Mashed Parsnip Latkes with Roasted Asian Pears & Créme Fraîche
In addition to Mashed Celery Root Latkes, I tried mashing steamed parsnips & creating a similar recipe to that of the celery root. In this recipe, I added a little ginger & nutmeg to highlight the sweetness of the steamed parsnips & roasted asian pears, which really work well for roasting, since the fruit is slightly drier than most pears…add a little vanilla sugar…light brown sugar also works well…& voilà! Parsnip latkes are deliciously sweet & the roasted asian pears put this dish over the top! Adding a dollop of Créme Fraîche makes this dish superb.
Scrub the parsnips, cut into chunks & place in a steamer. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then place the steamer over the boiling water. Cover the parsnips, reduce the heat to medium & steam the parsnips until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the steamer from the pot & allow the parsnips to cool.
Transfer the parsnip chunks to a bowl. Add the eggs, flour, kosher salt, ginger, nutmeg & white pepper. Mash until well combined. Refrigerate the parsnip latke mixture several hours until cold.
Pour about 2-3 inches of canola oil into a deep sauté pan. When the oil temperature reaches 350˚ or bubbles when a drop of water is aded, quickly form latkes from the parsnip mixture, & add to the hot oil, being sure to not overcrowd the pan. Fry for about a minute, then flip over the parsnip latkes & fry the other side (a). Remove the latkes from the hot oil & allow to drain on paper towels (b). If needed, keep the latkes in a warmer until ready to serve.
Time to make the Roasted Asian Pears: Preheat your oven to 350˚. Spray an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Cut an asian pear in chunks slightly larger than "bite-size", as the pears will shrink with roasting. Toss the pear chunks with olive oil, then spread on a single layer on the aluminum foil (a). Roast until a deep caramel brown, turning once, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven & cool. This can be done ahead of time & the roasted pears can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated overnight. When cooled, toss the pears with a little vanilla sugar (b).
To serve, spoon a dollop of créme fraîche over the parsnip latkes, then spoon a few roasted pears & sprinkle a smidge of vanilla sugar over the pears & créme fraîche. Serve & enjoy!