Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mashed Rutabaga Gratin - Caity

I know what you may be thinking; I know I have heard of rutabagas, but I wouldn't recognize one if it danced naked in front of me. Up until a couple of years ago, I felt the exact same way. But now that I am older and wiser, I have learned that a rutabaga is a really ugly root vegetable that makes a delicious mashed side dish for Thanksgiving.

I would have never learned this important information about rutabagas and probably would have never tried one if it weren't for the Kestles. In Canada, Mashed Rutabaga Gratin is a common Thanksgiving side dish so Lynn would bring a dish to our Thanksgiving dinner. I always avoided the dish because a rutabaga sounds like a scary vegetable that a kid probably shouldn't eat. Then a couple of years ago, I finally decided to try this mysterious dish and I realized what I have been missing out on. Yum!

I did a bit of light research about what exactly a rutabaga is and found it is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. This would explain the unique smell it has while baking, not a bad smell but just a little.... cabbage-y. Thank goodness it tastes so good! Lynn calls this dish a Turnip Mash or Turnip Puff because apparently in Canada a rutabaga is called a turnip. I am still confused on this point because I wonder what they call a turnip then. If you know the answer, please enlighten me!

The recipe comes from the Best of the Best Cookbook which is where our favorite Orzo with Parmesan and Basil and Christmas Morning Brunch Bake recipes are from. As I mentioned earlier this recipe is also called a Turnip Puff because I guess the mash puffs up some as you bake it. This is a really nice dish to add to your Thanksgiving spread to mix things up or to surprise a Canadian guest with should you be so lucky to have one at your dinner table. Another great thing is that you can do most of the recipe the day before (yay!) then finish it up the day.

Three years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Serves 6 as a side dish

what you'll need:

6 cups peeled and cubed rutabaga (about 2 large rutabagas)
4 Tbsp butter, separated in two
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Heat a medium saucepan until boiling. Meanwhile, peel and cube the rutabaga.

When the water is boiling, add the rutabaga and boil until tender. From personal experience this takes much much longer than it would to boil a potato, about 35-40 min. 

Drain the rutabaga and mash. I do like taking a masher to unsuspecting vegetables muahahahahahaha! 

Add 2 Tbsp butter and eggs. Mash well again. You can do this much the day ahead and refrigerate until you're ready to finish. 

Preheat the oven to 375. 

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper and nutmeg in and mash well again. 

Butter an oven-proof casserole dish and spread in rutabaga mixture. 

Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and combine in a bowl with the bread crumbs until mixed. 

Sprinkle on top of the rutabaga mash. 

Bake for 25 minutes at 375 F or until light brown and toasty on top. 

Serve warm with the rest of your delicious Thanksgiving meal and pat yourself on the back for trying something new. Turns out those Canadians might be on to something, eh? (Disclaimer for corny jokes: I worked all last night and can't sleep today, so what else is there to do besides blog!) 

Three years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

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