problem with turnip puree

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Joined Sep 22, 2009
Our line cooks are struggling with turnip puree, I would appreciate any input into the problem

Procedure being used:

Peel, dice, steam until tender.  Mill on medium screen and season.  No butter or cream is being added.

Wrapped into "bullets" then chilled.  To reheat them they are steamed (wrapped in 6 - 8 layers of plastic wrap) and stored in the hot table.

At first when they are made they are pipable and mostly smooth.  After being held or reheated they are too loose to hold their shape on the plate and have a slightly lumpy mouth feel.

Any ideas?
 
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
Easiest remedy is to have the cooks blend some medium/high starch mashed potatoes with them or add a bit of potato starch.
 
8,550
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Joined Feb 13, 2008
They're wet from the initial cooking process.  The fiber and moisture separate when they're stored and held in the refrigerator, then don't come back together when you reheat -- at least not the way you reheat.

I know turnip puree is creamy, white, heaven on a plate as it merges with jus, and so on; but it would help you tremendously if you would conceptualize parsnips as carrots instead of spuds at least when it comes to techniques involveing moisture and texture. 

Either add some starch as Cape Chef suggests. 

Or, roast them in the oven instead of initially steaming.  To my mind, roasting is the better solution, as it will significantly improve flavor -- something which has got to be sorely lacking without butter or cream. 

You could (and maybe should) reheat in a pan, and beat in some butter and/or cream, instead of using your "bullets."  I'm sure they're very efficient and all, but...

In addition to butter and cream adding their own flavor and mouthfeel, the beating itself will refresh the texture.  Turnips aren't particularly starchy and you don't need to guard as strongly against overworking as you would with potatoes.

I'm not unaware that my suggestions require more time and trouble than the way you're currently doing it.  But the results.  Ahhh, the results. 

BDL
 
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Not for nothing, BDL, but the OP was talking about turnips, not parsnips.

Gotcha! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

FWIW, I agree with you about potato/parsnip puree; and rutabaga----and turnips as well. I've never had any of them separate, which, as you suggest, I attribute to the presence of starch from the spuds.
 
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Joined Feb 13, 2008
Thanks for the catch.  The post is corrected. But please note that the same tschnical advice applies for pre-cooking, holding, and reheating turnip, rutabaga and parsnip purees. 

Roast, don't steam.  Mill and hold without additional additives.  Reheat in an open pan, and finish by beating in some butter and possibly some cream to get an even distribution of fat and moisture, as well as improve mouthfeel and flavor.

BDL
 
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48
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Joined Sep 22, 2009
Thanks! 

I had reached the conclusion of not enough starch but wasn't sure how to fix it without potatoes.  

& Time, while always important, is nearly irrelevant when you can't make the product work with the speed method.
 
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
Just a thought: have you tried microwaving them rather than steaming? That way you don't add any water.
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
Most vege purees will throw water no matter how you cook them . Someone mentioned potato starch, that works as does a dab of instant mashed spuds or a little Japanese Breadcrumb(Panko)  anything without a pronounced flavor that will absorb moisture will work
 
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Joined Feb 13, 2008
Ed's separation comes because cold pureed vegetable fibers are less absorbent than warm.  You also get a fair bit of condensation from putting warm food in the fridge as the moisture sweats out of the air between the food's and cover's surfaces. 

Working in smallish quantities -- restaurant as opposed to catering -- it's easily corrected by stirring when reheating.  As the food warms, it will both reabsorb and steam off.

The best 'neep consistencies come with the addition of butter and/or cream. Of course it goes without saying that when it comes to butter and/or cream, "and" rocks better than "or." 

Also, don't forget to microplane a little nutmeg into the puree when you add the hot cream.  The nutmeg/neep thing has been a staple combination in European cuisine around since the dark ages. 

BDL 
 
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