Friday, March 23, 2012

Grilled Garfish with Creamed Celery and Boiled Potatoes

Mullet is an unattractive fish, so I decided on garfish, cleaned but with the heads on, brushed with a mix of melted butter and oil and grilled a few minutes each side.
"Steamed celery" didn't sound that enticing either, but it could have been a misprint for "creamed celery", which was popular in the 1920s, and not only at Melbourne's only exclusively vegetarian restaurant, the Sanitarium Health Food Co.'s Vegetarian Cafe in Little Collins Street. Boulestin gives a recipe for croquettes de celeri, which involves stirring finely chopped cooked celery into a white sauce thickened with the yolks of one or two eggs. The mixture is then cooled, rolled into croquettes, dipped in beaten egg, coated with breadcrumbs and fried. I've taken his preparation and joined it with bits of a recipe from the Capricornian (Rockhampton). The Capricornian's writer notes that "the addition of the yolks of two eggs makes a richer dish, and a more nourishing one if it is to be served as a separate course".

Creamed Celery

1 head of celery, washed and cleaned
30g butter
1 level tbsp plain flour
1 breakfastcup milk
2 tbsps cream
2 egg yolks (optional)
salt, pepper, nutmeg, parsley

Parboil the celery in salted boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and chop finely. Make a roux with butter and flour, add the milk, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until thickened. Add the celery and cook a little longer, then stir in two tablespoons of cream, the egg yolks, if desired, and sprinkle with nutmeg.

The celery can also be served in a dish, with the sauce poured over and g
arnished with parsley.

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