These days I’m restless and bored with cooking. I need new inspiration and new dishes.
Usually when this happens I start perusing my cookbooks, but right now, my cookbooks are packed into a container ship heading to the UK, along with all my other earthly belongings.
That’s right – we’re moving to Scotland in a few weeks. We’ll be living in a little cottage on a 1200 acre cattle farm outside of St Andrews. If you Google the address, you see a map with a lot of green and some tiny white dots. Zoom in, and those dots turn into sheep.
Those of you who know me are probably thinking, what are you going to do on a 1200 acre cattle farm?
Believe me, this is the question that haunts me between 5:00 in the morning and the time that Stella wakes me with a huge grin.
I’m planning to continue homeschooling, an adventure that has taught me as much as it has Stella. I want to travel a lot to places I’ve never been: Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brugges, Seville, Morocco…I don’t know, maybe Vienna, Cornwall and the Greek Islands.
I also want to discover new ingredients, cooking methods, restaurants, drinks and all the habits that go along with eating and sharing food in a new culture. Mutton (stew)? Hoggitt (braise)? Small oily fish for breakfast (broil)? Haggis? Maybe not….
The next few weeks may be sparser than usual on Three Squares, as we begin our journey across the ocean and start to get settled. In the next month I’ve got to learn to drive on the left side of the road, unpack all our furniture and books and art, figure out the wood stove (and, yes, I’m told we’ll use it in summer) and try to sleep in the 18 hours of daylight. I’ll take lots of pictures and get back to this space as quickly as I can.
For now, here’s an amazing side dish of roasted carrots inspired by Home Cooking with Jean-Georges. It’s simple to make and totally delicious; you’ll friends will wonder how you came up with these flavors. Set aside some of the marinade and serve it over grilled fish, such as Spanish mackerel.
1 pound medium carrots
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel the carrots and cut them into 2-inch pieces. Cook the carrots in boiling salted water for 8 minutes. Drain and reserve.
3. Mince the garlic and thyme. Mix them with the cumin, salt, pepper and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Set aside a few tablespoons of the dressing for later, then toss the rest with the carrots and place on a sheet tray.
4. Cut the citrus in half, place them cut side down on the tray with the carrots.
5. Roast 25 minutes, stirring once during cooking, until the carrots are golden.
6. Carefully squeeze the citrus juices over carrrots, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and serve.