How to Cook Parsnips

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 26,449
    This video will show how to cook parsnips to serve with tilapia.

    Barton Seaver: Hi, I am Barton Seaver, and today we are making Pan Seared Tilapia Fillet with balsamic glazed parsnips and a sweet garlic sauce. We are also going to be garnishing this with a little bit of bacon, and right now we are going to show you how to start on the parsnips. So you got a nice little eight or ten inch saut pan here, so we are going to put that on about medium high heat about eight out of ten here, and I have got some butter, and we are going to deep brown the butter a little bit, and the butter is going to add a lot of that nutty rich flavor into this dish. So you really want to make sure you are browning it, and don't be afraid of the butter. In this, the fair amount that we are going to use here, but it really becomes a part of the sauce. Now parsnips are one of my absolute favorite vegetables. They look just like a carrot, they have got a white skin. In this one I have peeled it. Now this a little bit more fibrous than the carrot usually is, and once you peel them they look just like a carrot. What I have done here is that I have cut them up and then blanched them simply in boiling water. You just put them in cold water, bring it to a boil, and basically as soon as the water is boiling, the parsnips are ready to cook, because we are going to be sauting them and reducing them with balsamic, they have a little bit more time to cook, so don't worry about them being too hard. Now in order to cut a parsnip, what I like to do is an oblique cut, you want to cut just the tip off, which is that bitter little stem in there, and then rotate around. So every time you make a cut, rotate about a quarter turn, and what you end up with, is this nice beautiful pieces that have a whole lot of surface area to them. Now as we are sauting it, we want that caramalization, that slight building up texture, but also that building of flavor, as you caramalize the natural sugars that are in the parsnips, they develop all that rich sweetness to them. So as you can see here our butter is nice and foaming, it's just beginning to brown. So we are going to take our blanched parsnips here. Now this is probably enough for about two people here, and now that it's nice and brown, throw all of those in there. You want to make sure the parsnips are nice and dry, so once you strain them off, maybe you can pat them dry. Now the purpose of sauting, that's very important that you let things sit in contact with the pan. The pan is what transfers the heat to the item. So you don't want to mix it up too much, because that will take the item off of the heat. So just let them sit. Be patient, I know a lot of young cooks put it in, this is the fun of cooking, is getting all jazzed up about it. But just let them sit. Now I have got an ingredient that we are going to use here, it's WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR. White balsamic is one of my favorite ingredients as well. It's a sweet mildly sour vinegar. It's not nearly as sour as a Sherry vinegar or lemon juice. But it's very well balanced. It is pretty much very similar to a dark balsamic, except it has not gone through the aging process, where it takes on that color and oxidative. So it's not actually white, it's more golden in color, but what we are going to do here is, once the parsnips have began to brown, and let see if I can find some -- sugar is just beginning to caramelize here, and you can see that. So let those go a little bit. One of the other ingredients that we are going to finish it with is parsley, and what I have got here is flat leaf parsley, which I like a lot better than the curly parsley. Curly parsley to me has a flavor that's very very assertive and can take over a dish. Flat leaf parsley is nice subtle rich flavor to it. Now when you are cutting parsley, the first thing you want to do is, have a very sharp knife. Sharp knife leads you to cut yourself a lot less, because you are exerting a lot less pressure. Letting the tool do the work. So what I like to do is, as best as you can, roll it up into a little bunch, and then making nice slicing motions, slice across the parsley, while your fingers are backing away from the knife, holding a parsley in place. Now we don't need a whole lot here. That will probably be more than enough. So let's get that off. Now the parsley is cut in one way. Again, organize it, turn it around, and then cut it across in the other direction, that will give you a nice perfect little cut on the parsley, and you are maintaining all the flavor of the parsley, because you are not bruising it up by bashing it with the knife. The more that you cut the parsley, the more of those chemicals, the real flavoring ingredients of the parsley sort of seep out into the air, and you can really smell it. So as you can see here, our parsnips are getting nice and golden brown, so it's now time to add in the balsamic. So I give these one nice toss, so you see we are getting really nice color on this. Now balsamic vinegar, I'll probably add about a four tablespoon or so. That will be good. We want to just barely come up the sides of this, and as this reduces down, it's going to form a nice, rich, thick syrup around the parsnips, and this is just such a wonderful late fall dish. Parsnips are awesome, and adds this wonderful sweet rich flavor to them. So as this begins to boil down, it's going to create this nice syrup, we are going to add just a little bit more butter to it, and then we are going to finish it of with the parsley. One of the things that I like to add now is the salt, so it reduces down with the balsamic, and as the parsnips soak up some of that, they are also sucking up some of the salt, so that is that. So now that this has reduced a little bit more, you can see that it's began to bubble up, and there is that nice syrupy look to it. What we are going to do is, add in just a little bit more butter, and what that's going to do is, sort of bind the sauce altogether. Then we are also going to add in our parsley. At this point you just want to swirl it around, so the butter as it begins to melt, incorporates into the sauce. God, doesn't that look good! It smell fantastic, that sweet balsamic mixing with the sour, it's great. You can see that the parsnips are coated with the sauce, and the parsley and the sauce is sticking right to them. There is not a big puddle of it in the bottom of the pan here, just enough to coat the parsnips so that they are glazed, not really sitting in a puddled sauce. So those are our parsnips, those are ready to go, so we will put those to the back burner, and in the next segment here I will show you how to start cooking up our tilapia.