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Orange: a flavor to savor


Last updated 2/15/2007 at Noon

Oranges seem to compliment any number of foods so can be used in a variety of ways for a wide range of menu choices… literally from soup to dessert… oranges provide a flavor to savor.

Oranges also provide an excellent color accent to the table… in salads; as garnish to fish, chicken or pork; and, of course, desirable nutritional elements. Oranges are also easy to buy, store and use.

One tip: for grated orange rind, use the new microplane or a box-style grater or shredder using only the orange part of the rind. The white rind of an orange is very bitter. To prevent grated knuckles, grip the orange tightly as you might a baseball and grate or shred a small amount at a time. I grate oranges over a sheet of waxed paper.

If you have leftover, orange rind freezes well. Place in a tiny container or in a plastic bag that is folded well to get all of the air out, as oxidation (exposure to air) will turn the orange rind brown.

So gather up oranges and have a whirl with these easy yet tasty menu choices… aren’t we glad God made oranges for us to enjoy!

Grilled or broiled poultry and pork are excellent flavor mates to an orange and garlic glaze. Be mindful that all sweet glazes will cause faster browning and therefore the meats need to be watched closely so they don’t burn.

Orange Garlic Glaze for Chicken, Turkey or Pork

1 cup orange juice

2 tbsp. fresh grated orange rind

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup honey

½ tsp. onion salt

½ tsp. minced garlic

Combine ingredients in a jar with lid or a container with a tight top. Secure lid or container top. Shake well to blend.

Use to baste roast or grilled chicken, turkey or pork.

Even those who like fish like sauces with fish. Here’s a nippy combination to use with halibut, tilapia, swordfish or tuna.

Spiked Butter Sauce for Fish or Seafood

½ cup butter

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp. orange juice

1 tsp. grated orange rind

¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce

Combine ingredients and cook over low heat just until butter is melted. Keep sauce warm while using to baste fish or seafood. Serve remaining sauce, if desired, with cooked fish or seafood.

Ripe bananas are good candidates for banana bread. In this version a bit of orange flavor and rind enhances the banana flavor.

Orange Banana Bread

1/3 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)

1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)

½ tsp. orange extract

2 1/3 cups baking mix (Bisquick)

1 tbsp. fresh grated orange peel

½ cup chopped nuts, optional

Generously grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Blend all ingredients with a fork. Beat vigorously for about one minute (the batter will still have some lumps). Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven about 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool five minutes. Turn from pan and cool completely. When completely cool, wrap well in foil or plastic wrap to store.

Cake on top and a delicate orange pudding on the bottom… this is a great old fashioned dessert that still draws compliments.

Orange Puddin’ Cake

2 eggs, separated

1 tsp. grated orange rind

¼ cup orange juice

2/3 cup milk

1 cup sugar

¼ cup flour

¼ tsp. salt

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Beat egg yolks.

Beat in orange rind, orange juice and milk.

Combine sugar, flour and salt. Add this to egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth. Fold beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture. Pour into a 1-qt. casserole. Place casserole in a pan of very hot water (at least 1 inch deep). Bake in a 350-degree oven about 45-50 minutes. Serve warm or cool, with whipped cream. 6 servings.

Popovers are so simple… and so delicious I wonder why I don’t make them more often! This version has a hint of orange. Serve them with orange butter for a double flavor treat.

Orange Popovers

Soft butter

1 cup flour

½ tsp. salt

1 cup milk

¼ tsp. orange extract

1 tbsp. grated orange rind

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Coat deep muffin cups or custard cups wit soft butter.

Beat all ingredients with a rotary beater just until smooth (overbeating will reduce volume).

Fill greased muffin cup ¾ full or custard cup ½ full. Bake in preheated oven about 40 to 45 minutes or until well-puffed and golden brown.

Orange Butter

1 stick butter, softened

1 tbsp. fresh grated orange rind

½ tsp. orange extract

Blend all ingredients. Serve at room temperature with Orange Popovers.

Getting enough vegetables in your diet may mean serving vegetables as soup. Orange juice and grated orange rind give a flavor flip to this warming squash soup.

Orange Butternut Squash Soup

1 ¼ cups chicken

3 lbs. butternut squash

1 onion, chopped

1 cup orange sections

3 sage leaves or ½ tsp. rubbed sage

1 cup orange juice

Sour cream, optional garnish

1 tsp. fresh grated orange rind, optional garnish

Bring chicken broth to a boil. Peel squash and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add squash, onion, orange and sage to broth. Cook, covered, about 30 minutes or until squash is soft. Purée.

Add orange juice and heat to serving temperature. Serve garnished with dollops of sour cream and fresh grated orange rind.


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