Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
Mashed potatoes make a hearty, honest dish. It has sometimes been referred to as comfort food because it evokes memories of both big, special-occasion dinners and the simple, family dinner intended for no other reason than to share a good meal. This version of mashed potatoes tastes good because it's dense with the mildly sweet flavor of parsnips and just enough butter to please, but without the extra calories you usually find in mashed potatoes.
8 medium red or white new potatoes (see Tips below), washed and cubed
4 parsnips, peeled and cubed
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Dash cayenne pepper
Several grindings of black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Put the potatoes and parsnips in a large pot with water, making sure that the water completely covers them. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, then cover and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spoon. Test the tenderness of the potatoes with a fork; they should pierce easily and be tender, yet firm. Drain any remaining liquid and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until there are no visible lumps. Add the milk and butter and continue to mash until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Stir in the parsley, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt, and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon until all the seasonings are completely mixed in. Cover and serve warm.
Tips from Rosie's Kitchen
Red or white new potatoes have softer, thinner skins and can be mashed with the skins to preserve all the nutrients they offer. However, you might want to peel potatoes such as Idahoes or other baking potatoes because of their thicker, tougher skins. This is a great recipe because the liquid that remains from cooking the potatoes is instant stock! Save it and use it to make Cold Cucumber Soup.
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