Cassolettes de Carottes au Jambon

A rich vegetable accompaniment with a difference, Cassolettes de Carottes au Jambon (kah-soh-let d’ kah-roht oh jahm-bohn)

is not difficult or expensive to make. It goes well with omelets or grilled meats.

1 lb. carrots, scraped and cut into 1-inch slices

1 tablespoon butter

8 oz. lean ham, coarsely chopped

2 fl. oz. double cream

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated

4 parsley sprigs (to garnish)

Place the carrot slices in a medium-sized saucepan. Add enough salted water to

cover, and bring to the boil over moderate heat. Cook the carrots for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the carrots thoroughly in a colander. Set them aside.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized frying-pan over moderate heat. When the butter foam subsides, add the bacon. Reduce the heat to low. Add the carrots to the pan and cook the ham and carrots together for about 5 to 8 minutes, turning both the carrots and the ham constantly with a slotted spoon. Stir in the cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Continue’ cooking for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat the grill to hot.

Arrange the carrot and bacon mixture in a medium-sized shallow, flameproof casserole or, if you prefer, in small

individual ramekins. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the mixture and place the casserole or ramekins under the grill

for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese melts and turns a very light golden colour. Remove from the heat, garnish with the parsley sprigs and serve immediately.

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