This has been an odd week. Each day seems to have merged into one big blob. Maybe it's due to the way it started off... with a storm that ravaged the state where I grew up and a city for which I hold much affection for. My parents and sister and her family are safe, though they're stuck without electricity until next week (not to mention a very large tree that is leaning precariously towards their house). But there are others who weren't as lucky... so many people lost their homes and possessions. And there are neighborhoods that will need to be completely rebuilt. It's devastating to watch.
One thing I realized I can do is reach out to you, my dear readers, and ask you to donate some money (even $5) to one of the amazing organizations out there who have been helping during this crisis. The largest is the Red Cross and here is the direct link to donate to them, but there are plenty of other groups who need the money as well. Again, even a small donation helps. I also recommend reading this article from the Huffington Post on Tips for Donating Smartly as well as this page on the FEMA website.
Lastly, my friend Jenn Oliver at Jenn Cuisine is hosting a food blogger event to get the word out about donating. Check out her post: Food Bloggers Support for Sandy
So... yeah, I haven't even talked about this Moroccan Carrot Dip. My darling friend Mandy (who is also a fabulous cook) brought it to our Friendsgiving dinner last year and I was blown away by its brilliant flavors. I felt like this was a good dish to make... the color alone will lift your spirits a bit.
Moroccan Carrot Dip
(adapted very slightly from the recipe by America's Test Kitchen via The New York Times)
Note: For the dip to have a brilliant orange color and clean flavor, it is important to avoid browning the carrots when cooking them in Step 1.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 pounds carrots (about 12), peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick Salt Pepper 2 garlic cloves, minced 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon chili powder 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/3 cup water 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or cilantro
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until they begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, coriander, cumin, ginger, chili powder and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Off the heat, mash the carrots with a potato masher, leaving a few coarse pieces for texture. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and vinegar. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until the dip is chilled, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with the cilantro before serving. The dip can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Season with additional vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the cilantro before serving.
Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups.