Monday, January 5, 2015

Turnip (or Rutabaga) Puff

This recipe comes to us courtesy of my mother and her boyfriend's family. It's worth noting that said family is in Ontario, Canada, as it explains the name of the recipe. His family calls it Turnip Puff, "turnip" being, according to Wikipedia, what people in Ontario and Atlantic Canada (but not western Canadians, apparently) call the "rutabaga," which started out its days long ago as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. (In the interest of not confusing people, should I change the name of the recipe to Rutabaga Puff?) 

Whatever you call this root vegetable, it's delicious mashed and baked into this casserole side side strangely reminiscent of scalloped corn. I helped my mom make this for our family Christmas celebration on New Year's this year, but it would make a great Thanksgiving dish, or any family gathering. 

Here is what you need:
  • 6 cups cubed rutabaga
  • 2 tspn butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 3/4 tspn salt
  • 1/8 tspn pepper
  • 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 T melted butter
And here is what you do:
  • Cook the rutabaga until tender, drain, and mash with the 2 teaspoons of butter and beaten eggs. (There is a note that this can be done a day ahead of time and the rest on the day of serving.) 
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then combine it with the rutabaga mixture. 
  • Spread butter around the inside of a glass casserole dish, then spread in the turnip mixture. Top with the breadcrumbs and melted butter. 
  • Bake at 375F for 25 minutes. Serves about 6 people. 

Et voila! I find that rutabagas have an almost nutty flavor, like many squashes, though this dish is on the sweeter side thanks to the addition of brown sugar. The texture is a little creamy, a little fluffy. Rutabagas can also be roasted, boiled, stir-fried, braised, steamed, and microwaved (and all of those recipes can be found at 7 Ways to Cook Rutabaga). 

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