Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Recipe Wednesday - Rutabaga Fries

Ever wonder to do with a rutabaga? You know, that lonely, purplish-white, slightly-bigger-than softball sized, waxy-coated vegetable shoved in a little box between the garlic, potatoes, and onions? (At least it is in my grocery store.) Well, wonder no more! If you have never tried rutabaga, this is a great way to do so. They are low in calories, and a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, folate and fiber. This is an adaptation from Dana Carpender's 500 Low Carb Recipes. The original was fried in butter, which I have tried, and it's good, but my version bakes them in the oven. It doesn't get them as crisp, but they are less greasy. The first time I made them, I did not have a steamer insert so I rigged my screen colander over a pan of boiling water (see photo).

This worked for a while, but right at the end the plastic part melted and warped a bit. Oops. Now I have a steamer insert!

Rutabaga Fries

1 rutabaga (about 1 - 1.5 lbs)
2 teaspoons canola or olive oil
1 teaspoon season salt or sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Peel off the waxy coating (I just use a vegetable peeler).

3. Cut the rutabaga into "french fry" shapes. I cut about 1/4-1/2 inch slices, and then cut the slices into strips. I use a more traditional french fry shape to fool the kids; you could cut into more of a thin wedge or steak cut fry, if desired.

4. Place in a steamer over boiling water until tender, but not mushy (12-15 minutes).

5. Remove from steamer and pat dry.

6. Place in a bowl with the oil. Swirl and flip to coat.

7. Lay on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with a little nonstick spray. Sprinkle with the season salt or sea salt.

8. Bake for about 45 minutes, turning every now and then to promote even cooking. The exact time will depend on how thick they are cut, and how done you want them.

Longer cooking will make the tips more crisp, but in order to make the whole fry crisp, you nearly have to burn them. I take them out when some of the tips are crisps, but they are mainly tender. They do shrink quite a bit in the oven compared with the pan fry method.

If you would like to try the pan fry method, simply prepare the rutabaga as above through step 5, then pan fry in about 2 Tablespoons of butter.

This makes 4 good sized servings. If you use the baked method, and assuming you have about a 1.5 lb rutabaga, each serving has approximately:

72 calories
1.7g protein
2.7g fat
11.7g carbs
3.6g fiber

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