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Another Easy Awesome Side Dish – Whiskey Glazed Carrots

You can never have too many options when it comes to making side dishes. I am always looking for something different to do with vegetables. They can get kind of boring if you just do the same thing over and over again. After awhile you start to feel as if you don’t even want to have certain vegetables because you get tired of having them the same way all the time. I think this happened to me with carrots for a bit and for a time I rarely made them at all unless they were just an added component of another part of the dish. I am trying to get them back into my vegetable rotation now because they are great for you, are inexpensive and actually quite versatile in what you can do with them since you can make them so many ways. Such is the case with this recipe I came across not that long ago for whiskey glazed carrots. I got this one from a cookbook I received for Christmas this year called “The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook.” If you are looking for some new Irish recipes to try, this is the book for you. This choice is a very easy one and simple to make and you could certainly omit the whiskey if you prefer not to have it, but it gives a decidedly Irish touch and flavor to the dish.

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil

3 tablespoons butter

4 carrots (about 1 pound) diagonally sliced into 1/2-inch circles

3/4-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into matchstick strips

2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

1/2 cup chicken broth or water

Combine the sugar, pepper and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil and half of the butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the carrots in a single layer and sprinkle them with the sugar mixture. Cook the carrots over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, then start turning the slices with tongs and reduce the heat if necessary to prevent them from burning. When the carrots are slightly browned on both sides and starting to blacken at the edges, transfer the carrots to a plate.

Clean the skillet with paper towels. Add the ginger to the now-empty skillet and cook it over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until it is golden. Remove the ginger from the skillet and add it to the carrots.

Add the remaining butter, the Irish whiskey and the chicken broth or water to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil and then allow it to simmer for 3 minutes or until it begins to thicken and turn syrupy. Return the carrots and ginger to the skillet and swirl the carrots with the syrup for 1 minute. Serve.

Very quick and easy to do and they taste great. The syrup really helps to bring out the sweetness of the carrots and adds a really nice glaze to the dish. These are perfect to serve with any type of meat, pork or poultry dish and I think the whiskey adds just a hint of flavor without overpowering the carrots at all. It is a good quick dish to keep in mind for St. Patrick’s Day as well.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes. I have plenty of entrees that I have tried lately that are great to try for weeknights or weekends. until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on February 23, 2014 in Cooking, Side Dishes, Vegetables

 

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The Never-Ending Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Maple Glazed Carrots and…Lanttulaatikko?

I still have some side dishes that I made recently that would be great for your Thanksgiving table. I made both of these recently for Michelle’s birthday dinner and both were very simple to do. I think you want to try to keep the side dishes as easy as you can and even make them ahead of time if at all possible to save yourself some time on Thanksgiving when you are focused on family and the turkey. You can always simply re-heat your sides in the oven while the turkey is resting. This can give you more than enough time to get your sides heated properly and get everything on the table while it is hot. The first one for today is a very easy recipe for some maple glazed carrots.

Maple Glazed Carrots

12 medium carrots, with the greens attached

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 cup water

Salt

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Trim off all but 2 inches of the green tops of the carrots. Put the carrots, butter, sugar, water and salt to taste in a large skillet. Cover the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Maintain the boiling until nearly all the liquid evaporates, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Uncover the skillet and add the maple syrup. Cook, shaking the skillet over the heat frequently, until the carrots have obtained a nice glaze on them, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve.

You could certainly leave out the maple syrup and still get something of a glaze on the carrots using this method and they would be good, but I think the maple syrup adds a really nice flavor to the carrots. You could also substitute honey for the maple syrup and get a nice glaze from that as well. Since this recipe was so easy, I did not need to make it ahead of time and simply made these on the stove top while the turkey was resting.

The second recipe is one I picked up from the cooking blog A Wee Bit of Cooking. It is a Finnish dish that is often used for the holidays called Lanttulaatikko. This is a turnip casserole that makes use of rutabaga, or yellow turnip. We have often eaten rutabaga on Thanksgiving in my family. It has a very distinct flavor to it and some people are put off by the aroma it can give off, but I love the flavor that you get from it. I often make it during the year, simply mashing it up, but this recipe adds a little bit more and is just as easy.

