Tag Archives: Carrots

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Confession: I lived in New York City (Queens) for almost nine years and visited the major Union Square farmer’s market so few times as to be able to count them on two hands. Please don’t judge too harshly. It’s not that it isn’t a fantastic farmer’s market – it definitely is! – but I lived just far away enough to make getting there a serious pain, and there’s a huge Barnes & Noble a stone’s throw away, so I always got really distracted anyway. (We’re here for sour cherries. We’re here for sour cherr-BOOOOKKKKKSSSSS!!!!)

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Living in Hoboken is different, in that several different small farmer’s markets are readily accessible during summer and early fall months (since the entire city is a tad over 1 square mile), and aside from days I’ve been out of town, I don’t think I’ve missed a day yet. Which brings us to rainbow carrots.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

I keep seeing them, week after week, worming their way into my subconscious like the cleverest of ad campaigns. I caved a few weeks ago, made this superlative side dish with my purchase, and here we are.

Both times I made this, I know I made some kind of protein for the main dish, but I cannot remotely remember, as it was royally upstaged. Lamb chops, maybe? That does sound good…

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Anywho! This is incredible. Sweetness of the carrots, playing off the creamy, spicy aioli, all punctuated by the crunch of the dukkah. Such a beautiful dish. Enjoy!

Source: Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady

Ingredients:
3 tbs whole hazelnuts, skin on
1 tbs sesame seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Kosher salt and black pepper
12 skinny carrots or 6 thin rainbow carrots sliced in half lengthwise, tops trimmed and scrubbed clean
Olive oil
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 tsp harissa

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.
First make the dukkah: in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until lightly golden and aromatic, shaking the pan often, about 2 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a small bowl and set aside. Repeat the process with the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds, toasting each separately, then adding each to the bowl with the hazelnuts. Set aside to cool completely.
In a mortar and pestle or small food processor, pound or process the hazelnut mixture into an unevenly textured mix. You want some little chunks, not a fine powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
On a sheet pan, toss the carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the carrots, turning once, about 15-20 minutes, until cooked through but not mushy.
While the carrots are roasting, make the aioli by whisking the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, harissa, plus salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl until smooth. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
To serve, arrange the carrots on a serving platter. Sprinkle with as much dukkah as you like (you’ll likely have leftovers), then drizzle with aioli. Pass extra aioli at the table.

Pulled Veggie Sliders

Pulled Veggie Sliders

I firmly believe that this is the worst time of year to be trying to lose weight. I know because I’ve been there. Not only is the most food-centric holiday of the year approaching in one short month, but before then you’ve got the barrage of Halloween candy, then after that more holidays largely featuring lots of feasting at family dinners, cookie exchanges, and holiday candy. And that’s not even mentioning that on top of all that decadence, this is football and tailgating season!

pulled veggie sliders

Game day grub is generally not all that figure-friendly. Lots of tortilla and potato chips, fattening dips, cheese and fatty meats feature prominently. It’s tough to stick to your calorie count during this time. I know – I’ve been there.

So I wanted to offer up something appropriate for game day that is pretty figure friendly, that won’t blow your calorie allotment for the day, but isn’t a consolation prize. This little slider is incredibly tasty – Matt remarked that it was better than many pulled pork sandwiches he’s eaten – full of familiar barbecue flavors and the pulled meat texture you’re looking for, but with huge amounts of fat cut out.

pulled veggie sliders

It comes together much more quickly than a pulled pork or short rib slider would, and these babies are FILLING! I guess it’s all that fiber from the veggies, but trust me, once you’ve eaten a serving of these sliders, you won’t have any room for the loaded nachos or creamy onion dip. Oh, and obviously a fantastic option for any vegetarians at your tailgating party. Enjoy!

