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parsnip puree with vanilla extract & turkey day ideas

November 19, 2012

i will never forget the first time i had this parsnip puree… (cue day dream music) i was in one of my last cooking classes in culinary school and this was on the lunch menu we served.  the recipe was designed by our chef, Chef Neace.  i have to say that i was a bit skeptical before i tried it – like i am with most things really (a “particular” as my sister calls me, chef, who knew?!), but once i had a bite of this heavenly mixture in my mouth i was hooked for good!

i went home that weekend and made the dish for a few friends, but much to my dismay they did not come out right – dummy me had forgotten to put the potatoes in with the parsnips so the end result was a stringy mess.  i learned my lesson quickly however and did not repeat my mistake again!  something about the scent of the parsnips and the hint of vanilla just make me want to smile and think “day dreamy” thoughts… in a word, it’s just lovely.

i’m not planning on making these for thanksgiving this year because tomas has his heart set on traditional mashed taters, but i had some parsnips that were about to go caput on me in the fridge and decided i would whip some up and get my fix before gorging myself on everything else this week!  speaking of, tomas’s florida mom, linda, asked if i would send her our turkey day menu for this year so she could get inspired, so i thought i would share it with all of you and kill two birds with one stone!  i’ve included a list below with our menu – some items have links to other blogs where the recipes originated, and some are just listed because the recipes will come out of either my or tomas’s head.  share some of your holiday favorites with us and spread the culinary inspiration around!!

the bird from wit and vinegar

my grandma dorothy’s bread dressing (gf version for me – i’m using manini’s bread instead!)

green bean casserole (this will not be gluten free – it’s for tomas, who demands the traditional campbell’s recipe)

canned cranberry jelly (again, a favorite of tomas’s)

brussels sprouts

swiss chard with roasted garlic

mashed yukon gold potatoes with garlic

crescent rolls from hidden ponies (i’ll be using C4C flour, which is a gf flour designed by the chef from the french laundry, thomas keller)

pumpkin cheesecake from fire and salt



makes 4 servings

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes

4-5 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes

1 t vanilla extract

2 T butter

1/8 – 1/4 cup milk (depending on how thick you would like them to be)

salt & pepper

place the chopped parsnips and potatoes into a medium sized saucepan and cover with water.  bring to a boil, then allow to simmer until both the potatoes and parsnips are every easily mashable (probably a little longer than you think – the parsnips can get stringy if they aren’t cooked long enough).

strain the water out, then add the vanilla, butter and milk to the pan and mash with a potato masher, making sure to mix everything well.  season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Courtney permalink
    December 28, 2012 10:13 am

    I’m GF and also *not* obsessed with C4C, but I’ve heard it isn’t suitable for yeasts applications. Considering the price of the flour, I’d rather not attempt what could be a monumental flop. How did your crescent rolls turn out?

    • December 28, 2012 7:29 pm

      The crescent rolls turned out great, although not exactly how I had expected. They had amazing flavor and held their shape when baking, but were much more dense than I had anticipated. I’m honestly not sure if that was due to the flour or the nature of the recipe itself since I had never made it before. So far I have had no issues with the C4C, but I have not heard about the yeast application issues. What I can tell you is that the flour was designed specifically for pastries in a French restaurant in napa so I would only assume any baking may benefit from using the C4C. If you rest it out, please let me know the results 🙂

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