This is surely the best way to cook carrots: fried in buttery juices until appetisingly caramelised and tender-crisp. The flavour is intensely sweet, savoury and peppery all at the same time.
Peel the carrots and slice into diagonal-cut ovals about 5mm/¼in thick.
Heat the oil and the butter in a non-stick frying pan large enough to take the carrots in a single layer. When sizzling nicely, toss in the carrots and spread them out. Sprinkle with the pepper, sugar and some crumbled sea salt flakes.
Fry the carrots over medium-high heat for 2½ minutes, then start to turn them using tongs. Keep turning them, one by one, removing them from the pan as they begin to blacken at the edges. Blot on paper towels and tip into a warm serving bowl.
Pour off most of the oil from the pan, then add another knob of butter. Swirl in the soy sauce and stock, scraping up any tasty sediment, then pour this over the carrots.
© 2008 Christine McFadden. All rights reserved.