Contributed by: Charlie Burke
Although most of us have Thanksgiving traditions, some variation in the menu can add interest to the meal. If you've never served roasted vegetables, consider trying the recipe from our recent column. You can include white potato, sweet potato and carrots, roast them a day or two before Thanksgiving and reheat them in the oven as the turkey rests. This week's recipe is a nearly foolproof variation on an older dish. Previously, glazed vegetables were cooked in a small amount of water, butter and sugar until the water evaporated, leaving the vegetables attractively glazed - and usually overdone.
Parboiling root vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, carrots and sweet potatoes simplifies preparation and can be done a day or two ahead, leaving only the final heating in the glaze before serving. Choose your favorite vegetable or a mix; two pounds is sufficient for four to six side dishes. If using parsnips alone, decrease the maple syrup to 1 tablespoon because of their natural sweetness.
Peel vegetables. Cut carrots and parsnips into 3 inch length, slice lengthwise into 1/3 inch slices and then cut slices into strips of equal width. Slice turnip or sweet potato into 1/3 inch slices and then into strips of equal width.
Cook vegetables in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly tender but not soft. Drain and immediately plunge into a large bowl of iced water. Drain thoroughly and refrigerate if not finishing recipe.
To finish, melt butter in a heavy pot sufficient to hold all the vegetables. Add maple syrup, water and vegetables and cook over low temperature, stirring occasionally until all are coated and a glaze forms on them. Correct seasoning and serve immediately.
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