Celery takes more calories to chew than it provides to the body. It is calorie negative--or positive, depending on your point of view. So it is the perfect after-holiday leftover accompaniment. And it takes flavors marvelously. Julia has a lovely slow recipe for it (MAFC I p. 491), with a lot of butter. But this one has the butter optional and a lot of other lighter flavor enhancers. If you want more done (less crisp-tender) celery, cut it into half inch pieces or smaller, instead of the one-inch pieces here. Or microwave it (instructions below).
1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock (preferably homemade chicken stock--see this blog)
1 pound celery (slice off about two inches of the end, and reserve the leaves).
1 tablespoon Wondra
Salt & pepper to taste (be generous with the pepper)
Optional: One or more of the ingredients below:
- Heat the stock on high in a skillet large enough to hold the celery in a single layer.
- Meanwhile, wash and trim the celery, then slice into one-inch pieces.
- Add the celery to the skillet and stir to wet.
- Sprinkle the flour and salt and pepper over top.
- Cover and shake a bit, holding down the lid, till the flour is no longer visible (a glass top lid is helpful here, but it's really impossible to go wrong).
- Cook til the celery reaches the 'crunch' you like, shaking or stirring occasionally.
- Garnish with parsely and enjoy!
Garlic, chopped or minced
Onion, chopped or minced
Lemon juice--a few drops to brighten the taste
Vinegar: white wine, balsamic, or cider (again a few drops)
Coriander seed, crushed with the flat of a knife or a mortar and pestle.
Sage leaves (for a lovely late Fall aroma)
- Mix celery slices, stock, salt, pepper, and any other ingredients in a plastic microwave safe bowl (or in a plastic bag, tied loosely, and set in such a bowl--to save cleanup).
- Cover and microwave on 'MAXIMUM', for 3 minutes.
- Stir or shake to mix well.
- Cover and microwave again 'MAXIMUM', for another 3 minutes
- Leave to rest for 2 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley.