07 November 2011

Carrots in Cream



A food processor makes really short work of the slicing of  'coins' ...

When my son Eric was a fourth grader, his teachers taught a unit on the westward movement - Manifest Destiny and all that. Of course, the kids looked at it as a great adventure because they learned about the covered wagons, homesteaders, making soddies, and the beginnings of the clash between cultures that happened out on the North American prairies. It was pretty sugar-coated for their young minds and sensibilities - the culminating event was a dinner that the teachers had with the children at which basic farm foods - root vegetables, cabbages, chickens, eggs, cornmeal, buffalo were used to make a meal for the kids. My job was to come up with a vegetable dish using carrots ... so I dug around in the 'Little House ' books and found references to Ma's meals for Laura,her sisters and Pa Ingalls. Later, I found that someone had published a cookbook of recipes from the Little House on the Prairie books ...




I have since used the same recipe to make a bowl of carrot coins in a cream sauce every few years for either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Looking at that little cookbook the other day, I was thinking that many of the recipes reflect much of the current trend in eating local, seasonal, using precious ingredients sparingly and being clever about creating pleasing food aesthetics that make a dish special. Isn't it funny how 'everything old is new again'?

This is an inexpensive and nutritious dish - I'm making it just for that reason. We're having a small roasted chicken and a roasted cauliflower salad with it ... and a baked apple crisp made with seconds from the orchard that is near our home. It's going to be a cozy night in the 'little grey cottage in the woods'. I wish the kids were around to enjoy the sense of nostagia!



Oh, the hazards of evening lighting !

Creamed Carrots

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

3 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 c. chicken broth (vegetable broth might work here, too)
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
¼ c. sour cream or heavy cream
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Making the Dish:

1. Place the prepared carrots in a 2-quart saucepan.

2. Add the chicken broth and simmer until the carrots are tender crisp.

3. Make a paste of the softened butter and flour and stir in the sour cream or heavy cream to make a smooth slurry.

4. When the carrots are tender crisp, stir the slurry into the mix gently, so as to keep the carrot pieces intact.

5. Let the sauce come to a slow thick bubble. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

6. Turn the heat off and cover them to keep things warm or turn them into a bowl and garnish with whatever is your choice.

Note: This is an easy recipe to increase or decrease ... it also benefits from the addition of parsnip coins ... just saying.


11 comments:

  1. I'm not a big fan of cooked carrots, but my family is. Will definitely try this easy recipe with my next roast beef dinner.

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  2. I found The Little House Cookbook awhile back, and I'd never really noticed (or remembered) how frequently food and cooking shows up in the Little House books (it even prompted me to re-read the one I still have). It's a bit after "my" time period, but the Cookbook was a fun read, with a lot of great, and even (*gasp*) correct, information! And although many of the recipes are of the made-up variety, I was pleased that they are similar to those in actual historic cookbooks. There was clearly alot of work put into it, too. I can just see a parent and child enjoying its contents together. What fun! HUZZAH!

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  3. My sister is a complete Little House fan, I must track this cookbook down for her for Christmas! Thanks for the tip (oh, and the carrots look nice too!)

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  4. Ooh what a lovely post. I remember watching LHOTP when I was a kid and loving it. Those carrots look lovely and you're do right about what goes around comes around! Who'd of thought Laura Ingells would be so on trend!

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  5. Evening lighting is a bloggers nemesis, but then again for me it is all about the recipes and this is a classic.

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  6. carrots smothered in cream? Oh, yes please!

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  7. how I enjoyed little house on the Prairie; great memories. this is how my mom served her carrots back in the 40s 50s.
    Thank for reminding me.
    Rita

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  8. Sprout Sara9/11/11 2:43 PM

    Funny you had cauliflower -- I just made some last night -- with caramelized onions, tumeric, cumin, jalapenos and a bunch of other stuff... another Heidi Swanson creation. Quite tasty.

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  9. Yum. such a simple and scrumptious looking recipe!

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  10. Love Little house! I'm watching re-runs of 'The Waltons' too, love it!!
    Think we'd enjoy this dish.

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  11. This post is really taking me back. I miss home.

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