The Original Jack o’ Lantern Was Creamed

A couple years ago I zealously ordered 5 pounds of turnips through the food co-op. I avoided them so long they eventually became expensive compost fodder. A couple weeks ago, on some unfounded confidence, I decided to make a turnip side dish for our dinner party. Why not experiment at our first-ever dinner party? And, heck, why not do it with the turnip—the underdog of the root vegetables?

These spicy creamed turnips were delicious and unique. I think they were a hit among the dinner guests, or they just lied to make me feel good.

spicy creamed turnips

Spicy Creamed Turnips
from Cooking with Bon Appétit
:: 1 1/2 to 2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
:: 1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
:: 3 c water
:: 1/2 c (1 stick) butter
:: 1/2 c all-purpose flour
:: 2 c milk
:: 2 T white wine
:: 1 T Dijon mustard
:: 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
:: 1/2 t salt
:: 1/8 t hot pepper sauce (I used a 1/2 t of Vietnamese rooster sauce)
:: 3/4 to 1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

Combine turnip and onion in large saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1 cup liquid.
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly 3 to 4 minutes (do not brown). Add reserved cooking liquid, milk, and wine. Increase heat to medium high, bring mixture to boil and simmer, stirring 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire, salt, pepper sauce, and vegetables. Serve immediately or transfer to a 9-inch square baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350˚ until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.
Can be prepared ahead without cheese, transferred to 9-inch square baking dish, covered, and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. Bake in 350˚ oven for 45 minutes. If desired, stir after 45 minutes, sprinkle with cheese and return baking dish to oven for another 15 minutes.

My notes: Next time I make this I won’t peel the turnips. Why not take a shortcut and add nutrition at the same time?
Since I rarely have white wine on hand, I always use crappy cooking wine when recipes call for white wine.
I am shocked to say that I don’t think the cheddar cheese is necessary in this recipe. I’ll leave it off next time.

2 thoughts on “The Original Jack o’ Lantern Was Creamed

  1. I think the turnips were my favorite! I’ve make similar recipes before in an effort to use up my own giant turnip pile, but your were better. I’m dubious about your cheese claim – you’ll just have to make them for me to prove it 😉

  2. Late to commenting here but no, we most definitely not lying, they were great. I think I bugged Nikki to ask you for the recipe but now I won’t have to! 🙂
    Also, I THOUGHT I tasted Sriracha in there! -that’s the “rooster sauce” i think you listed

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