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Creamed Celery Recipe

Creamed Celery Recipe

Creamed celery is a classic dish that is easy to prepare and makes for a delicious addition to any meal. This creamy and flavorful side dish pairs well with a variety of main courses and adds a touch of elegance to the table. Before we dive into the recipe, let's explore a bit of the history and fun facts about this delightful dish.

History:
The origins of creamed celery can be traced back to the late 19th century when it gained popularity as a fashionable dish among the upper class in Europe and America. Celery itself has been cultivated for thousands of years and has been used in various culinary traditions. However, it was during this era that creamed celery emerged as a favored way to prepare and enjoy this versatile vegetable.

Fun Facts:
1. Celery is a member of the Apiaceae family, which also includes carrots, parsley, and dill.
2. It is believed that celery was cultivated as early as 850 B.C. and was used by ancient Greeks and Romans for its medicinal properties.
3. Creamed celery is often served as a side dish during Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts in many parts of the world.
4. The term "creamed" refers to the creamy sauce used to coat the cooked celery, giving it a smooth and velvety texture.

Now, let's get to the recipe:

Ingredients:
- 1 bunch of celery
- Water for boiling
- Salt, to taste

For the cream sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. Start by preparing the celery. Remove the leaves from the stalks and scrape off any rusted or dark spots. Cut the celery into small pieces and place them in a bowl of cold water to clean them thoroughly.

2. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add half a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water used. Drain the celery from the cold water and add it to the boiling water. Leave the pot partially covered and let the celery boil until tender. This usually takes around 10-15 minutes.

3. Once the celery is tender, drain it and rinse it under cold water to halt the cooking process. This step helps to retain the vibrant green color of the celery.

4. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously for about a minute until the mixture becomes smooth and free of lumps.

5. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking constantly to create a smooth and creamy sauce. Continue to cook the sauce until it thickens and reaches a velvety consistency. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

6. Add the cooked celery to the cream sauce and mix gently to ensure that all the pieces are coated evenly. Let the celery simmer in the sauce for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

7. Once the creamed celery is heated thoroughly, it is ready to be served. Transfer it to a serving dish and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley for added flavor and visual appeal.

Creamed celery can be enjoyed as a side dish alongside roasted meats, grilled fish, or poultry. Its creamy texture and delicate flavors also make it an excellent companion to mashed potatoes or steamed rice. This dish can be prepared in advance and reheated just before serving, making it a convenient option for gatherings and holiday meals.

Similar Recipe Dishes:

Creamed spinach: Like creamed celery, creamed spinach is another timeless classic. It involves cooking fresh spinach and combining it with a creamy sauce, resulting in a luscious and nutritious side dish.

Green bean casserole: A staple during holiday meals, green bean casserole features tender green beans coated in a creamy mushroom sauce and topped with crispy fried onions. It offers a rich and comforting combination of flavors and textures.

Cauliflower gratin: A delicious way to enjoy cauliflower, this dish involves baking cauliflower florets in a creamy cheese sauce until golden brown and bubbling. It is a satisfying and decadent side dish that pairs well with roasted meats or as a vegetarian main course.

In conclusion, creamed celery is a versatile and delightful dish that offers a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with other dishes, this recipe is sure to impress your family and guests. So give it a try and savor the creamy goodness of creamed celery!

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