Monday 13 July 2020

Recipe ~ Scottish American Neeps and Tatties, Khaos Edition!

As always, if you just want the recipe, without the story behind it, click here.

Not long ago, I posted my recipe for Haggis, which was the result of over two months of intense research into the dish and its history and origins.

As I discovered, (and noted in my last recipe post with my whisky sauce recipe), just as one does not simply walk into Mordor, one does not simply make a haggis - without neeps, tatties, and whisky sauce!

Lightly golden browned neeps, fresh from the oven

 There are lots of pretty good recipes out there for neeps and tatties, but I wanted to tailor these specifically to perfectly complement my haggis recipe, and besides, none of them had my tried and true, "secret" ingredient for elevating mashed potatoes into amazing mashed potatoes, which I've used for many years. 

Rich and creamy tasty tatties

Another reason for creating my own version is every, single recipe also called for peeling the potatoes and rutabagas too, which I simply will not do! Both are SO much better tasting with the skins scrubbed well and left on, not to mention more nutritious and better textured. Oh yeah... And less work, less waste, and less opportunity to cut yourself or accidentally peel a knuckle or two! (If you've peeled veggies as much as I used to do before I came to my senses, you know exactly what I'm talking about and probably just winced at the memories. Sorry.) 

Boiling the rutabagas to remove the nasty wax coating
So, for some reason, store bought rutabagas are almost always coated in paraffin wax. They say it is to keep them from going bad, but they don't do it with white turnips, nor have my farm fresh rutabagas ever come that way, and I have always been able to keep them for quite some time without them going bad at all, so I truly do not get why they do that. Probably more to do with aesthetics, just like why they do it with apples and other things that do not need it! Grrr! Stupid marketing ploys.  
Anyway, you can make short work of the wax slime by popping them, whole/untrimmed, into a pot of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. That will remove most of it, and almost all the rest will come off with a quick wipe as you take them (carefully!) out of the boiling water, before you cut them up.  

Anyway, this is what I came up with, and I think it came out perfectly. I hope you love it as much as I do! 

Scottish American Neeps & Tatties

    • Two large pots
    • Large casserole (or make sure rutabaga pot is oven safe)
    • potato masher(s)

    • Around 3 lbs potatoes
    • 10 or so rutabagas (AKA yellow turnips, wax turnips, Swedes, neeps, turnips - not to be confused with white turnips)
    • Salt for pots
    For Tatties:
        • 4 Tbs butter
        • 1/2 Cup real mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing or Miracle Whip!)
        • 1 Cup or little more heavy cream
        • 2 Tbs black pepper
        • 2 tsp nutmeg
        • 1+ Tbs sea salt (to taste)

    For Neeps:
        • 4 Tbs butter
        • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
        • 1 Tbs white pepper
        • 1+ Tbs sea salt (to taste)

    • Remove most wax from rutabagas, if waxed, by boiling, whole, for about 10 minutes in a pan of water, then wiping residual wax off immediately on removing each from boiling water.
    • Scrub potatoes well and chop or slice them up (a food processor with a slicing disk gets this done in a flash!)
    • Place into a pot of cold, salted water, set burner to high and bring to a boil
    • Whilst potatoes are heating, scrub rutabagas, trim ends, slice or chop, and put them in their own pot of cold, salted water to boil.
    • Once pot(s) come to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, until potatoes/rutabagas are tender.
    • Remove both from heat, drain potatoes, and return to their pot along with butter and cream, covered over lowest heat setting.
    • Preheat oven to 350°F
    • Drain rutabagas, transfer to casserole dish or return to oven safe pot, and mash them until they are only a little lumpy
    • Add butter, evaporated milk, white pepper, and salt and blend in well, tasting to make sure your spice mix is good.
    • Place in 350°F oven and bake, uncovered, until top is golden brown (You should have just enough time to finish up the tatties and bring them back up to serving temperature)
    • Remove potatoes from heat and mash, then add mayo, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt and fully mix everything evenly until it is a nice, smooth, creamy mixture. A little lumpy is fine, as long as there is plenty of smooth creaminess along with them.
    • If the mix has cooled more than you like for serving, or if still waiting for other things to finish cooking, return to heat on lowest setting, covered, and stir occasionally until ready to serve.

    • Serve and enjoy!

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