19 January 2011

Mashed-and-Baked Parsnip with Sage "Gravy", Broccolini, and Spicy Beans

A few ideas planted themselves in my mind yesterday - broccolini is and will always be delicious, I haven't made potatoes ever, and sauces are delicious. A plan was hatched for cooking: one surefire thing, one probably good thing, and one experiment. All on the same plate! Well, this is the overall meal. I would say "rousing success" but I usually under-season things and it was a dinner for one, so no actual judgement was passed upon this meal.
The "surefire thing" actually turned out to be two things - the broccolini and the beans. I've charred broccolini enough times to call it a go-to dish and I have definitely cooked enough beans to feed an army of very flatulent soldiers. The rest of the meal was more experimental - while I have consumed, and watched the process of cooking, mashed potatoes many times, I have never partaken in the process. I guessed my way through it (and used parsnips instead of potatoes) by boiling them until they were quite soft, then mashing them. It seemed to work.

The gravy was an educated guess at how to make a no-meat no-packet gravy. It mostly worked, but it did take a while. My basic idea was learned watching my grandmother produce the gravy for Thanksgiving last year - she boiled chopped onion in some water until it essentially disappeared. Then she added turkey drippings, but I wasn't about to cook a turkey just for the drippings. Bean liquid, that which comes in the can with canned beans, seemed a likely substitute.
While I had the oven set to 475 degrees and pre-heating, I got a clever idea for the already-mashed parsnips. Throw them in the oven to brown! It would be perfect, a true masterpiece, a notch on my belt of amazing meals. The reality was a little different - I don't think it did anything much to them - but I can pretend. The rest of the things that came out of the oven were good enough.
Mashed-and-Baked Parsnip Cake w/ Gravy/Beans (serves 1.5, takes 1h or so)

  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 can brown beans, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • (optional) source of spiciness (here: sriracha sauce)
Peel onion and slice into rings/slivers. In saucepan with lid, place onion, water, fresh sage, and liquid from can of beans. Bring to boil, add the cumin and paprika, then cover and simmer while you prepare everything else. Chop parsnips into smallish cubes and place in boiling water until a fork destroys them.

While things boil and simmer, prepare everything else: dice half of the carrot, slice long strips out of the other half, dice most the radish leaving a few thin slices for garnish. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. On baking sheet, place broccolini, sliced carrot, sliced radish. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle salt on top.

Drain parsnips and mash them, adding a dash of olive oil, salt, and paprika. Heat on medium for a minute or two while stirring in the diced carrot and radish. In a bread pan or other oven-safe dish a few inches deep, form parsnip mixture into a square. Place baking sheet of broccolini et al and bread pan of parsnip et al into the oven.

While everything bakes, heat the beans in a pot, adding salt and pepper plus spiciness. If you don't want them spicy, they should probably get an additional flavor of something, but I leave that to the reader. After ten minutes, shut off the oven. Increase heat on simmering gravy to high and gradually add in flour, constantly whisking while it boils. Let boil for a minute or two, it should thicken as you stir, and reduce back to simmer.

Serve as I have in the picture, or freestlye that dish.

No comments:

Post a Comment