Thursday, January 6, 2011

Carrots and mushrooms and onions, oh my!

This is not a food blog.  It could never be a food blog because a) I could not write about food to save my brother's nuts, b) I do not cook consistently at all, even though I enjoy it and c) I do not consistently eat outstanding food.

If you make like a mathematician and expand (b x c), (LOOK.  I'm pretty sure I've done algebra at some point in time and I know you cannot expand b x c unless there are some powers involved somewhere or an 'a' factor outside the brackets or something equally diabolical.  For the sake of this argument, can we all just get with artistic license and just carry on down the page without letting our minds linger too long on the mechanics of that unlikely equation), you get:

d)  I don't consistently eat outstanding food because sometimes there is only time and money enough for a sandwich and anyway if I ate amazing things all the time, my gut would bust.

e)  I don't cook too much now because I really dislike cooking in a communal kitchen when I'm away from home and don't have all the accoutrements and then I have to clean up in a tiny sink with separate hot and cold taps (why, Britain, why?!) as three other people ooze around me to snatch at the drips of hot water.


f) I'm just plain lazy.

BUT.  When I do, and good things come of it, I just love to share in case you guys happen to be interested.

After three days of having nothing but instant noodles and microwaved Indian meals, I was craving something organic and naturally tasty.  (I was also craving a chocolate chip cookie and Shriya had to tolerate me whining like a small child for several minutes before stuffing a packet of minstrels in my hand to shut me up.) 

I remembered reading this amazing sounding recipe and decided to have a bash with a few favourite vegetables of my own.  Let me break it down for you and make it easy, because it is.

The idea here is to throw some vegetables (carrots particularly) into a pan or skillet, put the lid on and let them all cook in each others' juices.  

Basically, you slice up an onion, and caramelise it in hot olive oil or butter (I used a generous amount of butter).  I let the onions just sort of sit there and crackle and blister and get all sweet and brown, while occasionally stirring.  I then tossed in a big spoonful of garlic and pepper and salt.

Once the onions are caramelised, you just put in the slices of vegetables, throw in a generous amount of thyme (I couldn't find fresh so I used dried), put the lid on, and watch them go.  The key here is to estimate the amount of time needed for each vegetable to end up tender but still crunchy, so I put in carrots, asparagus tips and sliced mushrooms, in that order.  

The carrots get all fragrant and tender, the asparagus turns a bright, shiny green glazed with butter and the buttons start to get the delightful brown crinkle of a juicy, well-cooked mushroom.  

And the whole thing is rustic and salty with butter, sweet with the caramel and crunch of the onions and scented with the thyme and natural goodness of the vegetables and their juices. 

It is so good when it's cold out and you're tired of sandwiches and soups.

I ate the entire pan in one sitting.  Well, wouldn't you?

I can't wait to try it with fresh thyme and just carrots as the original recipe suggests.  Let me know if anyone out there tries it or makes something similar with different vegetables, I'd love to hear it.

Oh and...

I DID finish the meal off with chocolate chip cookies and a well-deserved hot cup of tea. 


Jewelz said...

MMMMMmmmmmm...that looks tasty...I have a weird craving for chinese now :/

Check out my blog :)

mellyshuwanty said...

love ur blog and those tasty foods!!! nyumm;;) visit mine?

Shoe said...

@ Jewelz - Thanks! Oh man, Chinese food is the food I miss MOST OF ALL.

@ Mellyshuwanty - Thank you, I'll definitely stop by!

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