This elegant recipe has several moving parts, but much of the work can be done in advance, leaving only some reheating and sauteing at the last minute.
MAKE AHEAD: The celery root puree can be made up to 2 days in advance; place plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stove top, adding milk if it has thickened too much. The sauce can be made a day in advance, covered and refrigerated, then reheated gently in the microwave or on the stove top.
Adapted from “The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook,” by the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, with Helen Thompson (Rizzoli, 2012).
1 large celery root (celeriac; about 11/2 pounds), peeled and diced
4 cups milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoons shredded fresh horseradish
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, sliced
1/4 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
2 cups merlot
1/4 cup red port
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced into thin wedges
11/2 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed, cut into four equal pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the puree: Combine the celery root, milk, water and a generous sprinkling of salt in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and place a disc of parchment paper directly on top of the mixture. Cook, adjusting the heat to keep the mixture barely bubbling at the edges, for 25 minutes or until the celeriac has softened. Pour the mixture into a large bowl through a large strainer, reserving 11/2 cups of the hot milk and discarding the rest (or putting it to another use). Transfer the celery root to a blender with 1 cup of the reserved milk and process to a smooth puree. Stir in the horseradish. Taste, and add salt if needed. At this point you can either transfer the puree to a storage container, cover the top of the puree with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or return the puree to the warm saucepan and cover until ready to serve. Cover and refrigerate the remaining 1/2 cup of milk in case you need to thin the puree before serving.)
For the red wine sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the red wine and port. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, until the carrots are very soft, then use an immersion blender to blend the mixture into a silky sauce. (Alternatively, you can puree in a blender, removing the center lid from the top and holding a towel over it while blending to avoid spash-ups.) Pour the sauce through a conical strainer and return it to the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 1 day, or keep it warm until ready to serve.
For the salmon and apples: Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add the apples and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the apples are slightly caramelized. Cover the pan and remove it from the heat.
Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with the ancho chili powder. Heat the oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sear the salmon for 4 minutes on each side (for medium) or to the desired degree of doneness.
Just before serving, add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the warm puree and whisk to combine.
To serve, spoon the puree onto each plate and place a piece of salmon next to it. Arrange the caramelized apple around the salmon, and spoon some of the sauce over or around the salmon.
NUTRITION | Per serving: 590 calories, 39 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 30 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 125 mg cholesterol, 510 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 13 g sugar
Recipe tested by Andy Sikkenga; e-mail questions to email@example.com