(Almost) A.J. Bump's carrot casserole
In the '80s there was a restaurant called A.J. Bump in the town of Freeport. People flocked there for, of all things, the carrot casserole. The cook never shared the recipe, but Gwen Schoen ate it so often that she and her friends were able to figure out a version that was close.
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12 medium carrots, peeled
1/2 cup butter, plus 1 tbsp. butter, softened, divided use
1 small onion, diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups crushed Ritz crackers
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut carrots into 1-inch pieces. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Add carrots and cook in boiling water until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain well, then mash. A few larger bits left in the mash is fine.
Melt 1 tbsp. of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until very soft. Combine carrots, onion, egg, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place carrot mixture in prepared dish. Combine crushed crackers with the remaining 1/2 cup butter. Spread crackers over carrot mixture and top with cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture is set, and cheese is melted and lightly browned.
Serves 6 to 8