Suzi's Blog

Roasted Orange Spiced Carrots

wc-2014-08-21-14.54.45

 

It has been a cold summer, record cold. So it took time for the sun to bake sweetness into the carrots. Finally, finally Suzen and I have found “sweet ones” at our local farmers market. Actually, with this recipe, carrots of any age or sweetness will be just dandy. There is citrus and spice aplenty here to boost the basic carrot flavor.

Roasted carrots have a definitive flavor. Not exactly caramelized into pure sugar, the carrots do display both a sweetness and that hearty flavor that only high heat can produce. The citrus and spice provide new ingredient layers generating an awesome array of interacting flavors. You mouth might be confused, but your brain will be warmly pleased.

This is a very good kid’s recipe. Carrots are one of the few veggies they don’t automatically shun. Here you can put kids to work in the kitchen playing with all these spices and citrus elements. Your kids can mix and match a bit, use their imagination, and then see some dramatically wonderful results. “I made this,” they are sure to say, with a smile.


Roasted Orange Spiced Carrots

Yield: serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 4 bunches baby carrots, scrubbed or peeled
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
  • 2 bay leaves, broken into pieces
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 small dried red chili, or more to taste
  • ¼ cinnamon stick
  • 4 large shallots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, washed and sliced into wafers
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste, sambal, or sriracha adding more to taste
  • Juice and zest of 2 oranges
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 scallions finely sliced

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Trim carrots and cut any thicker carrots lengthwise so they are all about the same thickness. Toss with half the olive oil and salt to taste. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender and slightly charred around the edges.

While the carrots are roasting, toast the cumin, caraway, dill, peppercorns, bay leaves, star anise, chili, and cinnamon in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t let the spices burn. Grind it all in a spice grinder until finely ground.

Heat the remaining oil over medium high heat in a skillet large enough to hold the carrots. Add the shallots and celery, and cook until they are just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and half the spice mixture (reserving the rest for another use) and cook for about a minute. Pour in the juices and let cook until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning. If the sauce gets too thick add some water.

Add the carrots to the sauce. Sprinkle over the zests and scallions and toss gently to coat. Taste again and adjust seasoning.

Source: Chef David Domedion at Cooking by the Book

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for1/50th second at ISO‑640

 

Blue Cheese Dressing with Bacon Crumbles

p5rn7vb

wc-heirloom-blue-cheese-biscuts-2014_07_25-19

Is it possible to ever tire of blue cheese dressing? Can you serve it without the bacon crumbles?

I suppose if I went 20 or 25 days straight, I might begin to show a patina of disdain. I’m not sure. And, for sure, I am not going to try. This is one dish that I want to make sure I never tire of.

And, no, I think bacon is mandatory.

A salad adorned with blue cheese and bacon can serve multiple purposes. Pictured here, with a cheddar cheese biscuit, this dish can be the entry point to a delightful meal. The salad will have potency, so the main dish needs to have substance: a spicy salmon, a rich steak, lamb chops, … Protein is demanded.

Your other option is actually easier. Just make the portions here large. Let this salad be you meal. That certainly works for lunch or brunch. If dinner is your goal, then a side dish — beyond the biscuit — might be in order. A small serving of French onion soup would make for an overload of flavors, but surely an overload you will happily bear.

Look for some other blue cheese dressing posts here. There are countless ways to assemble a dressing here, which is great: you can do no wrong [well, you cannot have a heavy hand with that Worcestershire sauce!].

If you need a biscuit recipe, complete with Honey Butter then you are invited to a recent post:

http://www.cookingbythebook.com/recipes/chipotle-cheddar-biscuits-honey-butter-gale-gand/


Blue Cheese Dressing with Bacon Crumbles

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅓-½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives or scallion greens
  • 4 thick bacon slices, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl with a whisk or fork.

Stir in blue cheese and chives or scallions. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Employ the dressing on your salad, then dot with bacon bits to suit your appetite.

Source: Tomatoes by Miriam Rubin

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for1/50th second at ISO‑400