"May the odds be ever in your favor."
-Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games)
This past week I've been much more interested in hunger than I have been in food. I haven't really been in the kitchen since Sunday night. In fact, I've been spending most of my days in the dungeons of Doe Library, rapidly producing pages and feeling like, for this second chapter at least, I'm moving into the home stretch. And every other minute in between, I've been devouring every single page of the Hunger Games series. Devouring and loving every minute of the action, the political intrigue and the requisite drama between the star-crossed lovers.
Fortunately, however, last week was a productive food week. I had long been planning on making a very simple, but appealing rutabaga recipe a friend had sent me a few years back. But when I went to the vegetable grocer a few blocks from my apartment, I ran into a little problem: the beets, turnips, parsnips and rutabagas were all in the same basket....and, embarrassing as this is to admit, I couldn't tell the turnips and rutabagas apart. Oh, root vegetables! I decided to cross my fingers and go with the smaller, more purplish vegetables (clearly, my aesthetic preferences played a role here) and google the matter when I got home. Yes, I could have just asked, but that would be too simple, wouldn't it? And who doesn't like a little culinary mystery?
Adapted from Wontonwoman via Chowhound
Yields enough to be a satisfying side dish for two days
3 cups turnips, mashed
2 tbsps butter
2 eggs, well beaten
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
For the topping:
1/4 cup panko
1 Tbsp. crushed/roughly chopped pecans
1 sliver butter
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
-Peel and cut turnips into small cubes (about 1")
-Place into boiling water and, once the turnips have softened and can be pierced with a knife (about 20 minutes), drain them.
-Preheat the oven to 375.
-Prepare the topping, melting the butter and mixing it with the nuts, brown sugar and panko.
-Combine turnips and butter.
-Add the eggs, and beat thoroughly (I used an immersion blender).
-Add flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix until well blended.
-Turn into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle the topping over the casserole.
-Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the puff is lightly browned.
-Remove from the oven and prepare never to think of turnips in the same way again.