Continuing our Thanksgiving prep! Enter…a newish way to eat veggies with lots of butter in them. I like carrots in almost all forms, but they can definitely feel like an afterthought or boring vegetable. We roast them at home a ton with olive oil, salt, and dried dill – that’s probably my favorite way to eat them.
My family never did carrots at holidays, but I think the boiled-in-sugar version is common, or at least was in the 80’s, in many families. I think carrots (I always picture them at cafeterias like this) boiled in butter and sugar are delicious, and that was kind of the impetus for this recipe. We boil the carrots in stock, butter, and spices, then broil them with some coarse sugar for a fake brulee effect. The end result is tender, flavorful, and so warming from the spices.
You need! Carrots, any kind, cut into chunks. Then stock and butter, ground curry powder, cardamom, and allspice. Some sugar and salt, too.
Put the carrots in a little pot with the stock, and spices. Cover the pot and bring the carrots to a boil just for five minutes or so, then take the lid off and let the carrots keep boiling until the liquid has all evaporated. The carrots should be tender but not mushy at this point – drain some of the liquid if they start to cook too much. When all of the liquid is gone, turn the heat off the pot and stir the sugar and butter into the carrots.
Spread them on a baking sheet and turn the broiler to high. Now, you can do all of this in advance and broil the carrots right before eating – while the turkey is resting or there is more space available in the oven. Or, hell, stir in the butter and sugar and eat them as-is, they’re delicious after this step.
When you’re ready to eat, broil the carrots for about 3 minutes until they’re dark and crispy on top from the butter and sugar. Just a few minutes, maybe more or less depending on your broiler. Keep an eye on them the whole time! Throw something green on top of these if you’d like for good measure, and dive in.
This, to me, is the perfect combination of nostalgic comfort food with a few updated touches and flavors. The texture from broiling the veggies is to die for, and I’m super duper into the combination of curry + cardamom + allspice for the holidays. Also you should probably quadruple the recipe, just saying.
Simple steps and a few heavy-hitting flavor ingredients make regular boiled carrots fancy enough for any holiday meal.
- 1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ stick butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar (coarse sugar works well here)
- Scallions or chives for garnish, optional
In a small saucepan, combine the carrots, stock, curry powder, salt, cardamom, and allspice. Cover the pot and bring the stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil the carrots covered for five minutes.
Remove the lid and continue to boil the carrots until the stock has all evaporated. Turn the heat off and stir the butter and sugar into the carrots.
Transfer the carrots in one layer to a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or cooking spray. Preheat the broiler to high.
Right before serving, broil the carrots for 3-5 minutes until crispy on top – keep an eye on them! Garnish with something green if you’d like and serve immediately.