Click to see a close-up

ANNE'S TURNIP GRATIN
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, minced or left whole and smashed
Pinch cayenne, optional
Salt
2 tablespoons butter, cold
1 pound turnips, peeled and sliced very thin
3/4 cup good parmesan cheese, grated (3 ounces) *

Put the cream, garlic and cayenne in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH about 1 minute or just until the cream comes to a light boil. Watch closely because it can boil over very quickly. Remove from the microwave and let the mixture steep about 15-20 minutes then remove the garlic, if you left it whole.

Butter an 8x6" baking dish or a 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole that's at least 2 inches deep. Layer 1/3 of the turnip slices then sprinkle liberally with salt and 1/3 of the cheese. Dot with 1/3 of the butter cut into small bits. Pour 1/3 of the cream over the turnips. Repeat the layering two more times. You may need to rearrange the cheese on the top layer after pouring in the cream or pour the cream over before sprinkling with the last third of the cheese.

Cover the baking dish with foil and place on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any overflow. Bake at 375 35-40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes or until golden brown. The turnips are done when you can easily insert a fork into the ones in the center of the baking dish. Mine weren't quite done so I added another 20 minutes and lowered the oven temperature to 350 to avoid over browning the top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 3-4 servings

* I used Bel Gioioso brand parmesan cheese which is as good as the real kind from Italy but less than half the price. I get mine at Walmart for $3.98 for an 8 ounce wedge.

Per 1/3 Recipe: 506 Calories; 46g Fat; 15g Protein; 11.5g Carbohydrate; 2.5g Dietary Fiber; 9g Net Carbs
Per 1/4 Recipe: 379 Calories; 34g Fat; 11g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 6g Net Carbs

This recipe is from Anne Burrell of Food Network's Secret's of a Restaurant Chef show. She added a bundle of fresh thyme to the cream mixture. I left that out as well as the cayenne because I'm not fond of thyme and I thought that the turnips would have enough bite on their own with adding hot pepper. This is a half recipe. I was cooking for two and didn't need six servings. Although this would be three servings according to Anne, it could easily make four small servings.

Anne said to heat the cream and garlic on the stove but I did mine in the microwave. My motto is why do anything on the stove that can be done more effienctly, and with less mess, in the microwave? One thing to bear in mind is that it takes quite a bit of salt to season turnips just like potatoes. I thought I'd sprinkled each layer of mine pretty liberally but it was nowhere near enough salt. I suggest using a little more salt than you think you'd want. I had to bake mine a lot longer than Anne did even though I made half as much as she did. I had to add another 20 minutes to the second stage of baking. It could be though that turnips never get quite as soft as potatoes do. I baked this ahead of time and reheated it in the microwave. Just as I had a feeling would happen, the texture improved with reheating and the flavors had melded more. When freshly baked, the consistency is looser and more watery. Letting it chill for a few hours allowed the turnips to absorb more of the liquid.

I served mine with steak which was a nice combination. The flavor is a cross between scalloped potatoes and rutabaga. I liked it very much and will make it again for sure. It's not expensive to make either. The browned cheezy bits were the best part. Click the photo to see a close-up.

UPDATE 3/7/12: I just realized that I called for minced garlic in the ingredients, but then said to remove the garlic in the directions. Anne's recipe said to keep the garlic clove whole and smash it before adding it to the cream so that you can remove it later. I've decided to keep it as minced and not remove it from the cream next time. I'm sure that either way will work fine. I did do it Anne's way when I made it but I don't think that I'd mind more garlic flavor either.


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