Have you ever wanted a little more color on the plate without getting so exotic that your family turns up their noses despite all your creative efforts? While shopping one Saturday morning, I was in just such a mood. I wanted to make Sweet Potatoes in a Brown Sugar Kahlua Glaze. (See – not too exotic.) When I mentioned the idea to my guys, the general response was “fine for you, but we aren’t eating them.” Darn. I really wanted that lovely orange color on the table without all the flax from the family. There had to be a solution – a compromise.
Carrots. I would use carrots. Carrots would give me the look I was going for as a side, and with a little luck, I could get everyone at the table to at least try the carrots.
Hubby likes carrots in his stew. He likes raw carrots with a good vegetable dip. Kiddo isn’t a fan of carrots. Oh, he’ll eat them just fine if I chop them up to the point that the carrot becomes invisible such as in a pasta sauce. Kiddo will eat shredded carrots in stir-fried dishes as well, but if left on their own, he would just as soon skip them. As for Brother Dear, the only carrot he would endure were those he didn’t know about. Still, it was worth a try, right?
As it turned out, glazed baby carrots were a big hit. I knew Hubby would go for them, had a hunch that Kiddo would like them, too. Much to my amazement even Brother Dear, when prodded enough, not only tasted the carrots, but actually was known to eating an entire helping whenever I made them. He concluded that eating the carrots themselves was actually an “evil” necessity in order to get the butter, brown sugar and Kahlua combination to his mouth. Maybe . . .
While this recipe calls for baby carrots with the tops intact, if you cannot find them or if the price is too high, baby carrots from those large bags will do just fine. While I haven’t tried this recipe with an assortment of colorful carrots (the white and purple variety finding their way into the produce market more often these days) I would think they would be equally delicious. (I especially like the purple carrots – could just be that it’s all in my head but they seem sweeter to me.)
I like to serve these carrots with dishes such as Grape-Stuffed Kahlua Game Hens with Kahlua Sauce.
Brown Sugar Kahlua Glazed Baby Carrots
1 lb Baby Carrots, peeled, tops intact (optional)
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
8 Tablespoons Butter
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Kahlua
¼ Cup Finely Chopped Parsley for garnish
Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil over medium-heat. Add carrots and salt. Cook at a rolling boil until carrots are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain carrots, pat dry and set aside.
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar and Kahlua. Bring to a bubbling boil, reduce heat to medium. Add carrots. Cook, uncovered, until sauce thickens and is reduced by half, about 15 minute. Stir often to prevent carrots from browning.
Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with parsley. Toss and serve immediately.