From Too Many Chefs -

September 7, 2005
Not Exactly Ming Tsai's Chipotle Carrot Syrup for Spring Rolls

We're still recapping the dinner party we threw on Saturday. The next course was a smaller version of the phyllo spring rolls I made for IMBB 18. I paired these with my take on Ming Tsai's Carrot Chipotle Syrup.

You have to try this sauce. I had trouble prying it out of the hands of some of the guests when the course was done. It's inspired me to try to develop a soup with these flavors. The carrot juice reduces to a thick goo that's enlivened by the chipotles in adobo and thinned by oil.

My version adds more chipotles and adobo and uses olive oil instead of grapeseed oil (I mean, come on, how many oils can you have in your cabinet, for Pete's sake?)

Here's my take on Ming Tsai's original recipe:

Not Exactly Ming Tsai's Carrot Chipotle Syrup

2 quarts organic carrot juice
2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a big pot, boil the carrot juice. It will foam up violently at one point and try to take over your house. Do not give in to your prospective vegetable foam overlord. Reduce the heat just enough to avoid boil-over and let the juice simmer uncovered and reduce until you are left with a wet goop. Yo may need to scrape the sides of the pot down with a wooden spoon to maximize the syrup. Ming Tsai says this will take 45 minutes. It took me an hour and a quarter. Maybe I had wetter juice?

You must make sure the carrot juice reaches the goop/residue stage and not quit at the thick juice stage but don't burn your goop.

Pour the carrot goop into your blender. Add two tablespoons of chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. Puree until smooth. Slowly add in a little olive oil while it blends until you get an emulsion. Continue adding oil until the full 3/4 cup is in the blender.

Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and chipotle/adobo levels. Blend to ensure uniformity.

Serve in little dipping cups with small phyllo spring rolls. I made the spring rolls with one sheet of phyllo folded over. They were just the right size.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at September 7, 2005 7:41 AM | TrackBack

I've already raved about the sauce (I was one of the ones who threatened Barrett w/ a fork if he took it away after the course), but I should also add that it goes perfectly with the phyllo spring rolls. Just the day before the party, I had been commenting to Barrett about how so many foods, like buffalo wings and satay (and Hecky's Q), aren't really foods so much as vehicles for good sauces; this is one of those rare instances where the vehicle and the sauce are each good in their own right, and together are even better.

I just wish there had been time to make the margarita shots that were originally supposed to accompany this course.

Posted by Sweth on September 7, 2005 at 11:08 AM

Another interesting way to consume chipotles. Thanks for the posting the recipe.

Posted by Tracy on September 7, 2005 at 11:08 AM

You just did this to make me regret not taking that can of chipotles in adobo sauce that you recommended, right???


Posted by Meg in Paris on September 7, 2005 at 11:18 AM

Sweth, you're very kind. Thanks. I'm glad you liked the sauce so much.

Meg - yes, you're right. From the moment I had my metaphoric hand holding a can of chipotles slapped away, I've been plotting - plotting to take my revenge! And now, with this sauce, I have achieved it! Bwahhahahahah!

But seriously, Meg, if you want a care package from the States, I'm sure a can or two of chipotles en adobo could find their way into the box... Just let me know what else you need from here.

Posted by barrett on September 7, 2005 at 12:53 PM

i really appreciate this (ahem) "boiled down" recipe...i just have one question (or, should i say UNO??)
is it not possible to use the actual carrots themselves, especially when i tell you that my carrot crop this year has nearly overwhelmed my yard, my refrigerator, freezer capacities, AND i have ex-neighbours who won't speak to me anymore (they KNEW who left the anonymous bags of carrots on their doorsteps).

if this is AT ALL possible (using the real thing rather than the juiced down version) OH!! PLEASE ...WRITE ME as soon as you possibly can!!!!!
p.s. i do not have a juicer or any other manual type device which would allow me to juice my own carrots, otherwise, i would then have TONS of organic carrot juice. (sigh).

thanks, in advance. oh...and someday, would you mebbe consider offering a larger (and different) font?? made me put on my reading glasses.
OH!! and one last thing...thank you ever so much for being mac-friendly!!!!

Posted by Gypsy on September 12, 2005 at 9:37 AM

Gypsy - this was my first crack at the recipe. If I were you, I'd shred the carrots in a blender or food processor until they were a mush. Using a couple of layers of cheesecloth, I'd squeeze and strain the mush to make fresh carrot juice and then proceed from there.

I had a great carrot dish at a vegetarian Indian restaurant last night. It was riced carrot (yes, riced carrot - I think they must have some tool to rice it), cooked in a sugary spicy glaze - maybe honey and curry and cardamom with oil? Delicious.

Posted by barrett on September 12, 2005 at 11:36 AM

Sounds like you had a carrot halwa, Barrett. There are thousands of variations, but none that I know of use a ricer; the basic recipe is to cook down grated carrot in milk until the milk is all absorbed and it becomes a thick paste, then add sugar, cardamom, ghee (clarified butter), saffron and rosewater (if you have them), and your choice of pan-fried goodies like cashews, almonds, raisins, etc.

(Halwa doesn't usually have a curry flavor, though; the only other dish I can think of that you might have had is a gadjar (carrot) curry which is the north Indian take on British glazed carrots, using banana and the "usual" Indian masala spices for the glaze--and which thus (as far as I know) always has chunks of carrots. Do you remember the name of what you ordered?)

Posted by Sweth on September 13, 2005 at 7:02 PM

Sweth, unfortunately, what I ordered was "the buffet", so no names were present. It definitely wasn't a paste or chunks.

The carrots were cut (or riced or something) into very small pieces, about the size of long grained rice. I don't think it actually was rice unless it was rice that had been soaked in carrot juice for days.

Posted by barrett on September 14, 2005 at 12:36 PM