Pulled Veggie Sliders

Source: Vegetarian Dinner Parties by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Ingredients:
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs mustard powder
1 tbs smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp celery seeds
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot or Texas Pete’s
1 ½ cups shredded carrots (peel them first)
1 ½ cups shredded yellow potato (no need to peel)
4 cups shredded green cabbage
1 bottle (12 oz.) dark beer, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
8 slider rolls
Coleslaw, for topping the sliders
Pickled jalapenos, for topping the sliders (optional)

Directions:
Combine the crushed tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, mustard powder, smoked paprika, oregano, celery seeds, cloves, and hot sauce in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring until the brown sugar dissolves. Stir in the carrots and potatoes, then bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the cabbage and ¼ cup beer. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add more beer as necessary to keep the vegetables from scorching. Your end goal is for the mixture to have the consistency of pulled barbecued meat – saucy but not at all soupy.
When the mixture is ready, mound some onto the bottoms of the slider rolls. Top with some coleslaw, the pickled jalapenos if using, then the top bun. Serve immediately.

Banh Mi Meatball Salad

Banh Mi Meatball Salad

Today continues my themed week on the blog of turning classic dishes into dinner salads, it’s been so much fun for me! I hope y’all have enjoyed it too. What’s next? A banh mi. Oh yes.

Read up on the origins of a banh mi here, where I posted the original, which is a sandwich. And one of the best sandwiches on planet earth, I might add. I never had one until my early thirties, but it’s pretty much one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. So last summer I purchased Mark Bittman’s The VB6 Cookbook, and upon flipping through it I came upon an entry entitled “Banh Mi Meatball Salad.” Oh, I cannot tell you how excited I then became, and somehow it’s taken me this many months to actually sit down and make the blasted thing.

Banh Mi Meatball Salad

Better late than never – I’m incredibly happy I finally brought this cookbook page to life, as it was everything it promised to be and then some. If you also go completely gaga over banh mi flavors, then you simply MUST make this salad. It tastes precisely as advertised, and each bite just explodes spicy flavor in your mouth!

Banh Mi Meatball Salad

Speaking of spicy… you can tailor the heat to your personal preferences by adjusting the amount of sriracha used. You can make the meatballs themselves without it, for instance. You can add a little less to the mayo, though it’s not much there and I wouldn’t recommend cutting that back. You can also omit the final sriracha drizzle. If you want this to taste very authentic without extra heat, I’d leave the sriracha out of the meatballs and omit the drizzle at the end but keep it in the mayo. But if you’re like me, and can’t think about a banh mi without also dreaming of an overload of sriracha, then please use all of it as directed. You won’t be sorry.

Banh Mi Meatball Salad

This is just absolutely beyond delicious, I hope y’all enjoy it!

{One Year Ago: Hot and Sticky Slow Cooker Chicken Wings}
{Two Years Ago: Blood Orange-Braised Pork Shoulder}

Source: slightly adapted from The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
¼ of a large daikon, peeled and julienned
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
About ½ a baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
Olive oil
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs plus 2 tsp sriracha, plus more for drizzling, divided
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 tbs fish sauce
1 large heart romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
½ a large cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 tbs mayonnaise
1 handful each of fresh mint and fresh cilantro, minced
Lime wedges, for serving

Directions:
First you will need to quickly pickle your vegetables. Whisk the vinegar, honey, and ½ tsp salt together in a medium bowl. Add the carrots, daikon, and onion and toss gently. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes; stir occasionally to evenly distribute the brine.
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Place the cubed baguette on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Lightly season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Toss with your hands. Shake the pan so that the bread is in a single layer, then toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy. Remove the croutons from the oven and transfer to a plate or bowl. Carefully dust off any crumbs from the baking sheet, then spray it generously with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the beef, garlic up to 1 tbs sriracha if desired, black pepper to taste, fish sauce, and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Gently shape the meat mixture into 16 evenly sized meatballs and transfer each to the greased baking sheet, making sure to space them evenly apart so they are not touching. Bake the meatballs, undisturbed, until browned and just cooked through, 8-12 minutes. Let them cool a bit while you assemble the salad.
At this point, add the mayonnaise and 2 tsp sriracha to the pickled vegetables and stir to combine thoroughly.
In a large salad bowl, add the romaine, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber. Add the pickled dressed vegetables and toss to combine and dress the salad. Add the croutons and toss gently again. Divide the salad among dinner plates and top with 4 meatballs apiece. Drizzle with sriracha if desired, then garnish with the herbs and lime wedges. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.

