Tag Archives: carrots

Ode to a Carrot Pudding

With apologies to Ernest L. Thayer

O’ little pudding
siting in the pot
Woe to the cook
who thinks her skills are hot

I’m apprehensive of the recipe
but I still concede to do it
The first problem quickly arrives
I cannot find any suet

I use margarine in place of the kidney’s tallow
I’m told it’s a good replacement
Now I wish I’d taken that advice
and buried it in the basement

I combine the carrots with pomme de terre
And add a bit of flour
Add some spices, throw it all in a mold
And watch it steam for hours

Hour one I sit their waiting
watching water steam
I hear the bubbles popping
As if I’m in a dream

Hour two I’m getting anxious
Wondering if it’s good
How is the pudding cooking
beneath the pudding mold’s hood?

Hour three is upon me
the end is finally near
I pull the pudding from the pot
and give a silent cheer

Alas the joy is all for naught
This recipe I so rue
’cause it’s less of a carrot pudding
and more of a carrot goo

Oh, somewhere in this favored land
the sun is shining bright.
The band is playing somewhere,
and somewhere hearts are light.

And, somewhere men are laughing,
and little children shout,
but there is no joy in in my house
’cause I’m going to go and pout.

Baby Carrots in Marsala Wine

Do you remember this recipe? Remember how I said that other alcoholic beverages would work? Could I ask anymore questions in this first paragraph?

This recipe is not that different from the Carrots in Vermouth, with two key exceptions. 1) cooking the carrots in the Marsala instead of adding the wine at the last minute. 2) This dish has more of a “sauce” than the other.

That being said, it’s still carrots flavored with an alcohol. And it seems that the Carrots with Vermouth was a bigger hit than this dish.

I’m going to add one last recipe for carrots and then I’m moving on.

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (or salted water, if you wish)
  • 3/4 cup Dry Marsala wine
  • 1 Pound Washed Baby Carrots
  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Place a small pot over medium heat. Add the chicken broth and 1/2 cup of the Marsala wine. Add the carrots and bring to a slow boil. Cook until slightly tender, 7-10 minutes. Drain broth and set aside the cooked carrots in a bowl.

Melt the butter together with the Marsala wine. After the butter melts, allow the wine to reduce by half. Add the carrots and cook over high heat until the mixture thickens and the carrots are well coated, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

tags technorati : recipes,carrots,Marsala Wine

Carrot tips and hints

As we are in the midst of carrot recipes and other similar effluvium, it seems to be the perfect time to do the requisite post tips and hints surrounding the root.

  • Although carrots are available year round, their peak season runs mid-Autumn through early Spring.
  • Baby carrots found in the spring have mild flavors, carrots picked in the summer have a slightly stronger flavor. Winter carrots tend to be sweeter.
  • If looking for fresh carrots, purchase them with the carrots leafs still attached, with bright green coloring. Tops deteriorate rather quickly, thus leafs a good indicator of freshness.
  • However, you want to remove the top greens as soon as possible, as they draw moisture from the meat of the carrots.
  • Choose carrots that are young and slender.
  • Avoid slimy and/or multicolored carrots. Also avoid flabby, soft or split carrots, as these are indicators of age.
  • Avoid carrots with the meat green near the top, as they will be bitter.
  • Carrots can be stored in the refrigerator for 10 days.
  • Store carrots in the coldest part of the refrigerator to slow the aging process.
  • Carrots should be stored away from apples, pears or any other produce that creates ethylene gas. Ethylene gas makes the meat of the carrot turn bitter.
  • Peeling the skin off of the carrot is a good idea if the carrot is older, as a fair amount of bitterness can be found within.
  • The fresher the carrot from the groud, the less likely it will be that you will need to remove the skin.
  • A quick trick to get rid of the skin of many carrots – drop into boiling water for 2-3 minutes, remove and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water. When the carros have cooled, rub off the skin with your fingers.
  • When slicing carrots, remove any yellow strings found from within.
  • Although quite tasty raw, a carrot is at its nutritional peak if it’s cooked for 3-5 minutes.
  • Some flavors that match very well with apricots, carrots include beef, celery, chicken, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, various honeys, onions, oranges, rosemary, shallots, tarragon, or thyme.
tags technorati : carrots carrot tips food hints

Carrots in Vermouth

I was a tad worried about what recipe to provide for the second of three carrot recipes. Part of me wanted to go exotic. Another part of me wanted to do something simple and straightforward.

