It isn't a true Thanksgiving meal without loads of sides, scattered around the table like banchan at a Korean barbecue. And one side (other than creamed spinach) that I can't do without is a bowl of candied carrots.
The premise behind glazed carrots couldn't be more basic: you simmer the root vegetables in some form of sweetener (sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc.) until the sauce has thickened and coats the carrots.
If you're taking part in a beginner, budget-conscious, or fast Thanksgiving dinner, opt for a two-step recipe made of only four pantry ingredients. Alternately, add citrus for a side that has layers of complexity. Scope out both recipes after the break.
3 pounds carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and black pepper
- In a large skillet, combine the carrots, syrup, butter, 1/3 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring once, until the carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a glaze, 12 to 15 minutes. (If the carrots are tender before the liquid has thickened, uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until the liquid forms a glaze.)
- Vegetables, Salads
- North American
3 navel oranges
4 pounds medium carrots (24), peeled
3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Special equipment: parchment paper or wax paper
- Cut out a round from parchment paper to fit just inside a 12-inch heavy skillet (3 inches deep), then set round aside.
- Cut peel, including all white pith, from oranges with a sharp paring knife. Working over a bowl, cut segments free from membranes, letting segments fall into bowl, then squeeze 1/2 cup juice from membranes into another bowl (discard membranes). Chop orange segments and reserve.
- Cut a 1-inch-thick diagonal slice from a carrot and set aside, then roll carrot away from you 90 degrees and cut another 1-inch-thick diagonal slice. (Shape will resemble a trapezoidal log. If carrots are very thick, cut slices in half lengthwise as well). Cut up rest of carrot in same manner, then repeat with remaining carrots.
- Heat oil in skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then add cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, water, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover carrots directly with parchment round and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Remove parchment, then continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is evaporated and carrots are tender and glazed, about 20 minutes more. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with chopped orange.
- Vegetables, Side Dishes
- North American