Rabbit Braised with Kalamata Olives and Prunes #SundaySupper

Rabbit Braised with Kalamata Olives and Prunes 5922

It’s time for another Sunday Supper, and our theme this week is a (perhaps welcome?) departure from holiday food chatter: On the Hunt! So what does On the Hunt mean? It means that our recipe had to feature an ingredient that historically had to be hunted or foraged. Meats like rabbit, venison and wild boar; produce items like wild mushrooms and wild berries, OR we could feature an ingredient that is hard to find and we have to “hunt down” either by ordering via internet or driving across town to locate.

rabbit braised with kalamata olives and prunes 5891

I chose to feature rabbit, a meat that was historically hunted in the wild. To be clear though, the Sunday Supper crew did *not* require me to hunt this rabbit myself. Kind of a metaphorical theme here, so yes, I did just purchase a rabbit from my local grocery store. You can stop attempting to picture me in camouflage. 🙂

Rabbit braised with Kalamata olives and prunes 5896

This was my first time to ever cook rabbit at home, and I’d only eaten it in a restaurant once before. And now I have to join the ranks of chefs who lament that rabbit doesn’t seem to be much of a thing in American cuisine. As it’s been said, rabbit is a lean, delicious protein low in cholesterol, and you couldn’t ask for a more naturally sustainable source of protein either. I mean, the phrase “breeds like bunnies” does exist for a reason!

Rabbit Braised with Kalamata olives and prunes 5901

This particular preparation of rabbit was just beyond delicious. Matt and I raved for days. Leftovers performed very well just being reheated in a cheap microwave, too (always a plus!). After seeing how easy it was to cook, and how pleasurable it was to eat rabbit, this is one American who will definitely be doing her small part to get more rabbit into the American diet. I hope y’all enjoy this one!

Rabbit Braised with Kalamata Olives and prunes 5910

And do not forget to check out the rest of my Sunday Supper crew and see what they “hunted” this week!

{Two Years Ago: Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs}

Source: Man Made Meals by Steven Raichlen

Ingredients:
2 thick slices of bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
8 to 12 cipollini onions, peeled* and roots and tips cut off, halved if large
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
1 whole rabbit (about 3 lbs.), butchered into 6 pieces: 2 foreleg pieces, 2 hind leg pieces, and 2 loin (back) pieces (have your butcher do this!!!)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbs unsalted butter, or more as needed
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup dry red wine (I used Syrah)
2 cups chicken or veal stock
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 cup pitted prunes

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 275 F.
Place the bacon in a large Dutch oven or other oven-proof heavy pot and cook it over medium heat, until browned and crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon bits to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the onions and carrots to the pot with the bacon fat and cook over high heat until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions and carrots to the plate with the bacon. Cover the plate with aluminum foil and set aside in the refrigerator. Pour off all but 1 tbs bacon fat from the pot.
Generously season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the rabbit pieces with the flour, tossing them to coat on all sides and shaking off the excess.
Add the butter to the pot and melt it over medium heat. Add the rabbit pieces and brown them on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. The pieces should cook in a single layer with about 1 inch space between pieces, so work in batches if necessary. Transfer each piece of browned rabbit to a plate. In the last 30 seconds of cooking, add the garlic and stir to cook.
Quickly remove the last pieces of rabbit to a plate and then immediately add the red wine and let it come up to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the stock and thyme sprigs and let it come to a boil. Kill the heat, add the rabbit back in, and cover the pot with a layer of aluminum foil. Then place the pot’s lid on top and transfer to the oven. Braise the rabbit for 2 hours without peeking.
Remove the pot from the oven. Stir in the bacon, onions and carrot, plus the olives and prunes. Re-cover the pot with both the foil and the lid, return to the oven and continue braising for 1 more hour, 3 hours in total. Check the rabbit after 30 minutes, and if the sauce is looking watery, let it braise uncovered completely the rest of the way. You want the meat very tender, falling off the bone almost, and the vegetables tender.
Taste for seasoning, then serve the rabbit right from the pot.
*To peel the onions, simply blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, then remove with a spider or slotted spoon to a bowl. Let cool for a minute or two, just until you can handle them, and then peel the skins off with your fingers.

