Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables

I'm going to try to put more of what I'm cooking up here more often, to get comments and to help out others who are in a dinner rut (as I often am).  Tonight, we made Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables, with parsnips for the root vegetable.  They were a side dish, of course, to go with "My Favorite Chicken," which is what the kids call the Tyson's breaded chicken breasts that we have at least once a week.  We also had some broccoli on the side.

For the record, the kids didn't touch this dish.  But J and I thought it was yummy, a nice variation on mashed potatoes, if it does take a bit longer to prepare.

The recipe is from America's Test Kitchen, one of my favorite places to get recipes.  Try it out. :)

Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables

Russet potatoes will yield a slightly fluffier, less creamy mash, but they can be used in place of the Yukon Gold potatoes if desired. Rinsing the potatoes in several changes of water reduces starch and prevents the mashed potatoes from becoming gluey. It is important to cut the potatoes and root vegetables into even-sized pieces so they cook at the same rate. This recipe can be doubled and cooked in a large Dutch oven. If doubling, increase the cooking time in step 2 to 40 minutes.

Serves 4

tablespoons unsalted butter  (I used salted and it was fine)
ounces carrots , parsnips, turnips, or celery root, peeled; carrots or parsnips cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons; turnips or celery root cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2
pounds Yukon Gold potatoes , peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; rinsed well in 3 or 4 changes of cold water and drained
cup low-sodium chicken broth 

Table salt 
cup half-and-half , warmed
tablespoons minced fresh chives 

Ground black pepper 

1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add root vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is browned and vegetables are dark brown and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes. (If after 4 minutes vegetables have not started to brown, increase heat to medium-high.)

2. Add potatoes, broth, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cook, covered, over low heat (broth should simmer gently; do not boil), stirring occasionally, until potatoes fall apart easily when poked with fork and all liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. (If liquid does not gently simmer after a few minutes, increase heat to medium-low.) Remove pan from heat; remove lid and allow steam to escape for 2 minutes.

3. Gently mash potatoes and root vegetables in saucepan with potato masher (do not mash vigorously). Gently fold in warm half-and-half and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.

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