Can’t be beets

OK, here’s my beet recipe.

I have to credit Mark Bittman, who, LOVE that man, is not as much a recipe guy as he is a “technique” guy. Or, secondarily, an “idea” guy.

We have two of his cookbooks, both gifts, and both in heavy use.

The first, How to Cook Everything, was a gift from my little brother (I think.) I refer to it ALL THE TIME for techniques– like, how long do you need to roast a whole chicken, or what’s a strategy for cooking turnips?

The second, (gift from my in-laws) (thanks!!) is Kitchen Express, which is more of a “f’r’instance” cookbook. I LOVE this cookbook, because there are no measurements, no exact cooking times, no required elements. It’s more like, “sautee an onion while you rub a pork chop in olive oil and garlic….”  It is the best jazz cookbook I have. His angle here is, I assume you have some basic skills. Here are some themes upon which you can riff. Have fun! Make the yummy!

SO: To the beets (riffed from his Beet Roesti recipe in HTCE.)

Peel your beets.

Grate them with a coarse grater into a bowl.

Grab a handful of flour and sprinkle it on the beets, then toss it throughout. Your hand will turn red.

Start heating a heavy, large skillet, with EVOO enough to be shiny. (You can do 1/2 EVOO and 1/2 butter if you want. Yummy but not required.)

After 1st toss, grind on some pepper and sprinkle a generous amount of salt. Also, some fresh, or dried (crush it up with your fingers) rosemary. Then sprinkle some more flour and toss all to distribute.

When the skillet is pretty hot, scrape the stuff out of the bowl and onto the pan, and spread it out and press it down. Think “hash browns.”

Let it sit until you can pick up a sizeable piece with a spatula and then flip over as much of it as you can. The hotsy totsy way is to slide it on a plate, flip, and invert, and so on. But who cares?? If it breaks in pieces, just flip the pieces. The crispier the better, anyway.

It’s done when it’s crispy on both sides.

Beets are really sugary, so the idea is carmelization. So this thing goes really well with dishes that are NOT sweet, in and of themselves.

Oh, and, if you eat a helping of this your poop will be red the next day. Just know that, because it can be a bit freaky if you aren’t expecting it.

 

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