Thursday, November 19, 2015

Carrots A Star Player

In today’s kitchens you’ll find carrots in everything, from healthy vegetable soups to salads. They can be juiced and sliced into sticks for raw snacking. Carrots can also be grated, julienned, sautéed, puréed, and baked as chips – and you’ve only just started! As if the creation of all those dishes wasn’t enough, carrots also have an amazingly long list of health advantages.

I'll bet when you were growing up your mother told you to eat carrots as they are good for your eyesight. Carrots are very high in vitamin A, an essential nutrient for goo
d vision.
Today's food trends favor more sides made with winter squashes, Brussels Sprouts , green beans and beets overshadowing the carrot. The carrot has some catching up to make it to the Thanksgiving table and take its rightful place next to the beloved green bean casserole.
Maple Glazed Bacon Wrapped Roasted Carrots

Cook's notes: Crispy and salty bacon wrapped roasted carrots glazed in sweet maple syrup that are the perfect side dish for any meal! Serves 6-8. Recipe adapted from closetcooking.com
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds carrots, well scrubbed or peeled
  • 1 pound bacon
For the Maple Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tb. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Directions
  • Whisk the ingredients for the maple glaze or pour ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake. 
  • Wrap the carrots in the bacon.
  • Arrange a wire rack on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven 400 degrees until the bacon is crispy and the carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  • Drizzle carrots with the maple glaze half way through. 
  • To serve drizzle carrots with a bit more of glaze.
Asian Roasted Carrots and Broccoli
Cook's notes: Super simple, quick, and easy, packed with flavor and ready to roast in just 5 minutes. Recipe from damndelicious.com and serves 4.
Ingredients
  • 3 TB. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TB. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • 16 oz. baby peeled carrots or 3 cups
  • 1 T. olive oil or Lemon Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz. broccoli florets or about 3 cups
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar and Sriracha; set aside.
  • Place carrots in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle carrots with garlic.
  • Place into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Stir in broccoli during the last 7-10 minutes of cooking time.
  • Stir in soy sauce mixture and gently toss carrots and broccoli to combine.
  • Serve immediately, garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.


Cinnamon Carrots with Maple Thyme Butter
Cook's notes: These sweet oven-roasted carrots are a perfect complement to a Thanksgiving or holiday menu, but they're easy enough to be a weeknight side. The recipe comes from Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri. Serves 4.
Ingredients:

  • 24 baby carrots with tops (about 1 pound)
  • 1 TB. olive oil or Orange Olive Oil
  • 3 inches stick cinnamon, broken in half, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • Sea or kosher salt 
  • 3 Tb. pure maple syrup 
  • 2 -3 tsp. snipped fresh thyme or 1 sp. dried thyme 
  • 1 TB. red wine vinegar 
  • 1/4 tsp. sea or kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Directions:
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Snip tops from carrots, leaving 1/2 inch of the green tops on each carrot. Scrub carrots and peel; rinse and dry well on paper towels.
  • In a mixing bowl toss the carrots with olive oil, the cinnamon and a pinch of salt and spread evenly our on baking sheet. 
  • Roast, uncovered, in a 400 degrees oven for 15 to 20 minutes or just until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, in same mixing bowl combine maple syrup, thyme, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Remove the carrots from the oven. Add the syrup mixture, butter, and a pinch of pepper; toss to coat. Return to the oven. Roast for 5 minutes more or until the carrots are tender and nicely browned. Discard cinnamon pieces, if using.


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