We all know that water dilutes. When cooking food, water not only dilutes nutrients, but also precious flavor.
This ghastly winter has been one for the record books, and all we've had to play with lately are root vegetables. We didn't let that deter us from finding new and innovative ways to cook them. Simmering gently in a flavorful liquid is nice, but some of those earthy components of the vegetable are lost to the water, bound to be dumped down the drain.
Why not save all of that flavor. Or even better, concentrate it.
Dry roasting is one way we can achieve that.
We started with large horse carrots. Unfortunately, they tend to be bland and bitter. A mortar was made with four whipped egg whites and a pint of kosher salt. A base was laid on an oiled sheet pan. Then the carrots were covered in the salt mixture. They were baked at 350 degrees for one hour.
The resulting carrots were intense in flavor and well seasoned. They had lost that bitter edge and had become slightly sweet, almost like caramelized honey. The earthy characteristics were pronounced, and the texture varied though out. Softer on the outside and the slightest bit of toothsome crunch in the middle. Like a well cooked piece of meat, joy was found in each bite because of these texture variations. The carrot was still juicy, as the egg and salt barrier had locked in all the moisture. I wouldn't mind substituting one of these carrots for a steak.
This is one method of cooking that won't be forgotten anytime soon. It's too easy - and the the results are too good.