It’s cold. It’s rainy. It’s miserable, and this storm is going to linger over Boston for the better part of the next five days. Yes, five days. Five days of gray wetness. If there is one weather phenomenon I absolutely detest, it is Boston’s horizontally falling rain. Usually accompanied by intense wind, this rain renders umbrellas completely useless and you, reader, unforgivably drenched.
Enough about the weather, you came here for something about awesome carrots. Skeptics may wonder how the words carrot and awesome ever managed to find themselves in the same sentence. Those in the know are waiting anxiously to hear about this probably not-so-new revelation I’ve had tonight. If you find yourself as the former, prepare to be converted.
I bought these carrots a while ago for the goulash I made. That was probably two weeks ago. Maybe more. Surprisingly, they’ve lasted (but that could be because our refrigerator seems to be freezing things lately…). This dish, as with many of my dishes, was a freak accident. I chopped the carrots and threw random spices on them. Luckily, they came out absolutely delicious. And, in the spirit of catering to those who want to cook things quickly in an effort to save time on week nights, this side is ready in 10-15 minutes.
Spice Glazed Carrots
3 medium sized carrots, chopped into whatever size and shape you fancy
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tsp cinnamon*
3 tsp cumin*
1 tsp ground ginger*
2 tsp ground cayenne pepper or chili powder*
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
*these are gross approximations. I probably used a little more, particularly with the cinnamon. I don’t measure things. Use your judgment.
1. wash and chop your carrots
2. in a large sautee pan over medium, heat the olive oil. Once fragrant, dump your carrots in. Move them around, get them nice and coated. Add the spices gradually, so as to ensure even coating. If you want, you can combine the spices and carrots together in a bowl before even putting them in the pan.
3. Add the balsamic vinegar, reduce the heat to medium-low. If you feel there isn’t enough vinegar in the pan, add the water. If you think it’s okay, leave it. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes. You want the vinegar to meld with the spices and carroty goodness to create one of the most delicious sauces I have ever tasted. Seriously, I could have licked the pan.
4. Once the carrots are tender, remove from heat and serve, drizzling the remaining liquid over the carrots.
I preferred the almost burnt parts of the carrots. Carrots caramelize beautifully, which makes them quite good for roasting. They exude this sweet flavor, while still retaining a great crunch. These carrots, in particular, come at you with a few different flavors. The acidity from the vinegar balances everything out while the heat from the chili powder and the sweetness from the cinnamon complement each other. The ginger serves as an excellent accent to the cinnamon, as does the cumin with the chili powder. Although balsamic vinegar is a tad overused, and subsequently overrated, it WORKS with this dish so well. The reduction sauce is so good, you may even want to bathe in it. The whole flavor profile makes the carrots absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious. I could’ve had about 10 of these carrots for dinner, and then some.