Wish Upon A Dish: Magrini Family Carrots

October 23, 2012

Magrini Family Carrots

I posted this recipe two years ago and since I was in the orange food state of mind (and I made a batch last night), I thought I would pull it out of retirement and update this family favorite carrot dish. I do know that unless I actually make this for people, they do not believe it has only three ingredients. Kids love these carrots and I suppose that is why my mom made these all the time. I could not eat a raw carrot. Allow me to rephrase that. I could chew a raw carrot, I just refused to swallow it, but every time my mom was cutting carrots, I would beg my mom for a piece of carrot and she never tired of telling me how I did not swallow my chewed carrot and every time she said that I promised that "this time I would do it, I promise, please!".

I never did. Mom's are always right.

Like most Italian dishes, simple is the way and the best ingredients are utmost. I always buy the carrot bunches with the tops still attached. I also splurge on the Irish butter, and this is one time when I buy salted.
The third ingredient is sweet onions. Walla Walla, Texas 1015, Vidalia's and Mayan Sweets work well, but any white onion would do.

This recipe is all about the technique so cooking times are approximate. It will depend on the thickness you cut your carrots, the size of said carrots and the heat settings on your stove. What we are eventually going for is that beautiful caramelization around the edges of the carrots. This dish can not be cooked quickly, but it is doable in 30-40 minutes. My mom always put her carrots in a heavy dutch oven. Best comparison I can give is to think about caramelized onions and how long it takes to get them to taste like they were cooked in sugar. Same process only with carrots.

Slice the carrots on the diagonal at least 3/8" thick but not quite 1/2". Onions are the same thickness and at least 3/4" long pieces.

For 4 carrots I use 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 white onion. 8 carrots = 4 tablespoons butter and 1/2 onion.

Never Never Never add any liquid. Sorry I did not mean to yell, but I did mean to make a point.

Place everything in a stainless steel frying pan or heavy dutch oven and set on low heat. Cover and let it go for at least 20 minutes.
From this point on you will check and stir the carrots every 7 minutes.
The first time you check the carrots will be steaming in a puddle of liquid. This is a good thing.
The next  time you check the liquid will be almost gone and the pan will be making a light sizzling sound. This is also good.
Once you see the carrots and onions start to caramelize you will check every 4-5 minutes until almost all the carrots have a golden brown exterior. If they start to stick, lower the heat a touch.

That is it. They store well in the fridge and they freeze even better so make a couple of containers. You can also chop an apple and process for a tasty puree and if you add milk or cream and some coriander and cumin to the puree you have a wonderful soup.

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1 comment :

Lee said...

It is hard to believe that this dish does just comprise of only 3 ingredients. I can understand why you wouldn't want to add any liquid in, you don't want to make the carrots soggy by essentially steam cooking them.