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Thanksgiving Sides — Sherry Simmered Carrots

Butter, sage, brown sugar, lemon zest and swirl of Dijon all merge to make these simple, tasty carrots a perfect side dish for roast turkey, pork, beef or ham. Yes, sweet potatoes have their place at the Thanksgiving table. But let’s try something new.  Now, my colleagues might turn up their noses at my use of pre-cut carrots. But these little ones are so convenient. And when simmered in sherry, they’re delicious.

By now you are aware that I develop recipes for Holland House vinegars and cooking wines. (This recipe was developed for an ad in Cooking Light magazine.) So why use cooking wine? Cooking wine is real wine, with salt added. That’s it. The flavor is consistent, bottle after bottle, and does not turn sour. It is specifically made for cooking—a wine that is not too dry or too sweet. And, not everyone knows enough about wine, nor drinks it regularly, to choose the right wine with which to cook. Cooking wines are a savory solution for simple cooking.
Look for my easy baked mushrooms next time. Thanksgiving here we come!

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Sherry Simmered Carrots
Makes 8 to 10 servings        Prep Time: 18 minutes

1-1/2 pounds petite-cut carrots (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried sage (or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary)
1-1/3 cups Holland House sherry cooking wine or Marsala cooking wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
  Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  Toasted pecans (optional)

Cut thick carrots in half lengthwise. In a 10 to 12-inch skillet with lid, melt butter with sugar and sage. Cook over medium heat until foamy, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to high and stir in carrots. Add 1 cup of the sherry cooking wine; bring to a boil. Cover, slightly reduce heat and boil 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, add cornstarch and lemon zest to remaining 1/3 cup cooking wine; stir well to dissolve cornstarch. When carrots have cooked, stir in sherry-cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and stir in Dijon mustard. Serve immediately, garnished with pecans, if desired.

Nutritients per serving (8): 90 calories, 1g protein, 15g carb, 3g fat, (2g sat. fat), 10mg chol, 210mg sodium, 2g fiber

An original recipe by Rita Held 

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