Spread it on Thick

Nibbles and Sides

The Main Event

Sweet Treats

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Mark Bittman’s Veggie Fried Noodles

Mark Bittman's Veggie Fried noodles 5027

Secret Recipe Club reveal day is here!! This month I was assigned Tea and Scones, which is a baking blog that certainly lives up to its name. Many, many beautiful and drool-worthy scones recipes featured. And given my love of scones, you’d think I would have picked one to make, right?

Mark Bittman's veggie fried noodles 4998

Well, I strongly considered it, believe me. Very, very tempted. But, I have been striving to eat much healthier the past few months, so when I also ran across this Mark Bittman recipe, which is incredibly healthy yet uber-delicious, well, I was sold.

Mark Bittman's Veggie fried noodles 5015

Once I reach my goal weight, I’m coming back to make one of your scones! I’m a huge fan of Mark Bittman, too, so I was very excited to see this recipe. I love that we’re using soba noodles instead of rice – nice creative twist there – and that this recipe fit perfectly with my current eating habits. And the dish was truly wonderful. It didn’t feel like a “healthy” dish, if that makes sense, it was just some good, clean eating. Very filling and satisfying, and one I would definitely make again.

Mark Bittman's Veggie Fried Noodles 5020

Definitely check out Tea and Scones, y’all! Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Caramel Apple Layer Cake, Philly Strip Steaks with Provolone Sauce and Caramelized Onions}

Source: Tea and Scones

Ingredients:
8 ounces buckwheat (soba) noodles
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 cup chopped green onions
2 large carrots chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups snow peas, or sugar snap peas, cut into halves or thirds crosswise
1/4 cup chicken stock or water (more if you need it, I didn’t.)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 egg, beaten
black pepper
1/4 cups chopped peanuts for garnish

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the noodles according to package directions, but make sure they don’t get mushy. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water. Toss them with sesame oil to prevent sticking.
While the noodles are cooking, heat the canola oil in a large, deep skillet or a wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions. Cook for about 15 seconds.
Add the carrots, celery, snow peas, and stock or water and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, add more liquid a tablespoon at a time.
Stir in soy sauce and beaten egg(s) and let the egg lightly scramble in the pan. Add the noodles, sprinkle with pepper, and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the peanuts and serve.


Chicken Stir-Fry in Lettuce Cups + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

Chicken Stir-Fry in Lettuce Cups 019

Alright, guys – my giveaway is ending tomorrow at 5 pm EST! Get yourself entered to win my excess copy of “The VB6 Cookbook” by Mark Bittman! I’ve been showing you recipes from the book all week, and this one is a real gem in the flavor department.

chicken stir-fry in lettuce cups 001

For anyone unfamiliar with Bittman’s story, I’ll summarize it quickly for you: a few years ago he found himself at his doctor’s office, not insignificantly overweight and with his blood test numbers (cholesterol, blood sugar) on the high side. His doctor told him he needed to make some major changes to his overall diet, which initially didn’t sound too appealing to Bittman. I mean, the guy has a career in food. So after some research and pondering the situation quite a bit, Bittman decided he could compromise on his diet: before 6 pm (dinnertime) he eats vegan, with no refined sugar or flour. After 6 pm, he can eat whatever he wants, but he does try to keep things on the leaner side (most of the time).

Chicken stir-fry in lettuce cups 008

So the recipes in this book are presented as vegan breakfasts, vegan lunches, vegan snacks, non-vegan dinners, and then desserts. Today I’m sharing a non-vegan dinner, one that Matt and I absolutely loved. I love stir-fries anyway, but this one really endeared itself me to it when it used chicken thighs, which I adore, but I’ll tell ya – that sriracha mayo is what really makes it. That was so delicious.

