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Scrumptious Sides

July 11, 2020
Roasted Potatoes + Balsamic-Glazed Carrots
Pg. 158 + Pg. 161
Potatoes: Unnamed, “Many MasterChef Junior Contestants”
Carrots: Afnan, Season 5
Chicken: Zac, Season 4 (second time making, see “Do it Afraid” for review)
19 + 20 down…79 to go!

I love the “Sides” section of the MasterChef Junior Cookbook because I get to pair them with other delicious dishes; it feels like I’m a MasterChef buffet. Buffets are my favorite, btw. For this particular meal, I chose to make Zac’s pan-seared chicken again (this was my first ever MCJ meal) and pair it with Afnan’s balsamic-glazed carrots (this is the third dish I’ve made from him, and it did not disappoint), and some roasted potatoes.

Confession: this is the second time I attempted the carrot dish. The first time I tried was when I made Afnan’s two other dishes from the cookbook: Beef Wellington and Parmesan mashed potatoes. While I prepared those two other amazing recipes, the water for the carrots WOULD NOT BOIL. I say this with a hint of bitterness because I was in the middle of a disaster of a day already. My fella was redoing the kitchen floors that day, the AC decided not to work (it was June in Texas) and the Wellingtons were taking longer than expected, which meant the house just kept getting warmer because of the oven.

Everything else was pretty much ready, except the water was taking it’s sweet time. Hot and bothered, I threw the carrots in prematurely, and followed the rest of the instructions. Turns out, that was not wise. The carrots were underdone and not at all tender. The second time, I was more patient and they came out beautifully.

I’ve never cooked multicolored, long carrots like this before. They were so pretty and flavorful!

What I did differently:
*I only altered the potato recipe. Zac’s chicken was proven to be delicious back in May. I was determined not to mess up the carrots again, so I followed the recipe strictly. However, the potato recipe was very simple and I thought I could play MasterChef for the day and make it my own, especially since the book didn’t mention any contestant in particular.

  • In addition to the salt and pepper the recipe called for, I added onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, and cayenne. SO MUCH FLAVOR! I love it!
  • I like my potatoes extra crispy and more well done, so I roasted them for about 22 minutes instead of the 15-20 minutes it suggested.
  • I garnished the potatoes (and the carrots, actually) with freshly chopped parsley. I am obsessed with fresh herbs.
  • I served the potatoes (and chicken) with my homemade Siracha crema. I’m a saucy gal, and I am proud of that crema because it pairs so well with so many dishes. YUM!

All my love,
Dani, a big tid

P.S. Are you a fan of cooked carrots? I ask because I used to HATE them. My poor mom would make them with her pot roast when I was growing up, and I would whine about having to eat them. The only way I managed to get them down was drowning them in ketchup. Weird, I know. Thankfully, know I can easily enjoy roasted carrots without ketchup. They may not be my go-to veggie, but these particular ones were next level. Thanks for another outstanding dish, Afnan!

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  1. I loved the carrots and I too didn’t love them as much as a kiddo but I enjoy them now. Excellent dinner huney

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