Friday, 27 December 2013
Parsnips were not a vegetable we had very often if at all when I was growing up. My mother did not like them at all. In fact she tells a story of her father trying to tempt her to eat just a tiny piece of one in exchange for a piece of candy (when she was a child) and she hated them so much that she couldn't even be tempted with something that was only a very rare treat.
I remember her cooking them once when I was in my teen years. She pared and sliced them into coins and then fried them in butter until they were golden brown on both sides. Oh my but there were lovely. She had been wanting to see if her tastes had changed. Alas . . . they hadn't and so that was the only time we ever had the opportunity to taste them.
As an adult I have cooked them frequently for I love them. They are delicious in stews and soups . . . mashed with butter and cream, roasted, glazed . . . any way you cook or cut them, I find them most delicious. They are well one of my favourite vegetables.
With the holidays I had quite a few of them in the vegetable bin . . . parsnips love nothing more than to be roasted and glazed and served with a roast turkey or beef . . . or ham and pork. I always get in lots because they are my favourite side dish of the holidays.
I did get in rather a lot this year though . . . but no worries for today I had enough left to make these delicious Parsnip Patties. Oh my but they are some good.
Crispy and buttery on the outsides . . . creamy and mildly spiced with a delicate flavour and sweetness on the insides . . . such a pleasure to eat.
I like to make a Cranberry Mustard to eat with them. I just whisk together equal parts of a wild cranberry sauce and Dijon mustard. It is the perfect accompaniment.
Of course you can make them a lot smaller for appetizer sized servings, about the size of a one pound coin or silver dollar will do. You'd get quite a few of these and of course would need extra oil for frying.
They are easy to make ahead of time and then just reheat in the oven when you want them. If you like parsnips, you're going to love these!
Serves 4 to 6
Creamy and sweet on the insides, crunchy on the outsides. Delicious! I like to serve them with a Dijon Cranberry Mustard which I make by whisking together equal parts of a whole berry cranberry sauce and Dijon mustard.
8 to 10 parsnips, peeled and sliced into coins
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
a dash of cayenne pepper
1 medium free range egg, beaten
1 1/2 ounces fine dried bread crumbs (about 1/3 cup)
more dried bread crumbs for rolling
oil and butter for frying
snipped parsley for garnish
Cook the parsnips in the boiling water with the 1/2 tsp of salt until tender. Drain and mash well. Allow to cool. Stir in the first lot of bread crumbs and all of the seasonings, along with the beaten egg. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill well.
Scoop the well chilled mixture out using a small handful and shape into patties. Coat with the additional bread crumbs.
Heat a few TBS of butter along with an equal amount of oil over medium heat until the butter begins to foam. Add the parsnip patties and cook until golden brown on both sides. Drain and then serve hot along with some cranberry mustard. Delicious! Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
Here is a little bit of tempting delicious for you today. Celebrations Brownies. A tasty way to use up some of those leftover Christmas chockies!
Imagine a brownie so rich and gooey that you can’t help gasping with pleasure when you sink your teeth into one . . . now add the hidden surprise of your favourite chocolate candy bar deep inside it’s decadently rich, chocolaty depth . . . Yes, you have died and gone to heaven.
7 ounces butter (13.8 TBS)
3 ½ ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces (use really good quality, no less than 60% chocolate solids)
12 ounces dark soft brown sugar (1.69 cups)
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 ounces self raising flour (2 cups)
Pinch of salt
10 ¼ ounce box of Celebration** chocolates, or other chocolates of your choice (Imagine Maltesers dotting the middle or a lovely layer of thin chocolate After Eight mints)
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Brush an 11 X 7 inch tin with melted butter and then life with greaseproof paper. Set aside.
Put the butter and the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering, but not boiling water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Allow to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Stir in the chocolate, mixing it in well.
Beat the eggs together with the vanilla and the pinch of salt. Stir this into the chocolate mixture, mixing it in well. Sift the flour and stir in until well combined.
Un wrap the chocolates.
Pour half of the chocolate batter into the prepared tin. Lay the chocolates evenly spaced carefully over the top of the batter, making sure that there will be at least one in each portion that is cut. Pour the remaining batter over top, ensuring that all the chocolates are completely covered.
Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 30 minutes until the top is crispy and glazed looking but the insides are still soft. Remove from the oven and to a rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
**Celebration chocolates are a mixture we can get over here of small miniature chocolate bars such as Milky Way, Bounty, Mars, Snickers, etc. If you can’t get those use any favourite chocolate of yours. Malted milk balls sprinkled over the layer work quite well, as do thin chocolate mints. Chunks of caramel bar work equally as well. Let your decadent foodie imagination run free!