Boasting a sweet base profile with a sassy spicy backbite, my new cayenne maple glazed carrots are uhhhhhmazing, y'all!! Tender baby carrots, tossed with a maple syrup, butter and herb sauce with pops of Louisiana-style hot sauce. Baked til almost ready, then basted with the remaining sauce to ensure that each bite is ultra-flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth gluten free side dish deliciousness. Yep and yay...
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I Was Dancing the Gluten Free Side Dish Dance in My Head When All of A Sudden...
There are days when I wake up in the morning knowing exactly what I'm going to cook. And then there are days when its 4 p.m., and I don't have a clue! On these days, I usually stare into the pantry, fridge and freezer for like ever before I pull something together quickly.
Well, the other day was one of those days. Yep. So, I asked Mark if he'd be willing to grill our main dish. And, as he said, 'sure' I got busy planning an easy gluten free side dish in my head.
I looked at the potatoes in the fridge, and thought to myself, 'For once I'd like something a little different.' So, I shoved the bag out of the way, and looked waaayyy back into the fridge. And, there it was: a bag of fresh baby carrots just sitting there, waiting for their turn.
As soon as I pulled the bag out of the fridge, a sweet craving came over me. And then the usual, 'But you have to have something spicy at every meal,' thought crept up. So, I did what's in my nature to do, meaning I created these brand new cayenne maple glazed carrots right then and there.
Using just a handful of ingredients, these sweet and spicy roasted carrots were just what I was looking for in a side dish. First off, they're super soft and tender, with just a bit of roasting char to make them delectably addictive.
Second, they're super sweet from the maple syrup. But, that sweetness yields quickly to the cayenne-studded high notes. So, first, you think that the sweet taste is the best part. But then, that hot sauce sassiness hits you, and you want more, more, more of that too. Finally, you hit the balance spot of the cayenne maple glazed carrots. And, you fall straight in love with this easy, peasy gluten free veggie side dish of champions. Yep.
How to Make Cayenne Maple Glazed Carrots
Start the cayenne maple glazed carrots by preheating the oven. Then, rinse the baby carrots well. Oh, and cut the bigger ones in half. You want all the baby carrots to cook evenly, so they need to be of similar shapes and sizes:
Next, pour all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl:
And give them a good stir. Reserve ⅓ of the sauce til later, though:
Then, pour the sauce over the carrots. And use your hands to cover the carrots with the delicious maple butter sauce:
Finally, pour into a well-greased cast iron skillet, and bake:
And that's pretty much it, y'all. You do re-baste the carrots once they've roasted down a bit. But, since you've already reserved the remaining maple butter sauce, this step only adds about another minute to your overall hands-on time.
I honestly had no idea that these cayenne maple glazed carrots were going to be sooo good! So, now that I know, these babies are going on the regular weekly rotation! The sweet and spicy juxtaposition is what I live for in terms of recipe development. I love the color, the nutritional value, and the plain and simple ease of this recipe.
I think that they can go with just about anything. And, the recipe is pretty foolproof. So, this is a great homemade gluten free recipe for those of you who are still learning the basics. They're super simple to make. But, the truly sophisticated taste and texture will keep your secret YOUR secret. For sure.
Share these cayenne maple glazed carrots with those who'll appreciate a break from the same old side dish same old. And see y'all on the yum side...
Cayenne Maple Glazed Carrots
- 1 pound baby carrots
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 ½ teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Rinse carrots, and cut the larger baby carrots in half. This ensures that all of the carrots roast easily.
- Pour into a large bowl.
- Pour the melted butter, maple syrup, parsley, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste into a bowl.
- Stir until well-incorporated, then reserve ⅓ of the mixture for later.
- Pour the mixture over the baby carrots, then use your hands to coat the carrots completely with the mixture.
- Pour into a well-greased 12-inch cast iron skillet.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, then baste the remaining reserved butter/maple/herb sauce over the carrots.
- Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the carrots are very tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Serve immediately.