Alas, it was the part of me who screams “Where’s the booze?!” that won out. Here then, is a fairly simple recipe with booze as a flavor agent. I chose vermouth as I wanted to see how that played out, but really, I could have used bourbon, gin, even maraschino if I were so inclined.

It worked out very well, and it pared quite nicely with the shellfish I had served for dinner.

  • 2 lb Carrots sliced
  • 2 tbl Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Sweet vermouth
  • 2 tbl Chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place a 10″ skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and allow to bring to temperature. Toss in the carrot and saute until they just begin to get soft. Pour in the vermouth and simmer uncovered for 7-10 minutes. Salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Serves 4-6

tags technorati : recipes,carrots,vermouth

Carrot Cake

It should come to no surprise to any regular reader that my first choice of a carrot recipe would be the ever popular carrot cake.

I have a love/hate relationship with carrot cake, in that I love the cake itself, but if I see it on a menu at a restaurant, I become suspicious. If I see it pared with a chocolate cake, a tiramisu, a fruit cobbler of some sort and a creme brulee or flan, then I tend to dismiss the place as having little creativity in regard to their dessert menu. So I find myself rarely ordering the cake when I am out. I either have to make it myself, or have to seek it from a bakery.

  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour, sifted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup walnut oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup walnuts, shelled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, and salt.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the oil and add the eggs one at a time. Mix well, and add to the flour mixture. Add the carrots, walnuts and pineapple and integrate thoroughly.

Pour the batter into two 8″ round cake pans that have been buttered and floured.

Place into the oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan, on a rack, for ten minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on the rack for another 20 minutes. Frost with your favorite topping, cream cheese icing being my favorite.

tags technorati : recipes, carrot cake

History of Carrots

Say the word ‘Carrot’ and instantly the idea of a 6-8 inch, bright orange, vaguely conical taproot being gnawed on by a rabbit with a Brooklyn accent comes to mind.

Or to my mind, at the very least. Bugs Bunny was and still is very popular in my household.

But it would probably surprise a lot of people that when carrots were first domesticated, not only were the NOT orange, they were also probably cultivated as an herb, rather than the veggie that we all know and love today.

Wild carrots are said to have been native to what is present day Afghanistan. It probably didn’t take long for folks to find the aromatics of the plant to have some value. From there, it didn’t take much longer before someone sampled the root and said something along the lines of “Hey! This doesn’t taste horrible, and I didn’t get horribly sick or even die from it!”. This meant that the carrot was headed for the big time.

Via the various trade routes, the carrot ended in Far East of Asia and the various Mediterranean regions. There is many references and evidence of carrots in ancient Egypt (via trade records and seeds found in Pharaoh’s crypts), ancient Greece (where it was likely to be used as medicine rather than food) and ancient Rome (where they found that certain varieties of carrots tasted wonderful with olive oil dressing).

Within these time periods, there has been evidence found that aspects of the carrot were used in medicine, as an aphrodisiac, and even the start of using the root as food. There is no evidence to show that during these times that carrots were orange. They were more likely to be purple, white, pale yellow, red, green and even black.

It was the Romans who most likely spread the root throughout Europe, because taking something that was popular in Rome and tried to introduce it to foreign cultures was something that Romans did fairly well.

Throughout the middle ages, the popularity of the carrot was assured by the herbalists who valued the leaves of the carrot for the flavors it added to food and medicines, and the root was primarily used for medicines. This is because colored purple or black were cooked they tended to look quite unappetizing. The purple roots tended to turn brown and the black roots looked even darker. It was the lighter colored variants of the root that were eventually introduced into cooking.

When the orange variant finally appeared on the scene, all of the carrot would be used in food. Adding to their benefits? They grew quite easily and didn’t need any extra prodding to be introduced into new environments like those in what is now present day Massachusetts, New Mexico or Brazil.

The carrots popularity was such that they were mentioned in Shakespeare’s work, worn as adornments on hats, and used as subjects in Renaissance paintings.

It was the Dutch who introduced the world to the modern version of carrots, breeding what are now know as the Early Half Long, Late Half Long, Scarlet Horn and Long Orange varieties. All of these carrots were orange, and All modern hybrids are derived from these four strains. So we can thank the Dutch for getting black carrots off of the menus.

As carrots are part of what many believe to be the “Holy Trinity” of cooking , their history is a long and important one. As I get through my three standard recipes per ingredients, I’ll probably be coming back to other points of carrot history in the coming weeks.

Technorati Tags: carrots, Food History