For a little while now, I’ve thought it would be fun to add some good recipes to this blog. When living in a 55+ community, its easy to entertain guests. Maybe its your grandkids coming to visit for a Sunday dinner, or maybe you’re getting together with some neighbors in your home or in the clubhouse, but having a few secret recipes can be a fun way to add some flavor to your next meal.
So here’s one that I thought I’d share, one that my wife cooks occasionally, and I have come to love. It’s a carrot dish, with a foreign flare.
Summer-time means fresh veggies
There are few things that I enjoy eating in the Summer-time that come in a can. I love to stop by farmers markets, or check out the in-season produce at my local grocery store to find what’s fresh.
Among my favorite finds are carrots. Nothing beats a freshly pulled carrot raw. But next to that, is a great cooked carrot. I’m not talking about boiling it till it turns to mush, though, with the right broth, even that can be amazing. No, I’m talking about mixing in a few things, giving it a slightly steamed, slightly fried flavor.
My wife is great at finding recipes that nobody else uses around here. Whenever we’re invited to dinner, there’s always a sense of curiosity, and occasionally I’ll admit, trepidation. Not all of our recipes turn out to be great crowd pleasers.
Most of the time though, they are healthy. It’s this search for healthy living that inspired her to turn to other parts of the world that don’t entirely rely on butter, salt, and sugar to flavor their food. This carrot recipe is one that we have found to be safe in a traditional group, but different enough to turn the perceptive foodies nose in its direction.
- Prep your spices by mixing them in a bowl. This saves time, and lets you keep a better eye on your carrots so that they don’t burn. Add your cumin, cilantro, mint, paprika, parsley, chili powder. Set this aside till you’re ready for it.
- You’ll want to prepare some carrots and shallots. You could probably use onions, but shallots pack more flavor per ounce than regular onions. Plus they have a slightly unique flavor. And since this is more of a carrot recipe than an onion recipe, I like to keep the onions less of a feature. Dice the shallots, then slice the carrots into thin pieces. I think the correct term is julienne. I don’t know if cutting them any other way makes a bit of difference, but you want them thinner than just chopping them into 1 inch chunks. This lets them cook faster and absorb more flavor.
- With a little oil, (I prefer grapeseed oil, since it has a very high smoke point, and tastes way better than olive oil in my opinion), sauté the onions on medium heat in a pan for a few minutes till they’re translucent. Add the carrots and cover them, cooking for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally until they’re tender all the way through.
- Now that the carrots are tender, add your spices. Mix it in good and cook for just 2-3 minutes longer.
Naturally, the fresher the ingredients, the better, but this recipe doesn’t need a lot of each herb, so something dry can often do in a pinch, especially if you don’t want to by a whole thing of parsely, only for such a small portion. But despite the meager quantities of each of these, they all combine to add a very subtle and surprisingly flavorful dish.
1 lb carrots – Julienned
½ C diced shallots
1 T Oil
¼ t cilantro
1 t mint
¼ t paprika
½ t parsley
¼ t chili powder
1 t salt