Sometimes, rather than experimenting with a sweet potato soufflé or a Bourbon coconut cranberry relish for the most important meal of the year, all you want a simple dish that’s sure to deliver. This parsnip and potato mash is one of my tried-and-true favorites. It’s a cinch to make, it will hold for a couple of days if necessary, and it provides a welcome break from plain old mashed potatoes. Hope you like it as much as I do! —Merrill Stubbs
large garlic cloves, peeled
pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
ounces yellow potato, peeled and cut into slightly larger pieces than the parsnips
4 to 6 cups chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)
Combine the garlic, parsnips, potato and enough stock to cover the vegetables in a large saucepan. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are quite tender.
Scoop out about a cup of the hot stock and set aside. Drain the vegetables and return them to the pot. Mash with the crème fraiche and butter, leaving the mixture slightly chunky. (You can use a food mill or a ricer if you prefer a smooth puree.) If the mash seems at all dry, stir in some of the leftover stock, and keep the rest for just before serving.
Stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm and covered, reheating over medium-low heat just before serving and adding a little more stock if necessary. This can be made a day or two ahead of time and refrigerated.