Celery and Irish Cheddar Cheese Bake|
While basically just Celery Au Gratin, we have "Irish-fied" this recipe by using one of the fantastic Irish cheddar cheeses - like Shamrock Mild Cheddar, Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, and our personal favorite, Dubliner Irish Cheddar that are becoming more widely available in stores locally. Irish cheddar is a harder cheese than American cheddar - with a very unique flavor. If you cannot find Irish cheddar you can of course use any cheddar cheese - or your favorite hard cheese. While cooked celery is not typically eaten alone here in the states, it is a very popular side dish in many areas of Europe and makes a very nice accompaniment to fish, beef, pork, ham, and other highly flavored dishes.
2 pounds tender, young celery heads
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Irish cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons softened butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the boiler and grease a broiler-proof baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Clean and trim the celery and cut the heads in half lengthwise. Boil the celery for 10 minutes, or until the celery is just tender. Do not overcook. Drain the celery well and place in the prepared baking dish with the cut sides up. In a small bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, and butter. Sprinkle the mixture over the celery and season to taste with salt and pepper. Broil 4-5 inches from the heat source for 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Makes 8 servings.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes