Thursday, March 24, 2011

Coriander-Glazed Carrots

In anticipation of Easter, I started searching for new recipes to put on the menu.  The Food Network Magazine had an excellent spread in its April 2011 edition showcasing some Easter vegetables that could be made either on the light or the rich side depending on your preference.  Light and rich recipes for carrots, spring peas, and potatoes were presented side-by-side allowing the reader to see the differences in both the ingredient lists and the outcome of the dish.  I loved the article.  I don't know about you, but when I am planning my holiday menus, one area where I always struggle is the balance between rich versus light

As a kneejerk reaction, I attempted Food Network's light version of all the vegetables, starting with the carrots.  This Coriander-Glaze Carrots recipe is a perfect example of when light means less fat and calories, but not less for the taste or flavor.  The glaze that coats the carrots is a terrific--the perfect blend of sweet and tart.  Since coriander and cilantro are from the same plant (coriander is the seed and cilantro is the leaf), they pleasantly balance and enhance each other's flavor when paired together, and in this glaze, they also complement the sweet and tart flavors well.  If you have the ability to purchase rainbow carrots, I would suggest them for this dish.  Food Network's recommendation was to use them as well, and their picture of red, orange, and yellow carrots looked spectacular; unfortunately, I couldn't find them in my area.  Regular baby carrots work just as well, but the presentation of the rainbow carrots looks far exceeds just plain ol' orange carrots, especially for a special Easter celebration.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
2 pounds baby carrots, top trimmed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1.  In small bowl, whisk together orange juice, water, lime juice, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.
2.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the coriander seeds and toast for 1 minute.  Add the carrots and toss to coat.  Add juice-sugar mixture to the skillet.  Bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are almost tender, 13-15 minutes.

3.  Uncover and increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes.

4.  Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired.  Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with cilantro.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine; April 2011
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This recipe is linked to Simple Lives Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday, and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

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