Orange Ginger Braised Carrots
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When cooking carrots, it is easy to prepare them so that they taste absolutely lousy. They get boiled until they become mushy and do not have much flavor at all. Or else they get steamed for half of forever and not seasoned with anything so they do not have much flavor at all.

Yet it does not have to be that way! Carrots can be cooked in a pot so that they taste fantastic. They can be braised.

This is a method where something, for this recipe it is carrots, gets cooked in a small amount of fat, a little liquid, and some aromatics. Then they cook for a while, they get more seasoning, and they taste amazing. This is a method that can be used with other seasonings. It can also be used with other root vegetables.

First, start with some fat. I like to use two tablespoons of butter because for this recipe, it adds an extra layer of richness. I often use olive oil for recipes, and two tablespoons of that would certainly work for this recipe. However, I happen to like butter better.

The next component is a little liquid. One third of a cup is a good amount. For this recipe, I like freshly squeezed orange juice. A kind of vinegar would also work. So would soy sauce. Also add some seasoning. I am going to go with one tablespoon of ginger. Other options are garlic, shallot, onions, leeks, or sundried tomatoes. For garlic, one tablespoon would be good. For the others, one fourth of a cup or one half of a cup would be a better amount.

Start by putting all of the ingredients in a small pot. Add one pound of chopped carrots. These can be peeled or not. They can be cut into sticks or sliced. Heat the liquid to boiling. Cover the pot, reduce it to simmer, and allow to cook for ten minutes. Then take the lid off and taste a carrot. The cooking will take ten to twenty minutes. I often replace the lid for another five minutes.

At this point, the liquid should be largely gone. If it is not, allow the carrots to cook until the liquid cooks off. At this point, the carrots should be tender without being mushy. They should also be slightly glazed. At this point, squeeze in a tablespoon of lemon juice and add a small amount of a fresh herb, such as dill, mint, parsley or basil.


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