Roasted Parsnip Fries

Parsnips are a root vegetable closely related to carrots and parsley. They have a decadently sweet, earthy flavor made richer by winter frosts. Here, the root is paired with tangy lemon juice and some fresh, mild herbs, and roasted to a crisp. Feel free to adjust these additions based on your preferences. You really can't go wrong! Photo by Greg Dupree from  Cooking Light

Photo Credit:  Greg Dupree,  Cooking Lightm 2018.

If you are looking for something different to go along with a classic cheeseburger or a new chip for your fish and chips, then a side order of roasted parsnips may be just the ticket for you. Parsnips are a root vegetable closely related to carrots and parsley. They have a decadently sweet, earthy flavor made richer by winter frosts.This dish is so easy to make and would also be just as delicious with roasted chicken or a grilled steak, given their natural sweetness that caramelizes in the oven for a delicious flavor.

Servings 6

Ingredients:
3 pounds parsnips
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 ° F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the parsnips, then cut into evenly sized matchsticks.

Place the parsnips in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Evenly distribute the parsnips on a baking sheet in a single layer, making sure they have a little room on the sides to brown and caramelize. Place in the oven.

Roast for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the parsnips are starting to turn golden brown on the edges. Toss the parsnips to redistribute, then roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until tender and golden.

Toss with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

 

Cook’s Notes:
Note on cooking times: The exact time varies depending on how big the matchsticks are, so make sure to check on them once in a while to see if they’ve become caramelized and fork tender. That’s when you know they’re done.

In this recipe,  the root is paired with tangy lemon juice and some fresh, mild herbs, and roasted to a crisp. Feel free to substitute the herbs with chives, dill, rosemary or even grated Parmesan cheese based on your preferences. You really can’t go wrong!

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Clementine, Fennel & Potatoes

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Photo Credit: Cocoa Bean, the Vegetable, 2017.

 Inspired by one of a recipe from the Jerusalem Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, the dish comes together in just a few minutes and is loaded with healthy seasonal ingredients. The mix of flavors in this dish is absolutely wonderful. The Potatoes, citrus fruit, fennel, thyme, mustard and a generous dose of ouzo (an anise-flavored aperitif) makes a perfect accompaniment to chicken, fish or even chickpeas. An added bonus is that  the potatoes, clementines and fennel all deliver a nice boost in fiber, potassium and iron, not to mention vitamin C, that is much needed during the winter months.

Recipe Adapted From
Cocoa Bean, The Vegetable
April 20, 2017

Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons ouzo
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon grainy brown mustard
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
3-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1  1/2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes
1 fennel bulb
2 clementines, whole and washed
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.

In a small non-reactive bowl, mix together the ouzo, oil, juices, mustard, sugar and fennel seeds to make the marinade. Set aside.

Using a chef’s knife, cut the fennel bulb in half, and then cut each half in four quarters.

Slice the clementines thinly and crosswise, keeping the skin on.

In a 9 x 11-inch baking dish, combine the potatoes, fennel wedges and clementine slices. Pour over the marinade, stirring gently to ensure everything is coated. Toss in the sprigs of thyme, and season with salt and pepper.

Place the baking dish and bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until cooked through and vegetables are golden. Add a bit of extra color by putting on the broiler for the last three minutes being careful not to burn the vegetables.

Remove from the oven and transfer the vegetables to a serving platter. Garnish with extra thyme leaves if desired.

    


Crab Mac ‘N Cheese

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Wow!

I cannot believe it.  This is my 500th Post on this Blog and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate with my favorite comfort food.

I absolutely love Macaroni and Cheese and this is a very special dish meant for any occasion. The homemade bechamel sauce compliments the sweet jumbo lump crab meat perfectly. Serve it as a side dish or as an entree it’s a fantastic and budget friendly way to serve crab meat to a crowd with style.

Serves 6

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds conchigliette pasta*
1/4 cup butter
1 shallot, finely diced
3 cloves garlic,finely minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked over
Chopped fresh parsley or crushed dried parsley, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant and softened,for 3 minutes. Add flour and whisk until combined and golden, for about 1 minute. Add milk and season with salt and pepper. Simmer 2 minutes, until sauce is thickened and smooth.

Stir in 1/2 white cheddar, the mozzarella and Asiago until slightly melted, then remove from heat.

Add the bechamel sauce and crab meat to pot with cooked pasta and gently stir with a wooden spoon until completely combined.

Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/4 cup Parmesan and bake until bubbly, for 20 minutes.

Garnish the dish with parsley and serve immediately.

*Cooks Notes:
Conchiglie [koŋˈkiʎʎe], is a type of pasta in which the name is derived from the Italian word “conchiglia” .Commonly known as “shells” or “seashells” , this pasta is usually sold in the plain durum wheat variety, and also in colored varieties which use natural pigments, such as tomato extract, squid ink or spinach extract. The shell shape of the pasta allows the sauce to adhere to it. A miniature variety called conchigliette is also available.

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