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Mar 27, 2011 04:27 PM

I hate over cooked carrots

Going to the in-laws for a potluck dinner and have just found out that the main (a whole turkey) won't be ready for another hour. But my carrots are perfect now... insert crying/whining here. ;)

I'm cooling them in their dish in the sink with some ice water rather than letting them cool on their own. Anyone know if this will this save them from tasting horrible when reheated later?

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  1. This may be too late, but how did you cook them in the first place? Plain roasted? Boiled & glazed? And for how long? Regardless, just reheat them as gently as possible. Carrots - like most root vegetables - are pretty resilient so long as they weren't overcooked to begin with.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Breezychow

      Boiled and glazed. After it comes back to a boil, I taste test by the minute rather than go by a set time.

    2. Don't worry about it. Do the best you can do. It's not your fault the rest of the meal wasn't ready.I'm sure the carrots will be fine. Don't be so hard on yourself. I could scare you with meals with my in laws., scary scary things they thought were food.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MellieMag

        Glad to report they reheated fine! I was just particularly excited because I dressed them with some preserved meyer lemon that I made, so I wanted them to be perfect for dinner. And there weren't any left over, so that's a pretty good sign :)

        1. re: jubilant cerise

          Would you share your entire recipe? Carrot cooking info and the preserved meyer lemon? I've been wanting a 'perfect carrot' side dish recipe for ages.

          1. re: The Oracle

            Chow's recipe for preserved lemons is pretty close to the one I found:

            Most lemons have a wax coating, unless you're lucky enough to have friends with a tree or live someplace that they'd be at a farmer's market. So I submerged my lemons in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes, then scrubbed them under warm running water to remove the wax.

            I used whole spices (approx 1/2 tsp of each spice per four lemons) and gave them all a good crush before mixing into the salt. Bay leaf, cloves, green cardamom, black pepper, coriander and cinnamon stick. Also I didn't mean to but a whole year went by before I tried my lemons - I'm keeping them in the fridge now that the jar is open but I'm pretty sure they'll keep for longer than two months.

            So, once your carrots are cooked (I did a large dice and boiled them), drain and leave in the colander while you set the pot back onto the burner - not need to cook this , just use the residual heat to warm it up. Add butter and/or olive oil and mix in a tablespoon of minced preserved lemon. Toss the carrots back into the pot and stir to coat thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasonings (preserved lemon, salt &/or pepper) if needed and garnish with fresh parsley.

            So far, I've also used the preserved lemon as a salad dressing and to season a cauliflower soup and it was absolutely beautiful.

            Another carrot recipe that went over well was with red onion and green cardamom. Slice half a red onion into crescent moons, cook until translucent and set aside in a bowl. Using the same pan you cooked the onions, add some butter and/or olive oil, ground pepper and powdered green cardamom. I don't remember how much I used but go slowly - cardamom can be overwhelming and you want this flavour to just be present, if that makes sense. Carrots: cut into 2" sticks and boil just a couple minutes so they're still firm. Drain, then mix them and the onions into green cardamom butter/oil. Adjust seasonings as needed.

            Hope you find your perfect carrot dish! :)

            1. re: jubilant cerise

              I think I just did! Thank you for taking the time to write this all out! I can't wait to try it....

              1. re: The Oracle

                Glad you're keen on these - always glad to share recipes with people! :) I must be doing something right if I'm always asked to bring carrots for dinner at the in-laws... But that's probably another reason why I get stressed about them if I think I'm overcooking them, lol!

                I forgot to mention three things - or maybe it's in Chow's preserved lemon recipe - that when you use the preserved lemon, [1] be sure to use a clean utensil to pull it out (to avoid spoilage/contamination); [2] rinse the lemon off before chopping it up to remove excess salt; [3] discard the membrane.

      2. Most people are not very good cooks. Those of us who try to be have a tendency to be self critical. If we just kept our mouths shut most of the time, people would never know we had done something "wrong." Oh, and count me in as someone who likes carrots well done--meaning pretty soft.

        9 Replies
        1. re: escondido123

          Add me to that list. You can't overcook carrots. :-)

          1. re: FitMom4Life

            And if you do overcook them, just go all the way and mash them, then mix in some sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, melted butter and a little flour, then bake and serve as a dessert. I really should be a school lunch lady.

            1. re: Isolda

              is cold carrot soup recipe, using carrots that have been cooked for 30 min in the pressure cooker, and then processed into a very smooth puree (I used a food mill followed by an immersion blender).

              1. re: Isolda

                Isolda, that sounds absolutely delicious. I just might have to bring myself to overcook some carrots just to make that!

            2. re: escondido123

              That's exactly what the late great Julia Child always said - that if you do something wrong cooking-wise, smile & pretend the outcome is exactly the way it was supposed to be. Nine times out of ten, no one will be the wiser.

              1. re: Breezychow

                I've also come to realize that I can drive other family members crazy with my focus on having the food perfect. I'm also known for insisting we have salad separate from the main course, which bothers some members of my family. So I'm trying to be looser at my sister's house, even when I'm doing the cooking. Seems to make everyone in better spirits.

                1. re: Breezychow

                  paulj: I was thinking soup or a mash if I did end up overcooking! :)

                2. re: escondido123

                  escondido123: I don't consider myself to be an amazing cook but I am interested in exploring food within my skill level (and hopefully increasing that skill level along the way but that's another topic...). For me it's as much about sharing a great dish as it is who I'm making it for, so I don't want to give my family and friends anything sub par if I can help it.

                  1. re: jubilant cerise

                    If you can do it without getting stressed that is wonderful. Have fun!

                3. If you have to reheat cooked carrots do it with butter, brown sugar, and curry powder.