Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flavor of the Week: Orange

Oranges are not exotic or uncommon and are often overlooked as a flavor addition to foods.  We typically think of oranges for breakfast but they can add so much flavor to countless dishes.  Orange flavor in various forms can be added to salads, vegetables, proteins, desserts and of course beverages.
Most of the orange is edible.  Zest the rind for intense flavor.  Candied peel is a traditional fruitcake ingredient.  Segments of the orange that are removed from the pith and rind are called supremes.  To view Martha Stewart's directions for supreming citrus as in the photo above, click here.  Maybe the juice is the most popular part of an orange.  Over 550 million gallons of orange juice are sold in the US each year. 

Use oranges..
  • Salads - toss supremes with greens, use juice in vinaigrette dressing
  • Citric acid in orange juice will tenderize meat in a marinade
  • Rub zest on fish or fowl before roasting or grilling
  • Use supremes in yogurt parfait with flaked coconut and sliced almonds
  • When baking, add zest to shortbreads, cakes, muffins
  • Orange peel is a traditional ingredient in Daube, the classic French beef stew
  • Orange flavor compliments sweet potatoes, asparagus, and squash.  
  • Add to a stir-fry
  • Mimosas, Sangria, Screwdriver are cocktails with orange juice
  • Adding orange juice or zest to a dish brightens the flavor
  • To get your vitamin C

Use  orange juice instead of vinegar or lemon juice in a vinaigrette.  This dressing has an Asian twist with sesame oil.  This Bon Appetite recipe can be viewed by clicking here.
You probably can't tell but this is a rice pilaf with orange zest and juice.  I love it with fish or fowl.  I make it in a rice cooker and just throw all the ingredients in the cooker and push the button.  Couldn't be easier.  The recipe will be at the bottom of the post.
Hubby loves this pork tenderloin. (shown here with whipped sweet potatoes)  Chipotle chilies in adobo are combined with orange juice for a marinade along with lime, oregano and cumin. The result is a VERY flavorful pork tenderloin.  View recipe here
I'm not a beer drinker but Hubby says I'd be remiss to not include Bell's Oberon beer.  This is a summer beer with a citrusy taste, brewed here in Michigan but widely available.  It is most often served with an orange wedge.

Orange Rice Pilaf
2 tablespoons  butter
1/4 cup chopped onion or shallot
grated rind of 1 orange
juice of 2 oranges + enough chicken stock to make 1 3/4 cup liquid
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a rice cooker except almond and push the button!  If you don't have a rice cooker, I would imagine you would put all ingredients except nuts in a covered pot, bring to a boil and then simmer until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.  * but please consider buying a rice cooker.  You can purchase a non-stick variety for under $20.

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