About the Book
Andrea Chesman writes, “I love winter! The garden has been put to bed, and there are a few outdoor chores that demand my attention. There is time for quilting and skiing. And plenty of time for cooking and having fun in the kitchen. What could be better? The fresh vegetables that are available for cooking at this time of the year are the hearty greens, the members of the onion family, white potatoes and sweet potatoes, root vegetables and winter squashes. Many are vegetables that have been neglected in winters of recent years in favor of frozen for imported summer vegetables. I you need information on how to choose, store, or prepare these vegetables, read on.”
This book is extremely well laid out. Chesman’s recipes are innovative, fresh, and I particularly enjoy the spin she puts on some of our old standby winter comfort food recipes. Who wouldn’t turn down Maple-Balsamic Root Vegetables? Recipes From The Root Cellar features main courses, desserts, meat and vegetarian options.
Mediterranean Fish on a Bed of Rice and Leeks is amazing, as is Roast Pork with Sauerkraut and Vegetables. The recipe for Sauerkraut is so easy to prepare and a great way to use up cabbage. Recipes From The Root Cellar comes with an introduction which explaining each and every winter vegetable, how to use them and prepare them, cooking ideas and even tips on how to know how much of one vegetable will equal a cup or what ever is required for your recipe, for instance, how many recipes ask for 2 1/2 pounds of cabbage, and what exactly is that? How do you do this without a kitchen scale? Toward the end of the book is an extremely useful section for roasting vegetables. Winter vegetables are so suited to roasting. Additionally, another good bit of information Chesman provides is; rather than blanching and freezing winter veggies, saute slices or cubes in butter or oil until they are softened and then freeze for future use.
Picking just one recipe was a bit tough for me. They all sound so comforting and wholesome. This season we will be getting our fair share of Sweet Potatoes, so I decided to feature this, my favourite winter vegetable.
SPICY SWEET-POTATO OVEN FRIES
The devil is in the details when it comes to making sweet-potato oven fries. The potatoes must be cut to a uniform thickness, or they will cook unevenly. The pan must not be too crowded, or the potatoes will steam and never brown. The pan must not be too empty, or the potatoes will burn. The touch of sugar in the recipe encourages browning and should not be omitted. The mix of spices is, however, just a suggestion and can be varied at will. The sweet-potato fries will not become as crisp as oven fries made with white potatoes, nor will they brown uniformly. But they are entirely delicious. The lemon aioli makes the perfect accompaniment.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4” sticks
- 1/4 cup extra light olive oil or grape seed oil
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Coarse Sea Salt, Lemon Aioli or Ketchup
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F, with the rack in the lower third of the oven. Generously oil a cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan.
Combine the oil, sugar and spices in a large bowl and mix well. Add the potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared pan.
Roast in the lower third of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, turning once or twice and shaking the pan for even coating, until the potatoes are well coloured. (The timing will depend on how closely spaced the potatoes are on the pan.)
Briefly drain the fries on paper towels to blot excess oil. Taste and sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Serve hot, with Aioli on the side, or ketchup.
A dangerously delicious sauce, aioli is basically homemade mayonnaise with garlic added. In this case, both garlic and lemon are added to make the perfect accompaniment for sweet potato fries. Lemon Aioli is a great dip for a plate of any raw or roasted vegetables. It is also perfect dolloped on poached or grilled salmon – or any fish, for that matter.
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup light olive oil or grape seed oil
- Salt and pepper
Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the mustard and lemon zest and juice and process to combine. Add the egg yolks and process until smooth.
With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil in a steady stream until a thick, creamy sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
Kitchen Note: If you wish to avoid the raw eggs, start with 1 cup mayonnaise and season with the garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.
I will be so excited to give this cookbook away. I know who ever has the opportunity to win it will love each of the 270 comfort food recipes. It could take an entire winter to go through this book. Please leave me a comment about your very own family favourite comfort food story, we all have one… to win, Recipes From The Root Cellar, 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables by Andrea Chesman. Good Luck!
You can also purchase a copy of Recipes From The Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables, by Andrea Chesman through your local book store or visit: #mce_temp_url#
Visit Andrea Chesman’s blog at #mce_temp_url#
Congratulations to Jeff, who will certainly love going through this book this winter!!