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Great(ed) Carrots {CtBF}

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I can’t believe that Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday of the year) has already come and gone.  We had a lovely visit and feast with Howard’s sister and her family in New Jersey.  Everything was delicious.  I have some turkey stock stashed in the freezer that I made from the carcass, but otherwise, the leftovers are all gone.

After all the rich food and restaurant eating that goes with visiting, this week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays, the very French Grated Carrot Salad (or Carottes Râpées), is a perfect addition to a healthier diet for the week.  Not only is it good for you, it is also super simple to put together.

Grated carrots are tossed with a lemony vinaigrette and some fresh chopped herbs.  That’s it, that’s all. They’re great!  In fact, this recipe is so easy, that I forgot to take any pictures!

I used carrots that I bought from Lexington Community Farm at the end of the season.  These are carrots that I helped weed throughout their growing season, so they are particularly special to me.

I’ve made salads like this occasionally, and this time around, it leaves me wondering why this salad isn’t a regular visitor to my kitchen.  I went back to compare this recipe from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen to the one I made from Dorie Greenspan’s Around the French Table.  David’s recipe uses much less dressing, for a dried (though not dry), salad.   I also loved the brightness of the fresh lemon juice.  Dorie’s recipe uses a lot more Dijon mustard.  I think when I revisit this recipe, I’ll add more mustard to David’s dressing for a bit more bite.  Other than that, I hope to prepare this one again throughout the year.

To see what other bloggers in our group thought of their carrot salads, check out their links here.  To make your own carrot salad, you can find the recipe on page 123 in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen or on-line here.

Quick note to the Doristas among you: I’m so excited about tonight when I’m going to one of Dorie’s local book signing events.  I postponed getting my own copy of Dorie’s Cookies in anticipation of a signed copy.  Just as exciting, Cher of The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler… will be joining me on this Dorie field trip.

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(not) monkfish and double carrots {ffwd}

Cod and Double Carrots

Another week of French Fridays with a recipe that I found uninspiring on the page: Monkfish and Double Carrots. I even postponed making it until Friday’s dinner. I just wasn’t sure about carrots in a carroty sauce topped with fish fillets topped with crumbled bacon.

I’m not a big fan of monkfish. I had it once before, long, long ago. In college, I went to a fancy dinner before a big dance. Dances weren’t really a thing at my school, and though the occasion must have been special, I have no idea what it was for. I do remember having dinner at one of the fanciest restaurants in Boston at that time, Maison Robert. It was a classic French restaurant, and I felt rather intimidated. I also felt adventurous and ordered lotte (monkfish) which I’d never had before. (Dinner is the only thing I actually remember about the evening. How fitting that I grew up to be food-obsessed.) My meal was so rich that my stomach was upset for most of the evening. Maybe it was just the sauce, not the fish itself, but I’ve never been tempted to eat monkfish again. So enough about something that happened over 30 years ago. On to tonight…

Food phobias aside, monkfish is not a fish I often see at the fish counter, so I knew I’d be swapping in a different fish or seafood. From the array of choices, I opted for some wild cod.

Carrot Juice Sauce

The double carrots come from carrots cooked in carrot juice enriched with some butter and olive oil. I was rather skeptical as it simmered on the stove. The fish is fried in the bacon fat rendered from the bacon bound for the top of the fish. I’m not sure cod was the best choice for pan-frying as it was fragile when I was flipping the fillets.

The sauce was very runny, so rather than serve on a plate, I used a pasta bowl. This makes a gorgeous presentation, just like a restaurant. To my surprise, it tasted like a restaurant meal as well. So much for being uninspiring on the page. Howard loved it too. “With bacon on top, how could it be bad?”, he said. I served this with roasted potatoes on the side.

Double Carrots

This one is a winner, and company-worthy to boot. I learned from my first attempt, but there are so many possibilities to perfect it. As I said, a different fish might have worked better. Or, as Howard suggested, maybe we could sous-vide the fish and then sear it just before serving. Also, the suggested bed of mashed potatoes would have been a better way to go than roasted potatoes. Mashed potatoes would have acted as an edible sponge for the carrot sauce.

To see how the double carrots delight worked out for the other Doristas, check out their links here. You can find the recipe on-line here or in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

Happy Friday!