This recipe comes from February. I came across a recipe for chicken and dumplings that looked interesting. When I went back on my blog to look at the recipe I made before, well, I realized I must have never written about it. I can’t find it! Oops. I definitely made it well over a year ago, so it’s not like I just haven’t caught up to it, I just skipped it, I guess. Well, I had mostly followed a recipe so I looked at it to compare to the new one. I ended up making my own version that we really enjoyed.
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.
You will notice the pictures are from two different occasions. The first time, I followed the original recipe but wasn’t completely happy with it. I wanted more vegetables and an easier chicken experience…carving chickens are “meh” but eating chicken thighs are easy. So, I added more vegetables (yummy carrots!) and switched to thighs. I also used my Dutch oven to give myself a little more room for those vegetables. That part mattered less, but I do recommend adding what tastes good to you.
How is your luck with baking rice? I usually have poor results when there is a recipe that calls for cooking rice in the oven. I do a great job in a rice cooker or on the stovetop, but not so well with the oven. Who knows, maybe the recipes were not good? Regardless, it makes me nervous to try recipes that include that step. This one had that step, and also called for half-and-half (I hate buying it, especially for such a small amount, since I rarely use it). And then there is the bratwurst idea. I liked it, it was supposed to be the meat in the dish…but it meant going to a separate grocery store (there is a local brand of sausage I like a lot, and it’s not carried at my main store). It also meant that the Fudgelet might not like it. As it was, he decided to not eat much of the ground beef (fickle toddler), but I actually really like it with the beef. I always have some in the freezer and so I just swapped it in. No big deal. Whole milk seemed just fine in place of the half-and-half. I bet you could just use more chicken broth instead, if you didn’t want to use milk. Maybe add a bit of butter to up the richness if you do that?
The recipe I am pulling this from said it was a barbecue beef, but I can’t say it really tasted that way to me. It definitely has some Chinese flavor, but not barbecue. Speaking of the flavor in it…we had a slight hitch. I had picked out this meal before I went grocery shopping, so I had on my list everything I needed…which was just the vegetables and beef. Well, it turns out we were missing another key ingredient: hoisin sauce! We normally have it on hand, so we aren’t sure what happened. There are two options: one is that we used it up previously and forgot to replace it (but that seems unlikely since we usually put things on our grocery list immediately, and I know it’s been awhile since we’ve used the sauce), or two, a recent visitor threw it out when she visited. This visitor tossed our soy sauce because she said it had gone bad (cue debate of soy sauce expiration here), so it is possible she felt the same way about our hoisin sauce. Either way, we had no idea where it was and I needed to start the recipe in the morning for it to have time to cook during the day. Obviously you can run to the grocery store, but since I had just gone the day before, and it was only for one ingredient…and the one ingredient I wouldn’t normally buy at a non-Asian grocery store (cheaper at the Asian stores, usually).
I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve been working on using the slow cooker more frequently. This recipe is tasty and allows for some room to improvise. You could easily add different vegetables like parsnips/celery root/etc. to mix it up. I love carrots, and have been buying them by the bunches. It helps that they’ve been extra cheap this year, at least the organic ones. I’m not necessarily all about organic produce all the time, but the organic carrots at my store definitely taste better. They are fresher, and it’s fun when they have the rainbow ones.
Originally I wrote about a pet peeve of mine involving names. But…I decided it was a bit grumpy, and this soup deserves a happy introductions. So, long story short…I received this from a magazine that I didn’t care to read. But, I happened to flip it open and find a recipe for lentil soup. Having never cooked with lentils, I was intrigued.