My first tasting of this delicious casserole was nearly a decade ago when I was the lucky recipient of a specially prepared lunch by my “Secret Santa” Marilee. I still remember the note I received, informing me not to bring a lunch to school, as I would be treated to a homemade meal on the following day. The next day during my lunch break I arrived to find a very neat place-setting with a holiday place mat, cloth napkin, and even a candle at the head of the teachers’ room table!
These carrots were the highlight of my lunch, though I do also recall enjoying several cheese wafers, and dessert. Since that lunch, I have made this recipe a number of times, and have to say that it has become a favorite in our home.
1-2 lb. baby carrots
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 c. milk
salt to taste
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar (recommended: Cabot’s Seriously Sharp)
1) Boil Carrots in water until tender. Drain well and place in a casserole dish.
2) Make a medium white sauce: melt margarine or butter in a sauce pan, stir in flour and salt to make a smooth paste. Very gradually add milk while stirring to be sure that milk and paste are well blended. Once all milk is added, cook until the mixture thickens while stirring constantly. Add 1 to 1 1/2 c. of cheese to the milk mixture, and stir until the sauce is smooth.
3) Pour cheese sauce over carrots and top with additional shredded cheddar.
4) Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes.
*Sometimes I like to crisp the top of this casserole under the broiler just before serving, but I forgot to this time… I also used skim milk and a little less cheese in this particular batch which resulted in a slightly thinner sauce, though it was still very flavorful due to the sharpness of the cheddar I used in the recipe.