Tatties and Neeps, Anyone?
Have you ever noticed how trying a recipe for the first time is strikingly similar to going on a blind date? You might be a little nervous beforehand, worried about prepping just right so everything goes smoothly. Let’s not lie to ourselves: looks are important too so hopefully this new interest will be easy on the eyes. Then there’s always the big question mark about will you like it even enough to tolerate one meal together or will you just have to get up after a few bites and find something else. Maybe this one will be too exotic for your long-term tastes but it could be fun to live in the moment…a fling of sorts. But, as we all no doubt secretly hope, there’s always the chance this one will be the one and stick with you through thick and thin for the rest of your life, come lumpy gravy or runny fudge.
I admit I’m being a bit snarky in writing the above, but there’s also a note of seriousness in it since I do often take up a new recipe with the same nervous energy as I would for a date. When I saw this particular recipe in Eat Feed Autumn Winter, I was a little concerned because it would use up the last of my turnips for the season – a gorgeous bunch of baby white Hakureis that are so tender and sweet I even ate a few out of hand (which is saying a lot if you remember my semi-aversion to turnips).
I was also a bit bashful about trying a recipe called “tatties and neeps”. Funny how a name can put you off a little sometimes, and this Scottish designation for what we’ll just call Potatoes and Turnips with Bacon and Cream was not so appealing (though perhaps more colorful) to me for some unexplained reason. When I read the list of ingredients though, I knew I needed to overcome my unfounded prejudice because starchy potatoes, silky cream and salty bacon (soy in my case) could not, no matter what their title, be a bad combo. The fact that the turnips were in there just added to the interest and made me feel less guilty somehow about consuming the other three in large quantity.
Guess what? This recipe is a keeper! We’ll be seeing a lot of each other in the spring when turnips come back into season. If I had the supply in the root cellar right now, we probably would have been meeting over the dinner table at least five more times this past week. Ah, be still my bonny heart!
Potatoes and Turnips with Bacon and Cream
Taken from Eat Feed Autumn Winter
1 lb. red potatoes (about 5-6 small ones)
½ lb. turnips (2 large or several small ones)
5-6 pieces of bacon (soy works fine)
½ C. vegetable broth
¼ C. heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Scrub the potatoes and the turnips, trimming out ends and any bad spots. Cut everything into a ¼ inch dice. Set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat (if using soy bacon, generously spray the skillet with non-stick spray). Cut bacon into ¼ inch pieces and cook in the skillet until nearly crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain off any fat. Add the potatoes and turnips and sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover and cooking for 5-8 minutes over low heat or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the lid. Add the cream and cook over medium-high heat for 5-8, stirring regularly, until the liquid is almost evaporated and vegetables are very tender. Season generously with salt and pepper.