When I was in culinary school, we made this dish. While I have created my own version, it blew my mind when I first had it. I was impressed with how easy they were to make, and the flavours combined perfectly. This recipe utilizes the natural sugar in orange juice to create the glaze and a few subtle flavours for enhancement.
A Google search brings up pages and pages of recipes for glazed carrots, with everything from maple syrup to brown sugar, and glazing usually involves a high sugar addition to caramelize and form the glaze. The difference with this recipe is that it only requires a few ingredients and takes just a short amount of time. The key is ensuring that the carrots cook to the sweet spot. Not raw, but not soft; there needs to be a bit of crunch to them. Al dente is probably a familiar term, which is close to what we want for our carrots.
We can achieve al dente in a couple of ways. First, steaming the carrots would get us there. You will want to steam them for five minutes or until they are just soft. A second method is to boil them, which will work faster than steaming but strips some nutrients. Lastly, you could roast them in an oven. These are all based on the use of your stovetop, so if you are thinking of using your microwave for softening them, while it will do the job, the timing will be different.
You’ll notice in my pictures that my carrots have a wavy cut to them, and that is because I use a fancy pants wavy cutter. You can use your regular chef’s knife, and this recipe will still taste great, but the wavy cutter makes it look cooler. You can also skip the whole cutting thing and use mini carrots. I also use ground cardamom, but if you have whole black cardamom, it will work. Make sure you crush it slightly to get some of the flavours out and discard the pods when you’re done. I’d say 3-5 pods are perfect, add or remove as you want to increase or decrease the subtly of the taste.
Lastly, if you do not have a steamer but have a metal strainer that fits into one of your pots and the lid fits on, use that instead. You’ll want to make sure the handle is not plastic, though, because you don’t want to melt the plastic. Otherwise, choose one of the other methods to cook your carrots.
Now, let’s look at this recipe so you can get to cooking.
Orange Glazed Carrots
2-3 carrots – sliced into coins
2 tbsp frozen orange concentrate
2 tsp ground cardamon
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Kosher salt to taste
- Peel and slice the carrots.
- I prefer to steam my carrots, so if you have a steamer get it set up.
- Before the carrots are al dente, remove them from the steam. Carryover cooking will help get them there.
- Get out your largest non-stick frying pan.
- Turn your burner to medium-high.
- Add in your carrots and butter and let them get coated in the butter.
- Once the butter has fully melted add the orange juice and stir to coat the carrots.
- Add the cardamom and salt.
- Cook for an additional two minutes to reduce the liquid to syrup while stirring the carrots.
- Once you have a syrup, you are done.