Mmmmm, orange things. This recipe produces sweet chunks of them in abundance.

It features several nifty cooking techniques, most significantly the heating of cumin seeds beforehand to release their oils and intensify their flavor. The carrots cook and sweeten, but stay firm; the fresh orange pulp and juice coat the carrots and provide entertaining breaks for your tongue.

Ingredients

  • One fresh sweet juicy organic orange
  • Three medium carrots, peeled
  • One tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • One and one-half teaspoons cumin seeds
  • One and three-quarter cups water
  • The juice from half of one lemon
  • A good grinding of salt and pepper

    Doing Stuff

    There are two opportunities here to get all fancy with a knife.

    First, find a paring knife (or a steak knife, or an exacto knife, or a sharp thin rock) and cut all the peel and that white pith from the orange. Do all your orange activity over a bowl to catch the juice; you'll want it later.

    Now look at the orange. See those thin white lines between each segment? Slice in right next to those on either side of each line to remove the orange segments. Put these slices in another bowl, and squeeeeeeeeeze all the remaining juice out of the bits of orange still attached to the orange membrane. Chop the slices of orange into little bite-size chunks.

    Second, peel those carrots and proceed to cut them all fancy.

    Make a one-inch diagonal slice to cut your first piece of carrot. Then roll the carrot so it makes a ninety-degree turn, and make another slice. Epicurious avers that it will "resemble a trapezoidal log" - you know, those ubiquitous trapezoidal logs we all grew up with and loved. Remember when there was a trapezoidal log on every corner, and another trapezoidal log in every stew pot? Silly me, not being able to visualize a trapezoidal log. I think they look sort of like stubby, thwarted pencils. Keep rolling and cutting, moving down the carrot, until it's all gone.

    (Ouroboros says, "rolling cut," Edward Epse Brown calls that technique. Common in Japanese and Chinese cooking.)

    Now, put your oil and your cumin seeds in your skillet and heat them up, stirring (or, if you're me, wandering off to cut up the carrots and returning around when the seeds start to brown) until they begin to smell extra-tasty. Use a moderately low heat. Then add the carrots, water, orange juice, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

    Cover and simmer until, as with rice, the liquid has boiled down to leave neat round holes in your yummy food. Serve, with much rejoicing. This makes about two small bowls, side dish style, or one big serving. I recommend tripling it for lots of eating fun.

    This recipe was thoroughly adapted from one at epicurious.com, where you can also see a picture of these famous trapezoidal carroty logs: http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/photo?id=109327

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