Food & Drink

I'm Chris - or Christopher - or Mr. Dean - or Master Christopher - or just plain Sir. I'm a self-professed foodie. I love to cook and I take great pleasure in all things edible. My husband and I are relatively new to Portland, Oregon and are enjoying our culinary explorations of the area!

Food is NOT just fuel!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I love it when I see sunchokes in the store - they aren't available often, so when they are I grab a bag full! Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes, are the tuber of a type of sunflower. Amazingly I recently discovered that nearly 90% of all sunchokes in Germany go towards the production of a liquor called Topinambur. I must find Topinambur.

Sunchokes are beautifully ugly on the outside, and can be prepared in any traditional recipe calling for root vegetables. I would guess they make a great mash! They have a slightly nutty flavor that is really quite pleasing. Often I've roasted them, but this time I tried something different.

I peeled the sunchokes - I would think the skin is fine to eat if you scrub them clean. However I was going for a visual so I peeled them and sliced them. And like potatoes or artichokes, they will begin to "rust" when exposed to the air for a short time. In order to stop that, simply placed the peeled sunchokes in some acidulated water - in this case I had a bowl with 2-3 cups of cold water and I squeezed 1/2 a lemon into the bowl. Drop the sunchokes in the water and leave them there until you're ready to use them.

I decided to pan fry the sunchokes in some brown butter. 4 Tbl butter, heated over medium heat until it begins to take on a golden color - don't let it get too brown at first, since you still need to cook the sunchokes. Drop the strained sunchokes into the pan and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, or until they get tender.

I thought the finished sunchokes in brown butter looked a lot like water chestnuts. :) But they were delicious - I pulled them off the heat when they were still just a tiny bit firm in the middle - the texture is delicious. So here's to sunchokes!

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