Monday, 16 February 2015

Parsnips Au Gratin

Hi, hope you all had a good weekend!

I thought I would kick this week off with one of my favourite side dishes - Parsnips Au Gratin - or cheesy mashed parsnips as it's called in our house - none of your fancy lingo in this household!

When you feel like having a change from potatoes this dish is a good substitute and can easily be prepared ahead of time and re-heated when you brown the cheese on top. It's a simple dish that can be served with most meals and can look 'quite fancy' if your having guests round.......It's always good to have something that looks like you've gone to a lot of trouble but in actual fact is really easy to do.....

Recipe - serves 4

2 lbs parsnips
2 tablespoons double or thick cream or natural yogurt if you prefer a sharper taste
a large knob butter
salt & pepper
3oz grated parmesan cheese
a little grated nutmeg if you fancy

First peel and cube your parsnips. If the parsnips are small & young then you can use the whole root, but if they are older, larger ones then you may need to cut out the woody core running through them - this bit doesn't mash that well.

Then pop them on to boil for about 10 minutes - it just depends on the size you have cut them - until they are tender. Drain out the water, pop them back in the saucepan and then place a clean tea-towel over the pan. Leave for about 5 minutes - this helps to remove any excess moisture from the parsnips and gives you a firmer mash - not a sloppy water mess!

Now, in the same pan start to mash up your parsnips - I like to use a good old fashioned hand held masher - in my opinion it gives a better texture.

Once they are all mashed - and you have no lumps - add your butter, cream (or yogurt), half the parmesan, salt & pepper and a little grated nutmeg if using. Mix it all together.......

Divide your mixture between individual, oven-proof, dished or one large dish if you prefer....

If your going to serve this dish immediately, sprinkle over the remaining parmesan cheese and slide them under the grill until the cheese has melted and the top has started to brown. Otherwise cover with foil and pop into the fridge until needed - you can do this up to two days in advance - when you go to reheat, just pop the dish straight into the oven for about 15 minutes before serving (foil & all) and about 5 minutes before you need it, remove the foil, sprinkle on the cheese and either return to the oven or pop under the grill......

This dish went really well with my pork chops and mushroom recipe the other evening......

Well, that was a simple recipe to easy us all into the week....

have a good day
 Parsnip Mash