Lanttulaatikko (Turnip Casserole)

1 large rutabaga or yellow turnip

2/3 cup cream

1 egg

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons butter, softened

Peel the turnip and cut it into 1/2-inch chunks. In a medium saucepan, place the turnip and cover with salted water. Bring the turnips to a boil and boil until they are completely tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the turnips.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mash the turnips well with a potato masher and then run them through a potato ricer. Combine the cream, butter, honey, nutmeg and egg and mix until blended. Add the mixture to the mashed turnips and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the turnip mixture to a small casserole dish and smooth the top with a fork or spatula and dot with the butter. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 40 minutes until golden and crisp on the top. Serve.

Since the turnip can take a long time to soften and get tender and then to bake, I made this dish the day before our meal and simply re-heated it in the oven while the turkey rested. You get the flavor of the turnips along with the honey and nutmeg and it is a simple, sweet flavor. I would make this any time of year as a side dish for poultry or beef.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for even more recipes. There’s still time before Thanksgiving and I still have recipes to share. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pepper Steak

It was a beautiful day here in New York, much warmer and nicer than a January usually is around here. It was so nice, I almost don’t feel like cooking dinner tonight, but since I already have the meat thawed and ready to go, we’re going to plow through and go for it. Today’s dinner selections was Michelle’s and we’re making Pepper Steak with Rice and Glazed Carrots. Pepper steak is a very simple dish, so you could add this one to our quick and easy, dinner in a jiffy list. It’s ready in about 30 minutes and that includes all the prep work and cooking, leaving you to enjoy the rest of your evening.

Pepper Steak

1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into strips (I am actually using a London broil myself, but you could use almost any type of steak for this)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2-3 large peppers, thinly sliced (I use red, yellow and orange for a nice color)

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup beef broth

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil and meat, searing on both sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute. Remove meat to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Reduce heat on pan to medium. Add peppers and onions and saute for 5 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Whisk in broth, soy sauce, water and sugar until well blended. Add meat  back into the pan and coat with sauce. Cook and stir until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over rice.

We haven’t had too many meals easier than this one. I like to use orange, yellow or red peppers instead of the green. It’s a personal preference, but I find the green ones a bit more acidic and don’t have the same flavors as the other colors, but if you like the green ones better, than go ahead and use them. For the rice, well we’ve cooked rice a few times in the last few weeks so you can get my method of cooking the rice right here. This is a good dish for plain white rice since it will absorb some of the tasty sauce that comes with the meal.

You probably don’t need to add another vegetable to this dish if you don’t want to, but we came across a nice recipe for some glazed carrots that sounded yummy, so we wanted to try it. It’s very simple and you can use the baby carrots for this. We usually have the baby carrots around since they are a good snack food, but you could also just use your every day carrots and cut them into pieces if you like. Just a side not: this recipe calls for bourbon, but you could leave that out if you want, but I think it will add a nice flavor to the carrots.

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 pound baby carrots

1/2 a piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons bourbon

Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and saute until they are beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger and the honey. Cook for two minutes. Remove the skillet from heat; stir in the orange juice and the bourbon. Return the skillet to the heat and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are fork-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Uncover and cook until all the liquid has been reduced to a syrupy consistency and the carrots are nicely glazed, about 6 minutes. Discard the ginger. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The honey glaze and the ginger taste will add some excellent flavor to the carrots and the bourbon gives a nice kick of flavor of its own. As i said, you could omit the bourbon all together and I think the dish will turn out just fine.

Simple, simple, simple. I think the whole week has been pretty easy for meals, which is great if you don’t have a lot of time to put into meals during the week. Tomorrow will be a little more labor intensive, but not much. I like to make a little more elaborate meal on Sundays, so tomorrow we are having Pan-Seared Steaks with a Red Wine Pan Sauce, Shrimp Scampi, Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Mushrooms and Asparagus. It sounds like a lot, but we are having guests over too, so it’s not too bad and none of the recipes are difficult to make. Tune in tomorrow and see for yourself how easy it all really is to do. As always, your suggestions and input is welcome and encouraged. Feel free to ask questions, let me know how you made out if you tried a recipe, or let me know how you improved upon it. You can post a comment here or send me an email at IguanaFlats@msn.com. Thanks for reading today and I hope you enjoyed this beautiful day. See you tomorrow!

 

 


 
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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Vegetables

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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