Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cider-Glazed Turnips & Apples with Sage & Bacon

 Here's another fabulous side dish that falls right in line with my latest obsession with apples and sage. It's from, and I absolutely fell in love at first bite. It also fits my criteria for the perfect Thanksgiving dish because it's easy, you can do it ahead of time, and you can adjust the amounts to feed however big of a crowd you're having at your table this year.
 It's a pretty simple dish, but it really hits a lot of different notes that all work perfectly together. You have the sweetness from the apples and cider and the freshness from the sage, both of which mellow that sharp bite that the turnips can sometimes have. And we all know everything is better with bacon, right?  That just goes without saying! It makes everything rich and special enough for your holiday guests.
 The other thing that I love about this recipe is that it is cooked on the stove top, not in the oven. If you've ever cooked Thanksgiving dinner, I'm sure I don't need to tell you that oven space is precious real estate that is not always readily available when you're trying to get everything cooked and hot at the same time. Having the option of cooking something without using the oven is a life saver (not to mention a time saver as well!) You just sit it on the back burner and let it braise until everything is nice and tender, and the cider is sweet and syrupy. YUM! Oh, and if you're not a fan of turnips, I think maybe you just haven't found the right recipe for them. This could be the one to change your mind! And if you've never tried them, well, now is the perfect opportunity! Enjoy!

1-1/2 lb. small purple-top or white turnips (about 9 small)
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup apple cider
2 tsp. granulated sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large firm, sweet apple such as Pink Lady or Braeburn
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage

Peel the turnips and cut them in half lengthwise. Cut each half into wedges 1 inch thick at the widest point. Put the bacon pieces in a large skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour off the bacon fat from the pan and set the pan back on the burner. Add the butter and, when it’s melted, add the turnips, apple cider, sugar, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan with the lid slightly askew, reduce the heat to medium high, and cook at a steady boil, shaking the pan occasionally, until the turnips are just tender but not soft (a pairing knife should enter a turnip with just a little resistance), 8  to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and core the apple and cut it into 1/2-inch slices. Uncover the pan, add the sliced apples and sage, and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze, 2 to 3 minutes. The turnips should be soft and the apples should be crisp-tender. (If not, add a few tablespoons of water and continue to cook for another 1  to 2  minutes.) Toss in the cooked bacon and season to taste with black pepper and more salt if necessary.

I know I usually like to switch things around and tweak a recipe here and there, but for this one, I didn't change a thing! It's just absolutely delicious as it is. I used Honeycrisp apples, because they're my favorite. What's yours? I also didn't drain out all of the bacon fat as instructed, because... bacon.

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