Saturday, September 10, 2011

Parsnips instead of potatoes

Fresh parsnips  located near the carrots in grocery

Parsnips cut into small pieces for easy cooking

Milk and cream are added during cooking
Ingredients for parsnip puree~just a handful of ingredients and a few short steps,taking the place of potatoes!

1 pound of fresh parsnips
4 garlic cloves, smashed or chopped very finely
1 Thyme sprig, leaves chopped finely
1 cup of whole milk
1 cup of whipping cream
1 stick of unsalted butter
salt to taste

Peel parsnips just like you would carrots. Remove tough ends. Add to medium pan the chopped parsnips, thyme, salt and garlic. Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat until parsnips are tender. This will take at least 20 minutes or more. Drain and save liquid, if there is any left after cooking. Cool parsnips and place in blender or food processor. With processor on low speed, add the butter, blend until smooth. This is when you may need to add some of the reserved liquid to get it to a light and fluffy consistency. I have added heated milk a few times to get it to the consistency I like. It just depends on how creamy you want it to be!

My daughter had us over for dinner not too long ago and this was a side she served with a  beef brisket she had prepared. I was delighted to see her take the leap from potatoes to parsnips! The choice was well suited and certainly complimented the brisket. The very first time I tasted parsnips was on one of my trips to New Zealand. I had this veggie as a side with a lamb shank. I had no idea what the vegetable was that I was eating. I knew it wasn't a potato and it was prepared with the same consistency of mashed potatoes.....however, I was stumped! Today I normally serve parsnips along side of lamb shanks or a roasted leg of lamb. It is the perfect combination.... the parsnip matches so well with either beef or lamb.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Williams-Sonoma Easy Roman Pasta

Quick and easy Roman pasta

The ingredients:

1/2 lb. spaghetti
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 large garlic gloves,thinly sliced
1 jar of Antica Enotria  organic cherry tomatoes, drained*from Williams-Sonoma
4 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt, to taste
Fennel salt, to taste
Fresh grated Pecorino cheese for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat,warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about one minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally and gently smashing about half of the tomatoes. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved water and bring to a simmer.

Add the pasta and toss together until well combined and warmed through, about two minutes, adding more cooking water as needed to create a light sauce. Sprinkle with fresh basil and fennel salt. Serve immediately. Serves four. I did substitute the cheese since i had it on hand.

This dish took no time at all to prepare! 

I used whole wheat pasta

Shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese were tossed on top for a finishing touch.