Friday, January 16, 2009

My new favorite side dish

I'm a mashed potato freak. They once were my favorite side dish. But I've branched out, and am experimenting with other sides.

Lately, I've been replacing mashed potatoes with pureed parsnips. Related to the carrot, they are wonderfully sweet and packed with serious amounts of flavor.

Here's how I make em.

Pre-heat your oven to 400F.

Slice the parsnips into 1/4 inch slices. When you're working with more mature (larger) parsnips, you might need to cut out the middle, as they can become woody. The center will have a distinct visual difference from the outer parsnip. See if they are woody by eating the center part raw.

Toss your sliced parsnips in olive oil and salt, then put into the oven to roast. Roast until they start to caramelize. About 20-25 minutes. If you hit 25 minutes, and they aren't a deep golden color, with some browning, LEAVE THEM IN LONGER. The secret to the amazing flavor of this dish is the roasting process. Once done, remove from the oven.

Place your parsnips in a food processor and add a tablespoon or two of butter. Start the processor. Add a steady stream of heavy whipping cream until a good consistency is acquired. You don't want your parsnip puree to be too watery. I would compare the desired consistency to that of hummus.

Salt and pepper (preferably white pepper) to taste.

This side goes really well with pork, chicken or beef.

BTW, I'm thinking about creating some how to videos. What do you think?

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