Coriander Glazed Carrots

IMG_8663

Take :

8 oz. carrots, sliced into 1/4″-1/2″ rounds (I like to bias cut mine to make them longer, like above)

Add to saucepan of boiling, salted water.

Boil for 3-4 minutes, then drain immediately.

Heat in a wok or sautêe pan over medium-high heat:

2 tbs neutral oil such as sunflower or vegetable

When the oil is quite hot, add :

1 tbs of coriander root paste (see below)

Stir-fry for one minute, then quickly add the boiled carrots.

Stir-fry or toss vigorously for one minute.

Add :

2 tbs sherry or cooking wine

1/2 tsp of sugar

Stir or toss vigorously for one minute or until the alcohol evaporates

Add :

1/2 tsp of freshly toasted and crushed coriander

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the heat and serve immediately or cover and keep warm, garnish with abundant cilantro / fresh coriander. This is best hot, but also good at room temperature.

IMG_8656

Coriander Root Paste :

Combine in a mortar and pestle :

1/2 oz finely chopped coriander roots (roots of one bunch)

few pinches kosher salt

few grinds of black pepper

2 cloves of garlic

Mash to desired consistency. To get a more paste-like consistency, you can add more salt. This should make about two tablespoons. It can be kept for a great while if salt or oil are added. You could of course also make this in a small food chopper / processor.

This is a simple and versatile dish that could accompany many different types of cuisine. It is most definitely for lovers of coriander though! The roots add a sophistication to the flavor that there is no substitute for.

This recipe accounts for about 2 servings as a side dish, but can be easily multiplied.

Key : The key to this recipe is to have everything prepared and move swiftly during the stir-fry stage.

Sweet Hot Pickled Carrots

IMG_8166

This recipe is so simple I will dispense with the usual list of ingredients and instructions and just describe the process. Just be sure to read it all the way through. We’re not children here.

What you need for this is a quart-sized mason jar stuffed all the way full with shredded carrots (preferably on the smallest blade set of a mandolin) and a jalapeño sliced or cut into matchsticks. Usually this entails about 12 oz of carrots, with maybe 1/4 of that going to waste on nubs too small to pass through the mandolin. You can also simply grate them, although the texture will be vastly inferior. You could also practice your knife skills on them and cut long julienne by hand but I am not responsible for any bodily harm.

Once you have this mason jar stuffed full of carrots, place a canning funnel in it. If you don’t have a canning funnel, go buy one. Then place a small saucepan on the stove and in it heat 2 cups of seasoned rice wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 cup of sugar, and dried, crushed hot red chiles to taste. I use the very hot chinese red chiles and usually grind two of them fresh in a mortar and pestle. Bring this mess up to something close to a boil, enough to dissolve the sugar. Stir it thoroughly.

IMG_8165

Being intelligent about the whole process and using how ever many towels you need, bring the still quite hot mixture in the saucepan over to the quart-sized mason jar stuffed full of carrots and pour the mixture in. It should come to about the point at which the “shoulders” of the jar begin.

Allow this to sit and cool without capping it. Theoretically you could sterilize both the jar and the cap in this procedure. My experience has been that these things just don’t last long enough around willing eaters to warrant that. Once the jar and its contents are cool, cap the jar and refrigerate. The pickle will be ready in a handful of hours (although of course 24 is best), and it is best served chilled.

This is one of the staples of my kitchen, and has proved quite popular with those I make food for. Especially me! These were styled on the Vietnamese do chua and primarily made for banh mi, alongside a spiced daikon pickle that I also make. So it goes without saying that they are a good sandwich topping. They also are great in composed salads and on tossed salads, added to noodle bowls, noodle soups, regular soups, as garnishes, in omelettes, etc. etc. etc. A real kitchen standby, and one that can be a vehicle for your own style and creativity. Tell me what you make with them!