Chicken Stir-Fry in lettuce cups 014

I hope y’all will enjoy this one! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway, and this book could be yours – there’s still some time!

Chicken stir-fry in Lettuce cups 026

{One Year Ago: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio}

Source: slightly adapted from The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
1 head of bibb or Boston lettuce
2 tbs vegetable oil
About 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs minced fresh ginger
1 bunch scallions, whites and green parts separated, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
¼ lb. sugar snap peas or snow peas, chopped
½ lb. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ cup chicken stock or water
2 tbs soy sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs sriracha, or to taste

Directions:
Core the lettuce and separate it into as many individual leaves as possible. Rinse and wrap them in towels. Refrigerate until needed.
Put a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbs oil, swirl it around, and immediately add the chicken. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Cook undisturbed until the pieces brown and can be stirred easily without sticking. Stir the chicken around to start cooking the other sides, then add the garlic and ginger. Stir frequently until the chicken is no longer pink and the veggies have softened, about 3-5 minutes total. Transfer the chicken mixture to a plate. Set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tbs oil to the wok or skillet along with the white parts of the scallions, and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to avoid burning, until they turn golden, 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining veggies except for the scallions greens. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
Return the chicken mixture to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Now add the stock, soy sauce and scallion greens. Cook and stir about 1 more minute, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. If it isn’t saucy at all, add a touch more stock to help it out. But remember, you are putting this in a lettuce cup you’ll be eating with your hands, so it may be unpleasant to have the stir-fry be too liquid-y. I found mine was perfect without adding any extra.
Turn the heat to very low and let it hang out a minute while you make the mayonnaise. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lime juice and sriracha together until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more hot sauce if desired.
To serve, gently fill a lettuce cup with stir-fry, then drizzle the mayonnaise on top, as liberally or as conservatively as your desire. Eat immediately or the lettuce gets soggy.

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Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Happy Friday!! We are wrapping up Carrot Week on an extremely delicious, breakfast-y note. Carrot. Cake. Pancakes. Oh, yes, I went there.

Now, I always loved pancakes growing up. They were probably my number one favorite breakfast food that my mom would make. But it wasn’t until adulthood that my eyes were opened to all the pancake possibilities that exist out there. For most of my childhood and adolescence, I figured pancakes came in two forms: plain, or blueberry. Of course that was very wrong.

shredded carrots

And I’m quite happy to have added these carrot cake pancakes to my I’ve-eaten-that list. Because they are insanely tasty. Instead of maple syrup, you spread cream cheese frosting on them, like you would an actual carrot cake. It’s just divine. And very impressive – you could definitely bust these out for company.

carrot cake pancakes

And now for our usual week recap!

We began the week with Nocello-Spiked Carrot Cupcakes, so now I can check the box of having put a carrot cake on my blog. These are quite lovely thanks to the addition of walnuts and the walnut liqueur.

Nocello-spiked Carrot Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

Next we made Vegan Carrot Soup, a lovely rendition of a classic that non-vegans will scarf down enthusiastically.

Vegan carrot soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up: if you can have carrot cake, why not Carrot Pie? You can have it. It’s a thing. And it’s delicious.

Carrot Pie

 

 

 

 

 

And then yesterday, we had a cooked carrot side dish which we glazed with whiskey, butter, and brown sugar (oh, my!). Whiskey Glazed Carrots would make a beautiful side dish to any Easter spread.

Whiskey glazed carrots

 

 

 

 

 

And be sure you check out these carrot recipes from the food blogosphere!

Carrot Cake Scones from Rachel Cooks
Carrot “Fettuccine” with Lemon-Thyme Sauce from In Jennie’s Kitchen
Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta, and Mint from Smitten Kitchen
Healthy No Sugar Carrot Cake Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts
Pickled Carrot Sticks from Smitten Kitchen
Spiced Carrot Kale Muffins from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
Super Moist Carrot Cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Enjoy this lovely breakfast/brunch, y’all!

