserved walnuts and serve! Including the time spent preparing the celeriac and apples and toasting the walnuts, you shouldn't need more than 20 minutes for a healthy and very tasty lunch.

Posted by Meg in Sussex at 5:54 AM | Comments (44)
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