Monday, October 22, 2007

Oops... a few too many carrots in the fridge!

I picked up a 2 pound bag of carrots yesterday at the market as I could have sworn we were out... when I went to put them away, I found a full sneaky bag hiding behind some lettuce! We each have some as a snack with some sort of dip throughout the week, but I thought I should get the older bag used up a little quicker.

I didn't have a side picked out for tonight's dinner and while I probably would have served a simple green salad, I went ahead and made these Brown-Sugar Glazed Carrots. It uses a massive 1 1/4 pounds of carrots, so that right there would eat up a good chunk of the bag! If your carrots are especially thick, you may want to cut them in half or even quarter them so they can all cook in roughly the same amount of time. The carrots are cooked in a bit of water with a nob of butter, just a tablespoon of brown sugar and they get a slight floral boost from a pinch of rosemary. By the time the carrots are close to being tender, most of the water should be gone - you want to let it keep reducing down until it makes a light glaze that coats the carrots. If for some reason you run out of water before the carrots are tender enough, go ahead and pour in just a little extra water to allow them to finish cooking. The slightly sweet carrot chunks were tender enough to easily bite into them, yet were not mushy in the least. With just a couple minutes of prep time, this recipe is easy enough to throw together for a delicious, quick and healthy side any day of the week.

Brown-Sugar Glazed CarrotsIn our recipe section, one of the least populated categories is probably the seafood section. I've never been a big fan, but over the last couple of years we have slowly(!) been trying to add more into our diet. While we do try to branch out and try different varieties of seafood, we usually stay in the safe zone and use an ingredient we know we like - just like in tonight's main dish of Spicy Shrimp and Fettuccine.

As you wait for the strands of fettuccine to cook, a mess of minced garlic and a couple shakes of crushed red pepper are infused into some olive oil in a large skillet. When the aroma of the garlic becomes intense, peeled shrimp are tossed in and briefly sautéed before the addition of chopped tomatoes, sour cream, tomato paste and basil. By the time this mixture has thoroughly heated through, the pasta should be about ready and is tossed in to finish cooking for a minute or two in the fiery sauce. Once plated, a scattering of Parmesan cheese completes the dish for a slightly sharp bite. We had everything in the pantry already for this dish except for the tomatoes - I went ahead and got a couple this weekend, but I think you could just use a semi-drained can of diced tomatoes (fire-roasted would be good!) to simplify things. If you enjoy extra spicy food, up the crushed red pepper to 3/4 or to a full teaspoon if you're feeling especially frisky.

Spicy Shrimp and Fettuccine


  1. I've always wanted to try glazed carrots (you see, there hasn't been a roasted meat to eat it with for a while)! Yours looks great, Joe!

  2. SO easy to do that - we have a red pepper mountain in this house at the moment ... I've got to get on to it tonight!


  3. I just wanted to let you know that I read a lot of food blogs yet find myself CONSTANTLY turning to yours for inspiration. I love your writing, your pictures and of course your recipes. Thank you for providing me a mini escape from work every day. Always looking forward to your next post and counting down to December to see what goodies you mail out this year :)!

  4. Manggy - Thanks!

    Joanna - the red peppers freeze fairly well, I usually end up tossing them chopped in the freezer fairly often.

    Lindsay - Wow! Thank you!

  5. Thanks for the recipe! I used frozen pre-cooked shrimp and canned tomatoes, and this dish became so easy that it's going to be one of my go-tos.

  6. Emiglia - I'm glad you enjoyed the dish!