Carrot cake pancakes

{One Year Ago: Greek Salad with Chickpeas}

Source: slightly adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:
PANCAKES:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Generous pinch of ground ginger
1 large egg
2 tbs brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
3 tbs butter, for the griddle

FROSTING:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbs whole milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Dash of ground cinnamon

Directions:
First, make the pancakes. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir in the carrots.
Pour the buttermilk mixture, all at once, into the flour mixture. Whisk until mostly incorporated, then switch to a rubber spatula to combine the rest of the way. Let the batter rest 5 minutes while you make the frosting.
For the frosting: in a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat until smooth. Set aside while you make the pancakes.
Preheat your skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a pat of butter and smear it around to melt it and cover the whole surface. Ladle about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake into rounds on the skillet or griddle. Cook, flipping once, until golden on both sides and cooked through in the middle. Transfer the pancakes to a plate or platter. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
To serve, spread each pancake with a dollop of cream cheese spread. Stack them if desired. Consume immediately. 🙂

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

I’m continuing Carrot Week with a nod to my blog’s tagline (Confessions of a Formerly Picky Eater). Believe it or not, carrots were not on the banned list for my childhood self’s palate. I actually enjoyed snacking on raw carrot sticks, what with its satisfying crunch and neutral-ish flavor that didn’t offend me. Cook those same carrots, though, and now we have a problem.

Whiskey glazed carrots

Man, I hated cooked carrots as a kid. My mom made them on occasion, and I complained bitterly each and every time. So when I devised Carrot Week for the blog, it only seemed fair to revisit a side dish of cooked carrots. In all honesty, cooked carrots are a dish to which I haven’t paid much attention in the past decade or so; I tend to still prefer them raw and dipped in ranch dressing. So I was curious as to what my now-adventurous adult palate would think. I glazed them with butter, brown sugar, and whiskey, and I made sure not to over- or undercook them. And they turned out quite delicious, I’m happy to report.

whiskey glazed carrots

Maybe I might have even not balked at these as a child. See, Mom, when you made cooked carrots, you should have glazed them with a bunch of whiskey – then I would’ve liked them! Or, at the very least, I would have fallen asleep and shut up about it….

I hope y’all can enjoy these, child and adult alike. I had a thought that they would make a perfect side dish for an Easter or Passover dinner spread…. See what you think!

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Source: slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

Ingredients:
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
6 tbs whiskey
6 tbs brown sugar
Kosher salt and black pepper
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Directions:
Melt 2 tbs butter in a 10” skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high heat. Add the carrots and stir to brown them, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove the carrots to a plate with a slotted spoon. If using a gas stove, turn off the heat. Pour the whiskey into the skillet. Let it bubble up and cook for about 3 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 2 tbs butter. When it’s melted, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the carrots back into the skillet and cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper to taste, and I’d advise adding more black pepper than you usually do to cut the sweetness in this dish.
Continue cooking until the carrots are to your desired softness. Sprinkle some fresh thyme around and serve immediately.

Carrot Pie

Carrot Pie

When I was in college, I worked at Victoria’s Secret part time and over winter breaks and summers for a couple of years. Part of my job description of course included helping the customers find what they were looking for, and many a time, those customers were men shopping for their wives or girlfriends. Almost all of them had quite the awkward vibe going, as if they’d never done this before and felt really clueless. (And I would have to suppose many of them were, judging by the number of returns I did).

carrots for carrot pie

carrots

But anyway, these men were rather shy customers most of the time, so you had to take the lead and ask questions to ascertain what they were looking for, but in asking questions you had to be a bit delicate to make sure you steered clear of stepping in a big pile of TMI. So usually we would start by asking about the lady’s shape and dress size. And I cannot tell you how often we women employees would hear in response, “Well, she looks like you! Only different.”

Yeah, not helpful. Not helpful at all, in fact.

