Around our house, Valentine's Day is practically forgotten. You see, my sweetie-pie's birthday happens to fall on February 14th, changing the day from a pink-and-red holiday to "Let's Celebrate John!" day. (And have I mentioned that he hates chocolate?) I don't really mind. It's still romantic and loving to celebrate my guy.
The Fatfree Vegan blog is holding a recipe contest for Valentine's Day called Vegetable Love. Since I was already planning to make John a super-healthy and romantic sort of dinner, I thought I'd go the extra mile and make an entry for Vegetable Love.
I thought long and hard about what I'd make. It needed to be comforting and rich. It needed to be earthy, but still vibrant and flavorful. And since it was for John, it needed to have a spicy component--he loves spicy food, and let's face it: he's a hot guy. I spent the last couple of days wracking my brain and tried a glamorous take on mashed potatoes and gravy, with herbs and sherry and shallots. It should have been good.
Ummn. No. I learned something in the process though--I don't like tarragon nearly as much as I thought I did. And I also learned that sometimes mysterious magic happens in the kitchen. I just happened to throw this carrot dish together as a side dish, and it turned out delicious, spicy, tangy, sweet, rich. John really liked it! So here's my tribute to love this February:
Hot Love Carrots
3 large carrots, cut in matchsticks (about 2 cups)
3/4 C orange juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb pepper jelly*
Scrub carrots and remove tops. Cut into matchsticks and place in saucepan with orange juice and salt. Cover and simmer until tender. Remove cover and allow orange juice to reduce by half. Stir in pepper jelly.
*Obviously different brands of pepper are spicier than others. Use one you like, and if it's not spicy enough for your hot love, give it a sexy swirl of Rooster sauce!
Sorry the photo is grainy--I have no idea why, but Blogger keeps making all my pictures funky!