Friday, June 17, 2016

Spicy Carrots

I love traveling. Or more specifically, I love being somewhere else—in this case, Ireland. Not the getting there (where’s that transporter when you need it?). 

Even when you’re there and having a wonderful time, after a while it gets very tempting to forget about cooking (much less going out and wandering the dark lanes trying to find a town with a restaurant) and settle for a dinner of bread and cheese (assuming it’s one of those countries that produces both good bread and good cheese, which Ireland does).

So what say you make one dish fresh? This is another one based on that lovely pub cookbook, intended as a side dish. There are always carrots, everywhere, right? They seem to keep forever. Well, here’s a way to dress them up, when you’re scraping the bottom of the vegetable keeper.

Note: Of course I have to use West Cork Irish Whiskey. The West Cork Distillers in Skibbereen is fairly new, but the three relatively young guys who run it are doing a great job. I should know, because I checked out the place and sampled a few of their products (which are now available in the U.S.). Research, of course—I do write about an Irish pub, where whiskey is served. 

And then I included the guys as characters in A Turn for the Bad.

Glazed Carrots with Whiskey and Ginger

1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup peanut oil
3 Tblsp salted butter
4 large carrots (about 1 pound), sliced into half-inch thick circles (if you want to get fancy you can slice them at an angle)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into matchsticks
2 Tblsp Irish whiskey
½ cup chicken stock


Mix together the sugar, pepper and salt and set aside.

Heat the oil and half the butter in a large skillet. Add the sliced carrots in a single layer and sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, then turn the slices (carefully, because you want to sort of caramelize both sides) and lower the heat if they seem to be cooking too fast. When the carrots are slightly browned on both sides (maybe even starting to blacken at the edges) remove them from the pan onto a plate.

Clean out the skillet with paper towels (do not wash!). Add the ginger and cook over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, until golden (but not burnt!). Add the ginger to the carrots on the plate.

Add the remaining butter, the whiskey, and the stock to the pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 minutes or until the liquid thickens and becomes syrupy. 

Return the carrots and ginger to the skillet and swirl for 1 minute. Serve immediately.

There you go: quick, easy and colorful. And tasty!

If you want to find out what my friend the whiskey-maker does to help save the day, check out A Turn for the Bad (County Cork Mysteries #4, from February 2016).

Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and lots of other places (I hope!).


  1. Those look yummy Sheila! with bread and cheese? maybe a green salad? perfect!

  2. Irish Whiskey carrots! They could convert some people who aren't fond of carrots.

  3. Krista, I'm with you!
    But I don't need converting--I love carrots.
    Well done recipe, Sheila.

    1. I've fallen in love with the various colored ones. They don't taste significantly different, but they're so pretty! Wish they'd been available when I was a kid.

  4. Read her book and follow her journey in Ireland on Facebook. Both are wonderful!

  5. Pat ( 17, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    I just read your latest Irish mystery. How lucky that trio is to be included. What did they think about their contributions to the mission?

  6. I am going to try this carrot recipe this week! It's so fun to try something a little new with a food we already love (carrots). Thanks for the recipe!

  7. love the series. I have read all of them and the museum series too including the newest. working on the orchard series. I will have to give the carrots a try