Thursday, November 10, 2011

Once-a-year Carrots

This casserole is capital "A" mazing! My husband swears it's the best carrot dish he's ever had and he's a pretty smart guy. It's become a staple for Thanksgiving in our house. Don't like cooked carrots? Try this recipe; it will change how you view cooked carrots. I made this for a family Thanksgiving on the East coast a few years ago and my grandmother nearly choked when she saw me using heaving whipping cream, but hey, Thanksgiving only happens once a year, right? I suppose you could substitute half and half, but that just wouldn't be nearly as fun now, would it?

Creamy Carrot Casserole

source: Creamy Carrot Casserole

Photo courtesy of chow.com because I was so excited to
eat the carrots that I forgot to take a pic of the final dish!


Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 pounds carrots, cut on the bias into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Preparation

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Lightly coat a 2-quart casserole or 11-by-7-inch baking dish with butter, and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add carrots, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots just start to brown, about 7 minutes.
  3. Evenly sprinkle flour over carrots, stirring constantly. Cook until flour turns golden in color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour in cream while constantly stirring, bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  4. Transfer to the prepared dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake until cream is bubbling and carrots just give way when pierced with a knife, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add garlic and cook until butter just begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add breadcrumbs to the pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir occasionally until panko is lightly browned and toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove to a medium bowl and discard garlic.
  7. When casserole is ready, remove foil and allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs evenly over top before serving.