Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sweet Italian sausage over parsnip puree with carmelized shallot and pepper sauce

I'll admit two things here to start with. First, yes, the last few dishes have been a bit on the gonzo side. And secondly, I've never really liked parsnips. I think it's partly because I've roasted them in the past and mostly because they stink of funky damp socks while they cook. But I decided to give them another chance today.

I did a bit of reading and found that parsnips are particularly good pureed. So I decided to give mine a bit of the Thanksgiving sweet potatoes treatment. After peeling (important!) and chopping four medium-sized parsnips I boiled them in salted water until soft. Then I pureed with about two tablespoons of maple syrup, probably three or four tablespoons of butter, and a dash of salt. They did that gym-sock routine while cooking, but the end result was heaven: sweet, a little like carrots, but with a sharp edge.

For the rest I cooked some sausages on my cast-iron gridle and then set them aside. Then I lowered the heat, scraped up the browned bits with a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and added a cup of roughly-chopped shallots and one julienne-cut yellow bell pepper. I let the liquid dissolve, then added a couple tablespoons of chicken stock. I let that dissolve as the vegetables softened and kept adding stock (and a pinch of salt and a touch of butter) for about 20 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and added about 1/4 cup of water, which created a dark, surprisingly savory gravy.

Lane and I agreed this was one of the best meals I've made in a while. Jasper stuck with the mac and cheese. Here's the daily gratuitous photo, including our nieghbor, Lily. I think Jasper has a particularly Lane-ish grin on his face. Lately Jasper has become facinated with the way his fingers "go raisiny" during a bath. In the middle of the day he'll stop to remark how his fingers are back to normal. Also, he has just learned that my name is Adriana. For some reason he's known Lane's name for months but only just learned mine last week. He's learning the difference between names and titles. Isn't that amazing? I thrill to the sound of his little voice calling my name -- Adriaaaana, Adriaaaana.

I was surprised to hear how many of you did not have Lion House cookbooks. At first I thought, gosh, maybe it's not as popular as I'd though. Oh well, you're not missing out on much. But my mother wrote to remind me that I had been to the Lion House Pantry, not the Lion House Restaurant, which is considerably more fancy. So my dismissal of it was not well informed. "You really didn't do justice to the Lion House or the food. First and foremost it's a historical site with beautiful antiques. The upstairs has some beautiful rooms for small and large groups. Second, yes the breads, rolls and desserts are the speciality of the house BUT they ARE fabulous." I suppose I must give the Lion House more credit, then. Sigh.


Swizzies said...

I don't have the Lion House cookbook either - but then, I haven't been gifted any cookbooks ever (I don't think...?). And as you can see, I don't have a food blog either. I'm sure there's a connection. ;-) My father loved those Lion House rolls, so hearing about them reminds me of him. :-) He also loved the rolls at Maddox - that steakhouse in Brigham City. He said they would float off your plate. :-) Now I'm all nostalgic...

julie said...

I have a hard time with carmelizing. Could you please advise. I agree about parsnips. The last time I cooked them, I ended up throwing the whole dish out. What do you use to puree them. A blender?

Anonymous said...

I think parsnips are naaaaasty--but for me, it's just their carrotiness that is the problem (I don't like carrots either). But I must say, your dish *looks* gorgeous. :)

I have a new favorite Moroccan couscous recipe, from Mark Bitton's The Best Recipes in the World. Want it?

Co said...

Last Rosh Hashona I was going to make some marinated carrots (Leah's mom's recipe and the only way she will eat carrots) in a vinegar-heavy marinade. I decided on my own to mix in some parsnips, too. Well, after peeling/chopping/boiling the carrots and parsnips and marinating overnight, it made a yummy little side dish. So, I am all for playing with the parsnips. On their own, they're a bit too "sharp" (good adjective, BTW) for me, but I like finding ways to make them work. Yours is an interesting one.

Your recipe sounds good, but probably a little too sweet for my blood. I am such an anti-sweet weirdo. Must be genetic. So is my brother.