Sunday, February 9, 2014

Creamy Mashed Potatoes with a Turnip Puree

This week at the Country Roads test kitchen, I simmered up a little pinot "jam" for a steak topping. More of a compote than a jam, the quasi-garnish consisted of red onions cooked down with pinot noir, bay leaf, brown sugar, freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of cloves. I'm telling you, the cloves are what elevated the mixture into something special—a slight foreign twist on a well-known ingredient. That's the magic of spices. You can read more about the pinot jam here.

For a side, I wanted the hearty, filling quality of potatoes without the heaviness. The turnip puree did the trick. Despite involving milk and cream, this side had an airy, silky quality that made for an elegant addition to the steak and pinot jam.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes with a Turnip Puree

4–5 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1/2 pound turnip, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 sprigs thyme
Kosher salt
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

1. In a medium saucepan, combine turnip, butter, milk, and thyme over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil over and then simmer, partially covered, for twenty-five minutes.
2. Remove thyme. Using an immersion blender (or a food processor), purée the mixture. Return mixture to pan (if using a food processor), and keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, covered by at least 1 inch of salted water. Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer until potatoes can be pierced cleanly by a fork (10–15 minutes.) Drain in a colander, then mash completely in a bowl.
4. Add mashed potatoes into the saucepan with the turnip purée. Raise heat to medium and, stirring, warm potatoes completely through.
5. Lower heat to medium-low. Add grated cheese; stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve.