Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Carrot Noodles

Never mind the thick slice of bread and all of the noodles in this photo, this is about something healthier than onion rings, depending on what you serve it with, of course. 

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic

The Method
After peeling the desired number of carrots, rinse carrots and peeler and then resume peeling of small strips of the carrots to make the "noodles".  Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat.  Sauté carrot strips in pan.  Add pinch of salt after adding noodles to pan.  Add garlic during last minute of cooking.  Remove from pan after 3-4 minutes and serve as a side dish or mix into your dish of choice.  

Food for Thought 
The addition of salt at the beginning of the cooking process initiates osmotic activity that will help the carrots, which have relatively high sugar content undergo carmelization faster so that they begin to brown a bit without getting overcooked.  Garlic can burn quickly and will impart a very unpleasant bitter taste when it does, thus it is best not to add it until later in the cooking process.  As seen above, carrot noodles go well with beef stroganoff but they can be integrated into any pasta dish, regardless of the color of your sauce (Mario Batali uses shredded carrots in his standard marinara sauce).  And like normal noodles, the texture of your carrot noodles is a function of the cook time.  If you are making noodles and do not want to use an extra pan, you may add the carrots to the salted boiling water you are using for your pasta noodles.  Finally, you may apply this technique to any vegetables you can break down in this manner.    

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