Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

No one wants ho hum potatoes on Thankgiving, but so many of the flavor-boosting solutions seem to come in the form of hefty cheese products and cream. In my quest to lighten up Thanksgiving, I borrowed an idea from a friend's mother and paired potatoes with parsnips.

This white root vegetable packs a complex flavor so you don't need near as much butter or cream, compared to traditional mashed potatoes. And the parsnips blend in with your potatoes both in texture and color, so you can fool even the biggest skeptic. Or you can just force them to try parsnips because you're the host and you said so.

You'll prepare the parsnips just as you would the potatoes... wash and peel. Just be sure to chop them in even sizes.

Then both go into a cold pot of water with a generous pinch of salt. Bring water to boil and allow potatoes and parsnips to cook until fork tender.

See you can hardly even tell the difference between the two.

Mash with a manual potato masher or you can use a hand mixer. Be sure to break down some of the woodier pieces of the parsnip. This is when you'll add a touch of butter and cream.

Finish with a touch of parsley

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and peeled
1 lb parsnips, washed and peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Roughly chop potatoes and parsnips to equal sizes. Add potatoes and parsnips to pot and cover in cold water. Add salt and bring water to a boil. Cook until potatoes and parsnips are fork tender, about 30 minutes (depending on size). Drain potatoes and place back in hot pot.

Over low heat, begin mashing potatoes and parsnips until water from boiling has evaporated. Add butter and cream and continue mashing until melted and combined.

Stir in fresh parsley and S&P to taste. Serve potatoes hot.

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