Monday, February 21, 2011

Recipe for Sautéed Carrots and Mushrooms with Thyme and Champagne-Creme Fraiche Sauce

Show of hands, please:  Who doesn't like carrots?  I'll bet not many of you.

Carrots are such an integral part of my cooking repertoire - I use them as the base ingredient for so many dishes, from soups to stews, sautés to braises, salads, slaws and desserts - I rarely think about them as a star in their own right.
A delicious side, especially in winter, I started making this several months ago - playing with the enhancements - never once considering it for its own post.  Silly me.  I've fixed that now.

Such a simple recipe - the process takes just 20 minutes tops - but you will need some special ingredients before you begin:  fresh chopped thyme, creme fraiche and champagne.

And before you sigh and say why not just use dried herbs white wine and sour cream? you're gonna have to trust me.  I've been there, done that, and this, this is the recipe that wins - hands down.  So play around if you want, but don't say I didn't tell you.

It's so easy to make creme fraiche. The recipe is here.

Not just any champagne will do either.  I tried all sorts of dry white wines and a brut Champagne in previous interations of this dish, but the Korbel Sec that was brought as a gift to my belated birthday dinner, and didn't get finished that night (it's not to everyone's taste), is the perfect base for the sauce that lightly coats the vegetables.

Sautéed Carrots and Mushrooms with Thyme and Champagne-Creme Fraiche Sauce
Christine's original recipe
(print recipe)
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut thinly on the diagonal
10-12 medium cremini mushrooms, brushed and sliced
1 full teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon clarified butter or ghee
1/3 cup champagne - sec, not brut (see Cook's Notes)
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
kosher or sea salt (optional) and freshly ground pepper to taste
Place the ghee in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
When the ghee has liquified, toss in the carrots and sauté for several minutes.
Add the chopped thyme and stir.
Toss in the mushrooms and gently stir to mix them into the carrots.  Sauté for 5 minutes or so until the carrots are almost done and the mushrooms have softened and released their liquid. Adjust the heat so the vegetables don't burn.
Add the champagne stirring constantly until most of it has evaporated. You may have to turn the heat to high to achieve this quickly.
Stir in the creme fraiche. Lower the heat to medium-high and keep stirring until the sauce thickens, a minute or so, and coats the vegetables.
Remove skillet from the heat and stir in a few grindings of black peppercorns.  (You can add salt if you wish, but I found the dish just fine without.)
Serve hot.

~ Confused about Brut, Extra-Dry, Sec and demi-SecClick here for definitions.
One needn't go out and buy a really expensive sec champagne, but make sure you like it before adding it to your food.

Other carrot recipes you might like from this blog:

Carrot recipes from other bloggers:

Copyright © 2005-2011, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


Simona said...

Counting the leftovers, I've had this dish three times. I am glad you decided to post about it because it is absolutely delicious. Carrots and mushrooms really go well together and the sauce is nice and light. In sum: great recipe!

Christine said...

Thank you very much Simona. And we enjoyed the leftover souffle too! ;)

Katie said...

I love carrots and am always looking for new ways - I'll definitely try this. And what a perfect excuse to buy champagne (not that I need any). I would always trust you!

Christine said...

You're right, Katie, one does not need an excuse to buy champagne. We always have a chilled bottle handy for whatever occasion happens to come along.

sophiesfoodiefiles said...

What a festive & stylish side dish!

MMMMMMM,...makes my mouth water,...completely!

Christine said...

Thank you Sophie! How nice to see you here!