Thursday, April 29, 2010

24 Carrot Disappointment

This week was marked by a number of get-it-out-of-the-fridge inspired meals.

I made this orange and lemon zest flavored roast chicken from the freezer along with some fennel purchased for Easter (it had a long life) and some other assorted roasted vegetables. This included some local Jersey asaparagus. This was convenient because a recent study shows that asparagus helps double your ability to metabolize alcohol. And by "recent" I mean one of those studies that pops up once a year as if on a timer. Like the one about red wine being good for you, or about scientists figuring out what really killed the dinosaurs.

I was going to need this asparagus to help me metabolize the one beer I planned on drinking for dinner that night.

I was looking forward to trying the new Narragansett Porter. I don't know that it is actually new but it was knew to me. Being from Rhode Island I can't legally say anything bad about this beer but I will leave it at this: it was not my favorite. I think I may stick to their original lager.

If scientists find out a vegetable that can double my ability to metabolize a taste I may pair it with this porter and try it again.

I love Narragansett Beer though! Please buy a lot of their products!

Having roasted too many vegetables I used up the remainder with a nice chunk of cod loin which I pan roasted. I also wilted some fresh baby spinach and served that as an accompaniment the following night.

Jen had found this recipe for Gajar Ka Halwa, a dessert made with shredded carrots, sugar, nuts, and condensed milk. While traditionally it should be served with cashew nuts we opted to use pistachios as we had some sitting around in the cupboard.

It's easy to make, that is if you don't break your food processor and end up having to grate the carrots by hand (which I did). After the carrots are grated it's as simple as throwing everything in a pot and simmering it for an hour-and-a-half.

We were excited to try this and thought that it would be the most delicious dessert we'd ever had. Our mutual love of carrot cake is what fueled this excitement. We were sad to discover that even after adding all those nuts, all the sugar, and a huge amount of condensed milk, and cooking it for over an hour it tasted almost exactly like some shredded carrots. It was really quite remarkable. I don't think I can recall any single food ingredient that I've ever added so many additional ingredients and so much cooking time to that changed so little.

It's not to say that it's gross or anything, it's just not what we'd hyped it up to be in our mind.

Instead of the greedy, overindulgence we usually experience when there is dessert in the house we have gone through a new routine with this dish. Every night for the past few nights we've finished dinner then sat in front of a small plate of Gajar Ka Halwa, looked at each other, and dutifully eaten our servings. The disappointment was so severe that we didn't even discuss it the first few times we ate it, being sure not to make eye contact with the other in hopes that we could continue to pretend it was the best thing we'd ever eaten.

After three nights there is still a lot left. I'd say about 60%. If you're dying to have some after the wonderful picture I've just painted please stop on by. I'll give you a double-serving.

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