A short and swede post today (groan!) about the humble neep, swede or turnip. It seems to have different names depending on what part of the country you are in. As a child to me in the north of Scotland it was always a turnip and it was what we used at Halloween to carve lanterns. If you think carving a pumpkin is hard work you should try a turnip. Simplistic carving is the order of the day where neep lanterns are concerned. It takes time and dedication to carve one and the smell of a stubby candle burning the inside of a neep is a childhood memory I would rather forget.
The problem with Neeps is that they are an absolute nightmare to prepare, particularly if you get a large one from a farm shop. Sometimes an axe is the only answer and always best to keep a pack of plasters handy for any near misses. The only tool I've had real success with is the Pampered Chef Crinkle Cutter which works much better than a standard knife. The concept of microwaving a whole neep seems a somewhat strange one. When I posted about it on my Facebook Page the photos were viewed by over 15,000 people and the comments and shares went crazy. Some folk said they've been doing it for years (why didn't they tell me?!) whilst for others it was a revelation.
1 whole Neep/Turnip/Swede
Wash the neep and place it on a plate as it will produce a sticky superglue like residue as it cooks - I learned this the hard way!
Put the whole neep into the microwave - no need to prick or score - and cook it on full power.
Give it 15 minutes, turn it over and cook for a further 15 minutes. 30 minutes in total.
You may need to adjust the time depending on the power of your microwave and the size of your neep.
Insert a skewer to test if it is soft all the way through.
Once cooked it slices like a knife through butter and the flesh can be scooped out. Cutting the top off and scooping out the flesh is another option.
The singing refers to the sound it apparently makes when cooking. Alas my swede didn't sing, scream or even hiss. Perhaps I should have had ABBA playing in the background to encourage it. Next time.
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