Carrots Agrodolce with Currants

Like dude, that title amiright? Agrodolce means something about sweet and sour, and I’m 90% sure it’s Italian. You don’t get that kind of half assed explanation outta the Barefoot Contessa, now do you! If you can’t blaze your own path, store bought is fine.

This is the culmination of a long search for a carrot side dish. I don’t know why I made this my thing- the THING- I worked towards for years. But I always knew there had to be more to these orange bastards than I’d run across so far. Roasted baby carrots left me bored. Various other glazed carrot recipes always came out kinda weird or bland or required celery salt.


The enigmatic jerks!

But this one? Tangy, not cloyingly sweet, and the currants upped the flavor depth. (Upped? Not deepened? Odd choice, brain.) Also, when done in the pan after cooking pork chops or chicken, you also incorporate the fond from the meat and the whole thing then gets served over said cut of meat as a sauce. Bitchin.


½ smallish yellow onion, chopped
5-7 carrots, cut into rounds about 1/3 of an inch thick. Approximately.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. honey
4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 Tbsp. currants, more or less
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pan over medium heat (after cooking pork or chicken, or can also be done in clean pan if required) add a good glug ( thats 2 Tbsp-ish) olive oil. If you are cooking the carrots after cooking meat make sure you have enough oil and your heat low enough that you don’t burn the fond. Once oil is heated, add the chopped onion and salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, scraping bottom to loosen fond, until onions are softened and starting to turn golden. Add carrots; stir once and then let sit for 2 minutes before continuing to stir and scraping the fond. Once carrots start to soften a little add honey, currants and vinegar, stirring regularly from here on out (another couple of minutes). If the sauce starts to dry you can add a little water. Continue scraping fond until you have a nice glaze that has coated the carrots and a bit of extra sauce. Serve as a side dish or spoon over meat if at all humanly possible.

I had this tonight with pan seared pork chops, sautéed spinach with red pepper flake and garlic, and wild rice. Spooned the carrots half over the pork and half over the rice. Pretty as a picture and tasted like I’d pay $26 for it in a restaurant.

Linking up with Samantha over at Fake Fabulous Here- check it out!

Grilled Zucchini Salad

Love, love, love, love, LOVE me some grilled zucchini salad. So easy. So good. Keeps well. Tasty warm or cold. And AWESOME with some turkey and cheese in a toasted sandwich! And a total piece of cake to make! In fact- WAY easier than an actual piece of cake- not to get all literal on you or anything. This is a very fresh side dish and is also great served with grilled chicken breasts or grilled shrimp over a bed of lettuce to make a main dish. Not all sides can make that transition (you mean ALL we’re having is cabbage? Huh.) but this one can step up to that plate easily. Look at me: I can puns. I’m leaving it there, though.


Photo by: Zsuzsa N.K. You know how difficult it is to find a picture of zucchini that doesn’t look wildly inappropriate? 



2 zucchinis, halved lengthwise

1 avocado, diced

1 medium tomato, diced

Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped finely

Juice of half a lemon

Olive oil

Salt and pepper
Heat griddle pan to medium heat. Halve your zucchinis lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place zucchini on griddle pan, cut side down. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, you’re only looking for very light griddle marks and for them to still be firm, so keep an eye on them. Remove to another plate to cool. Dice your tomato, place in bowl, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Add the diced avocado and chopped parsley. Once zucchini is cooled, dice and add to the other ingredients. Add desired amount of olive oil and squeeze on the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper as desired to taste. I like to stir to the point the avocado JUST starts to break down and coat the other ingredients, but not so it’s completely broken down into a paste.

Coq au Vin


(Image by Silke Rabung)

This recipe has a special place in my heart because it was on my Maternity Leave Bucket List when I was home with my second daughter. I decided to have a list to accomplish during that time with the second one because with my firstborn it seems like I pretty much didn’t leave the house for nine weeks and watched Magnum P.I. three times a day. (LOT of sitting around when you’re nursing a newborn; turns out.) A nice, involved recipe is good for getting you sane through a variety of trying times, not just new parenthood;  such as every single Sunday afternoon ever.

This is an old French recipe, and I’m sure about 65,350,000 French citizens will think I am royally jacking this up. But they put rooster feet and a cup of blood in theirs; so I can live with the French contempt. (With more French contempt.) And you need one bottle minus one glass (for le chef, of course) of red wine for this recipe and make it a middling to good one. Why go to all this trouble and have bad wine ruin the whole thing? Go ahead. Indulge a bit.

My least favorite thing about this recipe is peeling the pearl onions, but just consider it a lesson in patience. Feel free to watch a whole episode of Magnum P.I. while you do it- it makes the time go by faster. You won’t get tips like that from Julia Child! But don’t skimp or shortchange the quantity of them- you’ll thank me. And besides, Magnum P.I. is total gold. I will tell you, though I found it a pain, that if you boil them for 2-3 minutes and then put them in cold water immediately the onion jackets should slide right off. I must have done that one wrong though because it didn’t turn out that way… I’ll stick with the Magnum P.I. method, myself.

6 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs

1/3 cup all purpose flour

Salt and pepper

6 slices of bacon

8 oz Cremini mushrooms, cut in half

2 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces

12oz beef broth

1.5 Tbsp. tomato paste

25-30 small white pearl onions, peeled

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 fresh bay leaf (or 1 dried, if fresh unavailable)

4 sprigs fresh thyme (1.5 tsp. dried, if fresh unavailable)

1 bottle (minus one cup) quality red wine – Pinot Noir preferred

1 package Egg noodles (12 oz.)

*small handful minced flat leaf parsley for garnish

In your biggest pot over medium low heat cook the bacon, being careful not to burn. While that is cooking mix the flour, salt, and pepper together on a plate and then dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture. Remove the bacon, once it is cooked, and then increase the heat to medium in the pot. Brown the chicken pieces in batches in the bacon grease, and remove to a plate. Add 1 tbsp butter, if needed to any remaining bacon grease and sauté the pearl onions, carrots, garlic, mushrooms and celery. Remove vegetables from pot. Pour off any remaining grease or oil, carefully. Place the pot over medium heat again and deglaze the pot with a cup or so of red wine. Add chicken, vegetables, thyme, bay leaf, remaining wine, tomato paste, and beef broth to barely cover the chicken and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.

Cook the egg noodles in a separate pot, drain and return to pot. Place one chicken thigh on a bed of noodles in individual bowls and spoon sauce over the top. Garnish with the minced parsley.