Saturday, February 09, 2013


I feel like I rambled a lot in my last entry, so I’ll keep this one short and sweet...much like these carrots!

Despite the title of this blog, it’s been quite a while since I’ve cooked from a book instead of the Internet, but a couple of weeks ago, perpetually unable to eyeball quantities accurately in the hustle and bustle of the farmers’ market, I ended up with a huge carrot surplus that needed to be used up. Looking for something interesting to do with them, I decided to consult Jack Bishop’s Vegetables Every Day, one of the few cookbooks that’s earned its keep in my kitchen. Sure enough, I turned to “Carrots” and found that I already had this recipe flagged to try. The basic recipe is for maple-glazed carrots, but there were two variations listed at the end, and the one that involved adding mustard called out to me--since, as you know, mustard has become my new favorite secret ingredient.

The result was a magically easy and delicious side dish. The carrots braise in a small amount of water and syrup, softening and picking up a gentle glaze that’s flavorful but not sticky. I’m definitely glad I went with the mustard, because otherwise I would have found it too sweet. As it is, there’s still an addictive candy-like quality (which caused A to love it), but the savory, salty mustard balances it out. I hated cooked carrots for many years, and I still prefer them roasted or pan-browned, but this is the best steamed/boiled treatment for them I’ve found, and I definitely plan to make it again--especially since I’m sure I’ll never stop accidentally buying too many carrots.

1 tablespoon butter
2 medium shallots, minced
1 pound carrots, cut on the diagonal into ½-inch-thick ovals
½ cup water
2 tablespoons maple syrup (Grade B preferable)
1 pinch ground nutmeg
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter in the skillet, then add the shallots and saute until golden, about 4 minutes.

2. Add the carrots, water, maple syrup, nutmeg, and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Remove the cover and stir in mustard. Simmer briskly until the carrots are tender but not mushy and the liquid in the pan has thickened and coats the carrots nicely, 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the parsley, and add a bit more salt if necessary.

Serves: 4
Time: 25 minutes
Leftover potential: Good.

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