Some old rules of thumb and beliefs about nutrition are true. For example, my mother always told me to eat carrots so that I could see better at night. She was right. It’s true that carrots contain lots of Vitamin A which may make it easier to see in the dark.
Carrots are also a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K; and, they are high in fiber, and low in calories.
The bottom line is that carrots are a very nutritious vegetable. But, except for nibbling on the occasional raw carrot, I seldom eat them. So when I came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Braised Carrots, I decided that it was time to try a carrot recipe.
The Braised Carrots, when made using beef broth, taste and have a texture similar to carrots in a beef stew. It makes a nice vegetable side dish. The carrots are cut lengthwise into long strips which makes for a nice, somewhat unique, presentation.
Fill a Dutch oven half full with water. Put on stove and bring to a boil using high heat.
In the meantime, wash and peel (or scrape) the carrots; then quarter lengthwise. Put carrots in the boiling water and cover. Remove from heat. Let sit until the water has cooled (about 45 minutes). Drain.
Preheat oven to 375° F. In the meantime, on the top of the stove, melt butter in an oven-proof skillet using medium heat. Gently put carrots in the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes. May be gently turned once or twice. (The carrots were difficult to turn without breaking, and they didn’t really seem to need to be turned, so I did not turn most of them. They did not brown, but became more tender). Add stock or water, and put in oven for a half hour. Remove from oven, and put in serving dish. Spoon some of the liquid over the carrots.
Old-fashioned carrot pie is a delightful fall pie. It is very similar to pumpkin pie – but a little lighter and sweeter.
Here’s the original hundred-year-old recipe:
Two medium, “grocery-store” style, long, slender carrots are not nearly large enough to make 1 – 1 1/4 cups pureed carrot. The recipe must be calling for the large, thick relatively short carrots that home gardeners often raise. When I made the recipe, I used a 1-pound bag of carrots, and ended up with about the right amount of pureed carrot.
Peel and slice carrots. Put carrot slices in a saucepan and just barely cover with water. Using high heat bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer until carrots are tender (approximately 20 – 25 minutes). Remove from heat and drain; then press through a sieve or puree (I used a Foley mill.) Measure the pureed carrot. There should be approximately 1 – 1 1/4 cups.
Preheat oven to 425° F. Combine all ingredients (except pie shell) in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Bake 15 minutes; then reduce heat to 350°. Continue baking (about 50-60 minutes) until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.
Carrots are one of the most nutrient-packed vegetables. They contain lots of vitamins A, K, and B6, as well as potassium and other minerals, so I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Flemish Carrots. This dish contains a mixture of carrots and onions that is served in a lovely beef-broth sauce which brought out the natural sweetness of the carrots.
I always find March to be a difficult month for cooking. I like to serve locally-grown, seasonally-appropriate food – yet I’m tiring of the same-old, same-old winter vegetable dishes. This recipe is a nice twist on sautéed carrots.
Using medium-low heat, melt butter in a skillet that has a lid. Add carrots, onion, and parsley; cover skillet. Stir occasionally and cook until tender (about 20 minutes). Add flour, salt, sugar, and pepper; stir gently until blended. Increase heat to medium. Gradually add beef broth while stirring constantly; heat until hot and bubbly. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
When I made this dish, I substituted butter for the Crisco shortening that was listed in the original recipe.
Vegetables can be boring, so I’m always looking for interesting new recipes. I recently found a hundred-year-old recipes for Carrot Timbales. The timbales are delightfully light, have a texture similar to a custard, and a delicate flavor. This recipe is a keeper, and I anticipate that I’ll be making it again soon.
4 carrots, peeled and sliced (approximately 2 cups sliced)
1 teaspoon onion juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
Put sliced carrots in a saucepan and cover with water. Using high heat bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover, and cook until tender (about 20 – 25 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Puree carrots until smooth or put through a ricer. (I used a ricer.)
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, onion juice, sugar, salt, pepper, and whipping cream. Add the pureed carrots – a small amount at a time – while stirring constantly. Beat until thoroughly combined. Put the mixture into greased custard cups, and place in a pan filled with hot water that reaches half way to the top of the custard cups. Put in oven and bake until the mixtures has set – and a knife inserted in the timbale comes out clean. Remove from oven. To remove the timbales from custard cups, gently loosen each timbale from the custard cup using a knife or spatula, then flip onto a plate and serve immediately. If desired, may be served with peas, cauliflower, or stewed meat.
I used only half as much salt as the original recipe called for. One teaspoon of salt seemed like a lot, so I instead used 1/2 teaspoon.
I’m currently auditioning foods to serve on Thanksgiving. Some people love to try new recipes when family and friends convene for the holidays. I, on the other hand, prefer to try new recipes ahead of time to help ensure that all goes smoothly on the big day.
So when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Creamed Carrots and Onions, I had to give it a try. It just said Thanksgiving to me, and brought back vague memories of wonderful creamed vegetables lovingly prepared by my grandmother and other elderly relatives when I was a child
The recipe did not disappoint. The Creamed Carrots and Onions passed their audition. They were easy to make, colorful, and tasty — and definitely deserve a spot on the Thanksgiving table.
2 cups bite-sized carrot chunks (peel or scrape carrots, then cut into chunks)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
Put onions in saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add carrots and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. The carrots should be tender but not mushy. Remove from heat and drain.
In the meantime, in another pan, using medium heat, melt butter; then stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Gradually, add the milk while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the white sauce thickens. Gently stir in the cooked carrots and onions. Remove from heat and serve.