The Maillard Reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars which is a result of heating foods. It happens between 140 to 165 °C and is sometimes called the “browning reaction”, though this is incomplete (aka WRONG)1.
Different flavours are produced by this process and, in my opinion, these flavours are more tasty. It is the difference between an unappealing plain marshmallow and a delightfully tasty campfire-roasted one. Other examples: boring bread versus toast and boiled potatoes versus french fries.
Already a fan of roasted vegetables, I thought I’d try this recipe to enhance the flavour of carrots. Plus there’s Brie cheese.
Let’s try getting Maillard with some carrots.
Here are some carrots.
Prepare the carrots and get them into the oven.
While the carrots are roasting, get the Brie cheese.
Cut the cheese into chunks.
Get the chopped Brie on the carrots so it will melt.
Add the honey…
…and the lemon juice and let this sit for 2 minutes.
Toss and serve.
Burnt Carrots with Brie
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
4 medium carrots, cut into 4-by-1/2″ sticks
2 tablespoons peanut oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 ounces triple-cream Brie (rind removed), roughly chopped
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Preheat the broiler to 500°F. In a medium bowl, toss the carrots with the peanut oil and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread the carrots out into a single layer. Cook until the tops of the carrots are well charred, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Immediately add the Brie, honey and lemon juice to the bowl with the carrots, and toss to combine. Let sit for 2 minutes to allow the Brie to melt, then toss to incorporate. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to a platter, leaving any liquid behind. Serve immediately.