December 3, 2010

Carrots, Shredded and Baked

This is a 'different' preparation for carrots.  Since I got it from my 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking, and since that book has just so darn many recipes that include canned soup and other things I associate with my grandmother's cooking, I assume this might be a 1950s way of cooking carrots.  But since I was not alive in the 50s, I really don't know.  Anyhow, I wanted something different, and easy, and wholesome.  I served this with Joy of Cooking's Green Peppers Stuffed with Meat and Rice (p. 316), which we found to be too bland.  Stuffed Peppers, my family has agreed, need cheese.  The carrots didn't really serve a purpose with the peppers.  They would, however, be a nice base if you like to serve meat on a bed of vegetables.  They are soft and sweet and I imagine a nice sliced steak with the carrots underneath to absorb the juices.  Add some parsley to garnish and a simple steak (or a plate of baked chicken pieces) is taken up a notch. The cloves make this dish feel very appropriate for autumn and the butter in the background rounds out the flavor nicely (and epitomizes grandma's 1950's cooking).

Baked Carrots
adapted from Joy of Cooking (p.297)

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 chopped onion or leek
2 cups shredded carrots
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (or, for a different flavor, 1 teaspoon dry mustard)
1/3 cup stock (I used turkey stock, because that's what I had on hand, but use whatever you have on hand.)

1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Melt butter in medium skillet.  Sauté onions in butter for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in carrots.  Transfer carrot mixture to an oven proof casserole dish.  Combine salt, brown sugar, cloves (or mustard) and stock.  Pour over carrots.  Cover casserole dish and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

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