Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cooking With Mollie #6: Coated Carrots Afrique du Nord

I had to step out of the cruciferous vegetables family briefly to deal with carrots. I had a lot of carrots in the fridge, so I decided to make this recipe from Mollie Katzen's "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."

Coated Carrots Afrique du Nord (recipe online at Leite's Culinaria) Untitled

It involves several techniques: first, you toast cumin seeds in a frying pan, then add ground cumin and cinnamon and toast them too. A blob of butter goes in, then garlic, then carrots cut diagonally into 1/4 slices.

You add some orange juice and salt and saute for a bit. This, to me, gave the carrots an unnervingly nasty scent. Don't worry - they don't taste like this smells.

The carrots get spread on a baking tray in a single layer. Untitled Sorry, bad iphone photos.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Take them out and let them cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and your choice of garnishes - a bit of honey, finely chopped fresh mint, or red pepper flakes.

Since it is the middle of winter and my mint plants are dead, I chose the rich, warm Aleppo Pepper flakes from my favorite place, Penzey's Spcies.

Untitled The verdict? I have to try this recipe again. The carrots tasted lovely, as you might expect. Cumin, cinnamon, peppers - how can you go wrong? Well, the wrong part, to me, was the texture. They were chewy. I mean, pretty darn chewy. "It's not the taste, it's the texture" levels of chewy.

Perhaps my oven wasn't hot enough. Maybe I didn't leave them in long enough. Or it could be that I made a mistake in using those little peeled supermarket bagged "baby carrots" that aren't really baby carrots at all.

I'll set this one aside for another day, because I think if I get it right, it will be fabulous.


Count Mockula said...

I love carrots so much that I don't much care for recipes that doctor them up a lot. Katzen has a kids recipe for "Pennies from Heaven" that is also a little sweet, and I don't like it because I don't like the added sweetness. If anything, my favorite carrots are pretty simply stir-fried or roasted.

Suebob said...

A COMMENT A COMMENT A COMMENT I GOT A COMMENT! Whew! It's almost like the old days, when we'd comment on each other's blogs!

I loved the flavors here but I have to say it was a bit of a process, and probably one I wouldn't be willing to do often. I love roasted carrots too - one of my favorite low-calorie snacks.