I am just working on the menu for Christmas Dinner. I know that I will do the usual items, the old stand-bys, and I'm ok with that b/c I know that they are tried and tested. I am, however, going to do a two things (so far that I know of) differently. I am going to do my stuffing in the slow cooker and then stuff my turkey with just fresh rosemary, oranges and lemons. And I am going to make my gravy in advance. Hm, that may be 3. I just watched Jamie Oliver do his in advance, and I am going to give it a try. Why not? If I can do everything in advance, and get to spend some time with family instead of hanging over the hot oven all day, I am game.
My mom usually makes the potatoes - they are deelish. She does them in advance and freezes them. You would never know that they weren't made freshly that day.
If you are looking for an alternative to potatoes, you may want to give these a try. Even if you don't want to try them for Christmas dinner, they are perfect for a week night meal.
Mashed Parsnips with Leeks
1 large leek
3 parsnips - medium sized
2 cloves of garlic - roasted (optional)
Butter and milk
To prepare the leek, simply cut off the green part and then slice the white part in half lengthwise. Run under water to thoroughly clean. Slice the leek into thin strips.
Add a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet and add the leeks with a pinch of kosher salt and saute over medium heat until they are soft.
Meanwhile, peel the parsnips and chop into cubes. Add to water and bring to a boil and let boil for approximately 8-10 minutes. Drain, but you don't need to rinse.
For the roasted garlic, you can simply place the cloves in aluminum foil, skins on, add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt, and heat in a 350 oven for about 15-20 minutes.
Place the leeks, parsnips and garlic (remove from skin) into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add butter (how every much you like - 1-2 tbsp?) and a splash of milk. If you don't have a food processor, just use your potato masher, or a hand beater for a really whipped texture.
They are light, flavourful and a nice change from potatoes.