Braised Celery

Braised Celery
As stated by Alton Brown, it’s time to take celery off your snack tray and move it to center plate! This dish is worth trying as it not only uses up any extra celery stalks you might have, but it’s tasty, healthy and is a nice side dish for rich food.

• 8 stalks celery, rinsed and trimmed, leaves chopped and reserved
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• Pinch kosher salt
• Pinch freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup good quality beef stock or broth

Peel any of the fibrous outer stalks of celery (this is a must) with a vegetable peeler and slice into 1-inch pieces on the bias. Heat the butter in a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the celery, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until just beginning to soften slightly. Add the beef broth and stir to combine. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the celery is tender but not mushy, approximately 5 minutes. Uncover and allow the celery to continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the liquid has been reduced to a glaze. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the reserved leaves.

Other Celery Ideas:
Raita: Whisk Greek yogurt with a bit of sugar, ground cumin, dry mustard and salt. Stir in chopped celery and handful of mint leaves. Serve with pita bread triangles.
Mussels: Sauté chopped celery and leaves and onions (and fennel, if you like) in butter; add a drop of white wine, and steam mussels until they open. Serve with toasted baguette.
Pasta: Render some bacon in oil; remove bacon and cook chopped celery. Toss with orechiette, chopped celery leaves and more oil if necessary. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Salsa: Finely chop lots of celery, cilantro, red onion, tomato and green chilies. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with fresh lime juice and olive oil. Serve with toasted pita chips or tortilla chips.
Slaw: Equal party of celery, apple and fennel or jicama. Use food processer to chop or finely slice or julienne. Toss with good quality olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of sugar.
Salad: Chop a handful of peeled and cooked shrimp. Combine with mayo, lots of chopped celery (and leaves, too), mustard and red onion. Serve on pita bread or long potato roll.

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