This is one of those go-to recipes for when I realize that, while meat is good, I should probably serve some kind of side dish, and I didn't really think about that when I was at the store. I've almost always got a bunch of carrots in the crisper -- they keep really well, and are fast to cook.
Step 1: Carrots, Assemble!
Preheat the oven to 425 F (218 C).
The ingredients are pretty simple:
For the Carrots
- Carrots, peeled, trimmed
- Olive oil for brushing
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
As a general rule, the smaller you cut up something, the more surface area gets exposed to the sauce/marinade/whatever, and the stronger the flavor of said sauce/marinade/whatever will be in the final dish. I want to be able to taste carrot with an undertone of maple and rum, not maple and rum with an undertone of carrot, so I leave them whole. Or I'm too lazy to cut them up. You pick.
Peel the carrots, trim the ends, and put them on a non-stick oven-safe pan. (Or put some foil down on a regular sheet pan). Brush them lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, rolling the carrots so all sides are coated more or less evenly.
Put the pan in the oven, set a timer for 20 minutes.
Step 2: Glazed and Infused
For the Glaze
- 0.5 oz dark rum
- 0.5 oz real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Fill a shotglass halfway up with rum. Top it off with maple syrup. *Real* maple syrup. If you are tempted to use a plastic bottle full of colored corn syrup, don't. Substitute 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of maple flavor extract for the syrup. Microwave for however long it takes your machine to melt the butter mostly (25 seconds on high for me).
You will be tempted to drink the shot of maple rum. Go ahead, your mom isn't watching, and you have plenty of rum...
After the 20-minute timer goes off, open the oven, brush the glaze onto the carrots, and then flip them so the bottoms are now up. Glaze that side, close the oven, set the timer for 10 minutes.
When this timer goes off, repeat the glaze-flip-glaze process, set the timer for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Final Glaze
After a total of 40 minutes of cooking, your carrots may be done. If they were exceptionally thick, do the glaze-flip-glaze routine again and let them continue to cook until done (when a fork goes easily through the thickest part of a carrot, but they aren't mush).
Pull the pan from the oven, and do one final glaze before plating.