Monday, April 25, 2011

Spiced Apple Carrot Casserole

Spiced Apple Carrot Casserole
2 cups sliced carrots
2 green apples, peeled and sliced
1 TB brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 TB butter (cold)
1 TB orange juice
1 TB raisins
1 TB fresh sage, chopped thinly
1 TB oil

1. Start out by getting your carrots ready - if you use baby carrots there isn't much to do except get them in the saucepan to steam. If using larger carrots, peel and slice into large pieces. Add a little water to a small saucepan and steam the carrots for about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and spices. At this point you can also get your baking dish ready. I used an 8x8 square baking dish. You'll want to grease the dish with some margarine or butter before adding any of your ingredients to it.
3. Peel your apples and slice into thin pieces (as if you were making an apple pie).
4. Layer half of the apples and carrots in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with half of the spice mixture and the raisins. Add the rest of the apples and carrots in a second layer. Sprinkle with the rest of the spice mixture and pour the TB of orange juice over the dish as well. Cut your TB of butter into small cubes and dot the dish with butter.
5. In a small nonstick pan, over medium high heat, heat your oil and add the thinly sliced fresh sage leaves to the hot oil. It's almost like we're trying to create a crispy sage to add to the top of the dish. Be careful not to burn.
6. Top the dish with the crispy sage, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes. If you're like me - this is how your oven will look about now. This is about the time that I wish I had one of those double ovens because my recipes were all calling for different baking temperatures. Thankfully, these dishes are all forgiving enough that if I'm a little warmer or cooler than the recipe calls for, the dish will still cook as it's supposed to.
7. Take the dish out when a fork goes easily into the carrots. You can also bake according to your preferences. If you like crunchier vegetables, cook for less - while if you like your vegetables almost mushy, cook for longer. The apples were a great pairing with the ham and added nice color to the plate!

Sorry to say that I didn't take a nice picture of my plate from Easter dinner all made up with the finished product, but I was very happy with everything and thought it was a good mixture of a few lighter dishes than our holidays sometimes consist of.

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