Just before our last trip to Maryland, I had made a breakfast casserole for the day we left. It was okay…but definitely not a recipe I would repeat. This was a recipe I found, and after a few changes, it was a recipe I have already repeated. It is easy to have the ingredients on hand, and it comes together quickly.
I know what you’re probably thinking…boiled carrots? Do we need this? Well, I like cooking carrots, and usually roast them. They are great that way, and I still prefer them that way, but sometimes I am short on time. This is a way to enjoy carrots quickly and in a different way. Supposedly the idea behind this recipe is to boil the carrots in the equivalent of sea water. By boiling them in a salty water, they maintain more of their flavor and cook faster. You also don’t need to season them later because they are perfect (in my opinion).
I could maybe see using a bit less salt in the future to see how it does. I have doubled this recipe and it still worked well.
Directions for Easy Boiled Carrots with Lemon and Chives
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated January/February 2017
- 1 pound carrots, peeled
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, chop the carrots into 1.5-2 inch lengths. Leave the thin pieces whole, the medium pieces can be cut in half lengthwise and the thickest pieces can be quartered.
Add the chopped carrots to the boiling water along with the salt. Cover and cook until tender (about 6 minutes). Drain the carrots and return them to the pot. Add the butter, lemon juice, and pepper. Stir until the butter is melted, then stir in the chives.
I’ve made jambalaya, and I guess I assumed I had made gumbo…but nope. This was a first. I don’t even know if I’ve eaten it before. So, this is not the place to come for confirming authenticity. In fact, I’m pretty sure this should be spicy. I omitted the cayenne pepper because we are weaklings here. I also added more vegetables because I wanted it to be more of a one-pot meal (1 bell pepper and 2 ribs of celery to serve 6?). I also could barely find kielbasa at my local grocery store, so andouille was out of the question. We enjoyed this, and I liked the mix of chicken with sausage.
I’m here to share a relatively simple recipe that I’ve been making many iterations of recently. To start, you could change the meat and/or vegetable. You could also change the ingredients and amounts…this is a working recipe you can follow strictly, but it is best if you experiment. Sometimes I need more or less of an ingredient (or cooking time) depending on how everything is cooking.
Often, I try to make new dishes, but sometimes I like to make something repeatedly, or tweak a dish. I’ve tried to make brussel sprouts for K since we started dating. But nothing ever worked. Not cooking them my favorite way (steamed with a little butter to serve), not roasting them with bacon, not sauteing them…not even eating them at restaurants where professionals could try to sway him. I gave up. But, I haven’t given up on making the Fudgelet eat everything. I even have him eat food I don’t like, just so that he can be better than both of us! He enjoys brussel sprouts, but prefers them cooked crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Roasting is the best for that.
It’s fun looking through my Marcella Hazan cookbook and finding new simple recipes to make that taste good. This one has vegetables built in, and because they are chopped rather than diced, they remain fresh tasting in the sauce. The pancetta adds a bit of flavor and meat to the dish, if you or your family members (ahem, K) require that in a meal. If not, you can make the same dish without the pancetta. This dish is also toddler-friendly with the fun pasta shapes and easy to chew vegetables.
If you are tired of beef cooked slowly in a pot…then move along. I haven’t tired of it yet, and love finding new recipes that riff on a classic.