Vintage Recipe: Holiday Celery and Almonds
Love a good vintage recipe for the holidays? Celery and almonds, also known as creamed celery or celery casserole, is a side dish that my paternal grandmother served at Christmas dinner. Imagine a cream sauce lightly kissed with chicken flavor, full of softened celery, crunchy sautéed almonds and savory buttered breadcrumbs.
Made with full-fat everything – butter, milk, cream, plus nuts and breadcrumbs – it is a dieter’s worst nightmare. If you’re going to indulge during the holidays, indulge, and just diet in the New Year. I have seen versions of this made with canned cream of celery soup, but I will only do the original.
If you can handle dairy, nuts and gluten, and you love old Christmas recipes, you will want to eat your holiday vegetables in this most decadent, delicious way. It is excellent with turkey or roast beef.
Vintage Celery and Almonds
Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish.
Make a roux:
6 TB flour and 6 TB butter cooked on low heat to bubbling, stirring constantly.
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring mixture to just bubbling after every addition. This takes time, but that’s a big part of its charm and silky texture.
5 generous cups of celery parboiled 2-3 minutes (you can do this the day before). Cut pieces small but not tiny.
Put in baking dish and top with:
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, sautéed to a light brown in 2T butter
1 cup slivered almonds sautéed to a light brown in 1 T butter.
Covered in foil at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Take foil off and bake an additional 5 minutes.
4 – 6