Alabaster

By • November 18, 2010 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This twist on mashed potatoes gets extra flavor from turnips. It's meant to be perfectly white, thus the name. I learned it from my North Carolina sister-in-law, and I believe the recipe is of Quaker origin. Cooking the potatoes and turnips separately is often suggested, but I have always had it turn out perfectly by cooking them together. I use buttermilk for part of the milk as I love the buttery-tangy taste it lends to mashed potatoes. If you forget to bring the cream and buttermilk to room temperature, warm them gently before adding them to the potatoes to prevent curdling.JSCooks

Serves 6 to 8

  • 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into roughly 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 to 1 cups light cream, half-and-half, or heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Salt and ground white pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and turnips. Boil uncovered, not too vigorously, until both are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes and turnips in a colander, shaking to remove most of the water. Return them to the pot and shake over low heat for about 30 seconds to dry them. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the smaller amounts of cream, buttermilk, and butter. Use a potato masher to break up the potatoes and turnips just as much as you like. (Traditionally, the dish is creamy smooth.) Add more cream, buttermilk, and/or butter to suit your taste for flavor and consistency. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer to a warm bowl and serve.
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