Hye Thyme Cafe: Orange Glazed Carrot Ribbons

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Orange Glazed Carrot Ribbons

I saw this recipe on Bon Appetit and thought it would be a nice new way of introducing color to my Christmas dinner table this year. When all was said and done, I was actually a little disappointed. I will probably make it again, but I'll definitely be adding to it.  

INGREDIENTS :  (per original recipe)
2 lb large long carrots, peeled
2 c orange juice
1 1/2 t dark brown sugar, packed
2 T butter
2 t honey 
1/4 t balsamic vinegar
Chopped chives

The original recipe called for shaving the ribbons with a vegetable peeler. I don't know about your peeler, but mine gives a pretty close shave. I find zucchini and summer squash to be much more forgiving (flexible) when prepared this way - carrots tend to break, so I opted to slice them a bit thicker with a good knife. If you plan to use a knife rather than your peeler or a mandoline, take a slice off one side, then turn the carrot onto that side to stabilize it before continuing.

Boil the carrots in salted water for 2", then drain and pat dry (not sure why since they're going back into a liquid, but I played along).

Stir the orange juice and brown sugar in a heavy skillet over med-high until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and reduce by about half.

This is where they lost me, but again, I played along ... Add the carrots and butter, and simmer until the carrots absorb most of the orange syrup (+/- 4"), THEN add the honey and vinegar.

First of all, the carrots didn't "absorb" the syrup, which was still really juice - I was thinking maybe that was why you were supposed to dry them off - so they would stop soaking up the water and soak up the juice instead, but apparently not. By the time you went to add the honey and vinegar, there were so many carrots in the pan, there wasn't much of a chance for even distribution without mangling some of your lovely ribbons in the process.  

You are then to season with salt and pepper, transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chives.

I most definitely ended up adding more honey to the pot, along with more brown sugar, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, and a shot of lemon juice ... pretty much because it was already sitting there for another recipe.

When I make this again, I will cook down all of the sauce ingredients together before adding the carrots and will probably include some orange zest at the end and toasted pine nuts or something as well. I didn't add them this time because I was already serving spinach with almonds in it. It was good, just didn't seem like the recipe, as written, would be worth the effort of slicing all those ribbons. For all that additional honey, etc., it was still pretty subtle. Hmm, maybe I'll try just cooking the carrots in the juice to begin with...

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