Middle Eastern Style Braised Carrots

braised_carrots

Serve these carrots warm or at room temperature. photo: Nancy Duran

One of the most amazing (and exhausting) experiences of my culinary career was, without a doubt, working at the restaurant Rockpool in Sydney, Australia. I was fresh out of culinary school and ready to soak up anything and everything food related. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor than chef-owner Neil Perry. While I was fairly low on the totem pole, there were a few complete dishes that I had the pleasure of cooking and feeling ownership over. This recipe is a take on one of my favorites from that lot.

Though I made this dish almost every day I worked there, I have to admit I was working in a sort of fog the whole time due to extreme fatigue and stress (working in a fast paced upscale restaurant kitchen was definitely a heightened experience). The version that I made in the restaurant probably had about ten more steps than this version and undoubtedly included some highly specialized ingredients that I can’t seem to summon up from the memory banks. This version, however, is more suited to the home cook, who isn’t usually looking for a 25-step side dish recipe. Happily, this three-step recipe achieves very much the same effects. Braising the carrots in carrot juice is the real trick here. While we freshly juiced our carrots for the restaurant version, I opted to buy a small bottle of Bolthouse Farms carrot juice and streamline the process just a little bit. I wasn’t disappointed. This braise is bursting with rich, earthy flavor, complemented by the fragrant, exotic spicing of the Middle East. Though exotic, chances are you’ll have most of the ingredients on hand. In fact, a quick look over the ingredients reads almost like a cooking from the pantry dish. And the real kicker? It took about 10 minutes of prep time and just 25 minutes of cooking time. Add this to your repertoire and you’ll have proof that you too can cook like a chef.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small shallots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1 pound carrots, cut into big chunks
1 cup carrot juice
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  1. In a wide, deep frying pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the shallots, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the shallot has softened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Be very careful not to burn the shallots. Add the honey and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  2. Add the carrots and toss to coat all over with the honey glaze. Pour in the carrot juice, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Uncover, add the raisins and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a syrup consistency. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional analysis based on 4 servings:
Calories 176, Fat 7g, Sodium 388mg, Carbohydrate 30g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 18g, Protein 2g

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One Response to Middle Eastern Style Braised Carrots

  1. Susan Buck says:

    Yummo, love carrots Nancy, and i remember the Rockpool days. x

    Like

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