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Glazed Baby Carrots and Fresh Dill
From Cooking from the Hip: Fast, Easy, Phenomenal Meals, by Cat Cora

Glazed with champagne or apple cider, lemon, dill, and just a hint of brown sugar, these carrots have a completely different personality from the ones you pack in school lunches. This recipe works best with long, slender baby carrots. If you only have regular carrots on hand, don't make a special trip to the market: just cut them crosswise into thirds. Although the pre-peeled bagged baby carrots don't have the same tenderness as farmers' market carrots, you can use them in a pinch.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds baby carrots, peeled
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup very dry champagne or apple cider
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus several paper-thin slices for garnish (cut before juicing the lemon)
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus dill sprigs for garnish

Instructions:

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and butter. Sauté the carrots just until they begin to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the stock and the champagne or cider. Cover and cook over medium heat until the carrots are almost tender but still firm, about 4 minutes.

Remove the cover, turn the heat to high, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sugar and toss gently to coat the carrots and help the sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and minced dill and toss well. Garnish with lemon slices and dill sprigs and serve.

Note: I never toss out wine. When there's a little left in the bottle, I store it in the fridge and use it when I want to deglaze a pan or add some richness to meat sauces and soups or make a marinade sing. Leftover wine is an especially good glaze for vegetables.

Option: Vegan

Use 3 tablespoons olive oil and omit the butter. Substitute 1/4 cup fresh orange or tangerine juice for the chicken stock and increase the champagne or cider to 1-1/4 cups.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

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