Friday, February 25, 2011

Glazed carrots

We are on a roll with sampling new sides each night in our House of Curls! The girlies are actually devouring their veggies and asking for seconds! This makes Mommy want to take the few extra steps in preparing these dishes if it means the girlies will actually eat!

These two recipes come from the America's Test Kitchen. Let me say, I absolutely love their recipes, TV show, and magazines! For my birthday, I bought myself "The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2011" cookbook and I really really love reading this because it gives detailed instructions on what to do or what NOT to do when preparing each dish. It also gives helpful tips on kitchen equipment, advises on the best ingredients to use, and offers lots of great techniques for cooking in the kitchen.

Glazed Carrots
1 lb carrots, peeled
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
2 TBSP toasted almonds

Cut carrots halfway in length and cut diagonally into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Bring the carrots, broth and 1/4 tsp salt to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the carrots are almost tender, about 8 minutes.
Uncover, increase the heat to high, and simmer rapidly until the liquid measures about 2 tablespoons, 2 minutes. Stir in the honey and butter and continue to cook, stirring often, until the carrots are completely tender and the sauce has reduced to a light golden glaze, about 2 more minutes.

Remove carrots from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the almonds. Enjoy!

Sauteed Peas
1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb frozen baby peas
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1 TBSP unsalted butter
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and 1/8 tsp salt and cook until softened, about 2 min. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 min.
Stir in the peas, broth and sugar. Cover and cook until the peas are just heated through, 5 minutes, stirring.

Stir in the mint and butter until incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

**A note from the test kitchen: Stick with frozen peas because they not only taste better than fresh, but they also are a lot more convenient. In test after test, they found the frozen ones to be more tender and sweet versus the starchy and bland tasting fresh peas.

*A note from me: I didn't have any fresh mint so I admitted that from this dish last night & it was still delicious!

To be honest, carrots and green peas are my least favorite veggies. So, I was really surprised with how much better these veggies tasted than if I had just steamed them in water. A little chicken broth and a couple of extra ingredients really does make a huge difference!

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