Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Turnip Puff

The entree for Chirstmas dinner was decided months in advance.   The sides needed a bit more time to percolate.  I love the classic spreads of stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserol and rolls.  However even the traditions get a little to familiar.  A little stale and uninspiring. 

Turnips have many fans in this household, so we turned to this often over looked root as one of our featured side dishes.  The Better Homes and Gardens cookbook provided us with the puff recipe.  We had found a creamy root vegetable dish to replace the tried and true mashed potatoes.  Don't be fooled by the "puff" moniker, though.  It's less of a puff and more of a baked puree with a slight custard like consistency,

adapted from the BHG Cookbook

serves 4-6

The Ingredients:
1 lb trunips, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large carrot, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup soft bread crumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten

The Process
Preheat the oven to 375

Lightly grease a 1 qt casserole dish and set aside.  Layer the turnips, carrots and onions in a large saucepan and add water until just covered.  Cover the saucepanand boil the vegetable over medium high heat until very tender, about 12-15 minutes.  Drain. 

Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.  Add the butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Mash witha potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed.  Add bread crumbs and eggs and mash or beat until smooth.

Pour the mashed vegetables into the prepared casserole.  Bake the preheated oven, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

The Review:
As I mentioned before, this household is a huge fan of this under utilized root.  While the flavors are incredibly mild, those who do not like turnips will probably not be won over by this preparation.  The puff itself has a mild cruciferous-like flavor, similar to boiled cabbage or steamed cauliflower; and is slightly sweetened and enhanced by the carrots.  The nutmeg and pepper nose through to lend a nice depth.  The texture is creamy and almost custard like.  One of our friends compared it in color and flavor to scrambled eggs, but smoother.  Alongside richer meats and sides, this puff compliments with its lighter body and mellower flavor.

In baking, because I needed to make this while the roast was still in the oven, I left the oven temperature at 325 for the roast.  The puff can cook at the lower temperature, but may need an additional 10 minutes or so.

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