Friday, July 3, 2009

*Cream of Arraracha - His and Hers*

Ah, vacation! After the stress of the semester's finals, I can finally kick back and enjoy my kitchen once again.
In all truth, I first made this cream exactly one month ago. I was fighting off the sniffles, needing something nourishing and filling while I studied, and had some arraracha (known as mandioquinha in Brazil) begging to be used. Arraracha is the Mister's thing, not mine, but I decided to give it a try. A girly, frilly, healthy try.

Cream of Arracacha – One for the ladies
250 gr. Arracacha
2 cups chicken stock (homemade is better)
½ cup sliced leeks
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp silken tofu or soy cream
½ large red onion
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the leeks and garlic.
Peel and chop the arracacha. Add to the pot with the leeks and garlic, and cover with the chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes.
Blend with tofu and adjust spice.
Garnish with thinly sliced red onion or shallots and freshly ground pepper.
Makes 2 servings.
This week I bought the tubers thinking of this cream. It's been cold down here, and awfully gray and rainy. Nothing like comfort food in such weather, eh?

Or as I told the Mister when he got home, dinner was gonna rock his socks off...

Block Rockin’ Cream of Arracacha
500 gr. arracacha
3 ½ cups water
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp butter
1 cup roughly chopped old Dutch master or other hard cheese
½ cup milk cream
1 tsp nutmeg
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
4 or 5 sprigs of green onions
½ cup Paris mushrooms

Mince the garlic finely. In a deep pot, sauté the garlic till golden.
Cut the arracacha in small pieces. Add to pot, salt and cover with 2 cups of water. Let boil for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, sauté the mushrooms with 1 tbsp of butter. Thinly slice the green onions. Reserve.
When the arracacha is done, add the remaining butter, water, the nutmeg and milk cream. With an immersion blender or food processor, blend until the mixture has become a smooth cream. Add cheese and blend. Not incorporating the old master completely gives the cream an interesting texture. You could use grated cheese instead, and skip the blending.
Taste and adjust spice.
Serve and garnish with mushrooms, green onions and black pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
Sure, potatoes would do too... but arraracha has a distinctive strong flavor of its own, definitely worth giving it a try.

Once again I'm tortured by all the photos of burgers and hot dogs and the description of warm picnic/grilling weather online. So even if the weather ain't right, I'll be making myself a cheeseburger and enjoying the spirit of the day.
Happy 4th of July!

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