Carrot pie

Which brings me to this pie. Although a bit more elegantly worded than my former Vickie’s Secret male customers, the cookbook’s blurb about this pie can be summed up as, “It’s like pumpkin pie; only different.” And while that sort of is an accurate description, it’s somewhat maddening, so I’m going to try and describe this pie without referencing the more familiar pumpkin pie.

Carrot Pie

First of all, yes, carrot pie is a thing. And why not? If you can have carrot cake, then you can have carrot pie. This is very reminiscent of Indian flavors, so it’s very warm without overpowering the carrot flavor. It’s custardy but quite light; its texture was less smooth than most custard based pies, yet not all the way to grainy, so still quite pleasant. I think carrot pie would make a perfect dessert for the end of an Indian food themed dinner party. Enjoy!

carrot pie

Source: A Year of Pies by Ashley English

Ingredients:
Basic pie dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate (I used a half batch of this recipe)
1 lb. carrots, peeled and ends removed
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs, separated

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Grease a 9-inch pie plate.
Roll out the pie dough on a floured surface and fit it into the prepared pie plate. Price the bottom and sides of the crust with tines of a fork, then place the crust in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
Line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, then remove the crust from the oven. Leave the oven on and reduce the temperature to 375 F.
Remove the beans/weights from the crust and let it cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Cut the prepped carrots into ¼-inch rounds. Fill a small saucepan with a couple inches of water and let it come to a soft boil. Add the carrots and let them boil until softened. Drain them thoroughly and transfer the carrots to the bowl of your food processor. Puree until very smooth. Now add the sugar, milk, spices, and salt to the carrot puree. Process again until smooth and uniform. Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl.
Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl until blended. Using either a whisk or electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form in a separate bowl.
Whisk the beaten egg yolks into the carrot puree until thoroughly blended, then whisk in the beaten whites. No need to be careful about not deflating them, so you don’t have to be gentle when incorporating them into the carrot puree.
Pour the puree into the cooled pie shell. Set the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the filling is set.
Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Hint: it’s really tasty served chilled. And once it’s chilled, you can totally pick up a slice with your hands and eat it while walking around. I heard that from a friend…

Vegan Carrot Soup

vegan carrot soup

So it’s Carrot Week here at the Texan New Yorker, and yesterday I showcased carrots in dessert form, so I figure today I’m going to give you an extremely healthy soup. I found this recipe in Joanne Chang’s second cookbook, Flour Too, and she serves this at her bakeries for lunchtime patrons.

Vegan Carrot soup

Last fall, I went to visit my mom in Cambridge, MA, (she was there for a conference) and I was able to dine at the original Flour locale. Twice. In one day. Needless to say, it was phenomenal. This soup isn’t what I ordered (carrots weren’t really in season back in November), but having tasted it at home, I can completely see why the locals would go nuts over it.

vegan carrot soup

Vegan carrot soup

Chef Chang says she has a rule about making vegan dishes at the bakery: non-vegans must go nuts over them too. She hit the nail on the head with this one. Matt and I aren’t vegans, but we LOVED this soup. I think the secret is roasting the carrots. That method coaxes out so much flavor I’m not even sure I knew carrots had. Really amazing end results. Vegan or not, you should try it.

Vegan Carrot Soup

{One year ago: “Old Fashioned” Snickerdoodles}

Source: slightly adapted from Flour, Too by Joanne Chang

Ingredients:
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1-inch chunks
3 tbs olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced crosswise
1 medium fennel bulb, leafy tops trimmed and bulb cored and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds
6 cups good-quality vegetable stock
1 small tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and chopped
½ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Pinch of dried thyme

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Place a rack in the center of the oven.
Spread the carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbs of olive oil, plus the fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your hands to make sure they are evenly coated. Roast the carrots for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
In a large stockpot, heat the remaining 1 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, fennel and garlic. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the ginger, the roasted carrots and the stock. Bring to a boil.
Now add the apple and simmer about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until very smooth. Add the nutmeg, dried thyme, and taste for seasoning. It will likely need some salt and pepper at this point.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm.