Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oh, My God, the House Smells Fabulous!!!

Although I have been sadly lax in the past year ... 2 years? ... or so, one of my favorite hobbies is entering cooking contests. You've gotta feed the family anyway, right??? So why not have some fun with new recipes, and possibly win prizes as well?

I've won or placed in more than 60 contests; I even found out the other day that I'm a finalist in a new one, though I can't say anything yet 'til I know what the outcome is. But I would like to get back into the kitchen again rather than throwing dinner together on the spur of the moment, which seems to have become my norm. Time for tinkering, of course, and inspiration are necessities; but without the former, it's kinda hard to de-frazzle ye olde brain long enough to find the latter.

But in seeking to happify my blog the other night with widgets and gadgets and cyber-tzotchkes so that it didn't seem quite so pink but plain, I found a very cool competition: the 7th Mediterranean Cooking Event, run by a blogger named Tobias who lives in Greece. Apparently Tobias picks a different country each month (last month was Italy), and then challenges the world to cook recipes representative of that cuisine. This month the spotlight falls upon Algeria, which is the next-door neighbor to my beloved Morocco.

Lots of fabulous, fragrant spices ... tagines and salads ... fruits and vegetables ... sigh. This is what Algerian cooking is all about. With so many options at my disposal -- a freezer door full of everything from coriander to turmeric, as well as dates and pistachios and whole wheat couscous in the pantry -- what might I make??? Carrots. A carrot dish that could be served warm with couscous or served chilled as a salad. It's rainy and dreary here, right before President Obama comes to honor Ann Arbor with a commencement speech at the University of Michigan. The gorgeous color of carrots would brighten my kitchen and my morning!

And so, here is my entry into the competition. Voting is required, so be sure to offer me some love when the time comes!!!

Glazed Spiced Carrots

1 pound baby carrots
water to cover carrots
3 tablespoons argan oil or extra-virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey

Place the carrots into a 3-quart saucepan; cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook 10 minutes until tender. Drain carrots.

In a 10” skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add lemon juice, red pepper flakes, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger and salt; cook for 30 seconds, swirling the pan to blend everything. Add honey, cook for another 30 seconds while swirling the pan. Add carrots, stir to coat, and serve either warm or cold with a lovely glass of mint tea.


tobias cooks! said...

I can imagine that this dish smells great. Thanks for participating!

Abby said...

I'd love to enter cooking contests, but I don't know how to find them! Do you have a site to recommend?

And these carrots look great. My husband would love them.

Yenta Mary said...

Thank you both so much for the lovely compliments!

Abby -- if you go to, you can get a glimpse of some contests. Membership is $25/year, and there are HUNDREDS of monthly, quarterly, one time only, piddly, huge, cooking, writing, and any other kinds of contests you can think of. Good luck!

Reeni said...

These carrots sound so good! The cooking event sounds fun - I will have to check it out. Good luck with the other contest you were talking about. And you must remind us when it's time to vote!

Unknown said...

Fantastic recipe! Good luck with the contest. I hope you win!

AC55 said...

AC55, I love carrots and this recipe gave me another way to eat healthy. My brother Tom is blessed to have such a wonder cook for a girlfriend. Guess who!

tobias cooks! said...

Congratulations! You won the 7th Mediterranean cooking event!

Please contact me via my contact form and send me your postal address.


couscous en tajine's said...

i have to say Congratulions winning the cooking event !! well done, have a nice day


Ghosts of Postings Past and Present

Looking for Something ...?