Monday, January 30, 2012

Maple-Orange Glazed Carrots

I'm tempted to change the name of this to "candied carrots." Most of the dishes I prepare now, particularly vegetables, are things that I never would have touched as a kid. But not this. I would have sat down with a bowl and devoured it as quickly twenty years ago as I want to today. I've tried to exercise some adult discretion on that, but it's not easy.

These carrots cook down in a sauce of butter, maple syrup and orange juice until it forms a thick, sticky glaze. The carrots end up soft and succulent. The maple and orange compliment each other beautifully in the sauce. To top it all off, it's a pretty quick side dish that involves a minimal amount of attention. Just give it some occasional stirs and let the sauce magically reduce into deliciousness. Easy peasy.

Maple Orange Glazed Carrots
From Simply Recipes.

1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c maple syrup
1/3 c orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest (while, of course, fresh zest would be delicious, I've been using dried zest, just because I have it on hand, and it's fine as well. The sauce cooks for long enough to rehydrate it effectively.)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Heat a high-sided pan over medium heat. (Seriously, a high-sided pan. The first time I made this I thought a normal skillet would be fine, and it was, until I began to stir and tossed carrots all over my stove.) Melt the butter in the skillet. Add carrots and toss a bit to coat. Cook 3-4 minutes.

Add the maple syrup and cook another minute or two. Then add the orange juice and zest, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and cook 4 minutes. Uncover, increasing the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes or so, until the liquid has become a thick glaze. Serve warm, and try not to eat it all at once!

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