Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt

I recently bought a 5 pound bag of carrots and let me tell you – those suckers are resilient! I used some carrots in my chicken soup. I brought carrot sticks to work to munch on. I made my favorite carrot soup. Despite my efforts to incorporate more carrots into my diet, there was still a hefty number of carrots left in the fridge.

I decided to go big with my carrot swan song.  I chose a dish that really elevates the humble carrot.  A spice rub, comprised of smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, mustard powder and sugar, adds a delightful smokey and sweet flavor to the carrots when they caramelize and the harissa yogurt is the perfect creamy accompaniment. If you find yourself flush with carrots, make this recipe. It’s super flavorful and way more interesting than your run of the mill carrot dish.

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Spice-Crusted Carrots with Harissa Yogurt

From Bon Appetit

  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • pepper
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add carrots and let them cook for about 5 minutes. Remove carrots with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Using a paper towel gently remove the carrot skin and pat the carrots dry.

In a medium bowl, combine the spices and add the carrots with 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss everything together and add salt and pepper to the carrots. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots in batches and cook turning occasionally for about 6 minutes or until the carrots are golden brown. Salt and pepper the carrots when they are done cooking.

In a small bowl, gently fold the harissa, lemon zest, salt and pepper into the yogurt, stopping just before the yogurt turns pink. Spoon the yogurt onto a plate and top with carrots and additional lemon zest.

 

Rustic Roast Chicken

Simple and understated is often the best approach to food, fashion, and reacting to your friend’s horrific new haircut. It always surprises me how delicious a simple whole roast chicken is and it’s one of my absolute favorite foods.  This recipe is pretty foolproof, too. Toss the bird in with your favorite veggies and roast for an hour and a half. The trickiest part  is carving the golden bird. But, that’s where YouTube comes into play. Hope you enjoy this chicken as much as I do.

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Rustic Roasted Chicken

Adapted from Ina Garten

1 whole chicken (about 3.5 lbs)

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 bunch of thyme

1 lemon, cut in half

1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise

fingerling potatoes (small bag)

4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks

1 bulb of fennel, top removed and cut into wedges

2 yellow onions, cut into chunks

Preheat your oven to 425. Rinse your chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and thyme. Brush the bird with about a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss veggies with olive oil and a good amount of salt and pepper and any leftover thyme that you have. Put the veggies in a roasting pan or dutch oven and place the chicken on top. Roast for 1 1/2 hours. See YouTube for helpful carving advice.

 

 

 

Vegetable Soup

With the snow rapidly falling here in New York, I had soup on the brain in a big way. And maybe a tropical beach vacation too. When my brother, Andrew, told me he was making my mom’s famous vegetable soup on his snow day, I knew I had to follow suit. Trudging through the snow, I made my way to the market to purchase the essential veggies and 45 minutes later it was soup time. Carrots, zucchini, potatoes and cabbage all in a rich tomatoey-beef broth will have you coming back for seconds. And thirds. This soup is really quite special and should not be overlooked when plotting your next pot. Add your favorite veggies, omit the ones you don’t care for, and throw in the ones already in your fridge. SOUP there it is!

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Vegetable Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrots (2 carrots)picstitch (47)
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)
6 cups beef broth
2 cups canned diced tomatoes, including the liquid
1 cup peeled, diced potatoes
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup chopped cabbage or spinach
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tpsp pepper
salt to taste
Briefly saute onion, carrots and celery over medium heat until they start to sweat a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the cabbage, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 35 minutes. Add chopped cabbage and cook at least 15 minutes longer, or until cabbage is tender. It’s very important to taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to your liking. I added more beef broth, salt and pepper and even a bit more of the canned tomatoes.
I told you I was dreaming about vacation. Does drinking this out of a stemless wine glass make it classier? Don’t answer that.

I told you I was dreaming about vacation. Does drinking this out of a stemless wine glass make it classier? Don’t answer that.