Thursday, February 2, 2012

Neeps & Tatties & Tartan time

So this week I am continuing my early in the year obsession with everything Scottish after just having returned from the most wonderful night, giving a presentation with Gary at the Burns Club of Atlanta, in an authentically recreated Burns cottage right in the middle of the city of Atlanta! A superb and surreal experience that I will blog about next, but as ever, it made me think of what food to pair with the event and, I thought I would serve up a wee Scottish delight in the form of 'Neeps & Tatties'...that's pronounced N-eeeps and Tat- tees. Got it?

Neeps and what?

Actually, they're a fun and incredibly comforting and delicious way to serve root vegetables. Very fitting for these Winter nights (what winter I hear you cry??)

So, the neeps is Scots slang  for parsnips...neeps, nips, get it? And the tatties are the beloved po-tat-o.
Oh yes, never grows old.

So here's the thing...Scots-Irish folks love to mash their root vegetables and when freshly dug from the earth, boiled, seasoned and mashed, there are few more simple pleasures than these. A true comfort food that suits the colder climates in Scotland and Northern Ireland, this simple pairing will never-the-less work as a cold comfort in Appalachia also. Serve the Neeps’n Tatties mashed side by side either on their own, or as a side dish. Enjoy.

Ingredients for the Neeps:

• 1 lb. turnip/rutabagas (peeled & cut into chunks)
• 1 lb. carrots (peeled and quartered)
• 2 tbsp. butter
• 3 tbsp. half cream and milk
• ¼ tsp nutmeg (good pinch)
• 1 tbsp. parsley (chopped)
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• ¼ tsp. white pepper

Ingredients for the Tatties:

• 2 lbs. white potatoes (peeled & quartered)
• 2 oz. butter
• 4 tbsp. half cream & milk
• 1 tbsp. chives (chopped)
• ½ tsp. sea salt
• ¼ tsp. ground black pepper

How to make the Neeps:

1. Prepare the turnip and carrots then cut into small even pieces.
2. Place the turnip in a pot of cold water and bring to the boil.
3. Cook for 10 minutes before adding the carrots.

1. Cook the vegetables together for a further 20-25 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork.
2. Drain the vegetables and mash them together.
3. Gently heat the milk and butter together, incorporate liquid with the vegetables and stir in the parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

How to make the tatties:

1. Prepare the potatoes and place in pot of cold water.
2. Bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork.
3. Drain and dry out by placing the potatoes in metal colander over a saucepan, allowing the heat to gently dry and steam them.
4. Warm the milk and add the butter.
5. Mash potatoes and add wet ingredients.
6. Stir in the chives, salt and pepper.

Judie the Irish Foodie...

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