The Busy Kitchen: Cooking with citrus fun, given all the varieties
BY CHEF TIFFANY POE The Busy Kitchen
Monday, February 25, 2013
2/25/13 at 11:40 AM
Editor's Note: The Busy Kitchen is a Monday column written by two area chefs - Tiffany Poe and Valarie Carter - who also happen to be mothers of young children. They explore nutrition, cooking for kids and more.
Nothing says winter seasonality and freshness like citrus.
Although not native to Oklahoma, beautiful citrus from California and Florida can easily be found. At no other time of year can you taste the peak freshness of these inexpensive colorful fruits and discover the endless uses of citrus in your kitchen.
With so many types and varieties, it's easy to get lost in the abundance and keep them all straight. There are your basics: oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits.
But then there are the more unusual varieties that show up in the grocery store.
Seek out pomelos (a large green and pink flesh citrus that looks similar to a grapefruit but has a more mild flavor), citron (also known as Budah's hand), blood oranges and, my favorite, the hybrid Meyer lemon.
From a culinary standpoint, there is nothing that speaks freshness like citrus. It's used to brighten up vinaigrettes and add just the right pizzazz to fruit pies and compotes.
Chefs prize the zest of most citrus and home cooks keep bowls of these beauties on their counters year-round.
In my house we enjoy eating oranges, mandarins, tangelos (a hybrid between tangerines and a pomelo) and the ever popular Cuties brand tangerines. They are easy to take on the go and are so refreshing. Kids adore citrus and nothing fights a flu or cold like the good ol' standby OJ.
I love to cook with citrus and find it's a great way to get my kids in the kitchen. The color, aroma and sweet-n-sour delight keep the kids' attention and their shape lends itself to easy squeezing.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes with citrus. They are simple, kid-friendly and sure to create fun winter memories in your kitchen. If you want to learn more about citrus visit: www.tulsaworld.com/gastronomymommy.
SPICY ORANGE VINAIGRETTE
Makes 1 cup
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil (regular or pomace, not extra virgin)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can substitute paprika if desired)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together orange juice, honey and Dijon. Slowly incorporate olive oil in small amounts, whisking rapidly to incorporate. Add cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Serve with arugula, spring mix, baby spinach or any other lettuce/greens. Also makes great dipping sauce for chicken or pork.
EASY MEYER LEMON CURD
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup sugar (non-bleached)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
1. In small saucepan, combine all ingredients and use wooden spoon to stir until simmer. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until mixture is thick and smooth.
2. Cool and serve as a parfait with whipped cream and purchased lemon cookie crumble or fresh berries and angel food cake.
HOMEMADE ORANGE JULIUS
3 cups high pulp orange juice (could be fresh squeezed)
2 cups whole milk (also works well with almond or coconut milk)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup ice
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
BETTER THAN CANDY SALAD
Makes 4 small portions
1 cup mandarin orange segments (fresh if possible)
1 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
4-6 cups fresh spinach or Romaine lettuce, washed
1/2 cup real mayo
1/4 cup sugar (nonbleached)
1/4 cup milk or milk substitute
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. For dressing, combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Let sit for 30 minutes to develop flavor and allow seeds to soften.
2. In a large bowl, combine salad greens, oranges, onion, cheese and almonds. Drizzle dressing over salad and top with toasted almonds.
3. Add more orange segments if desired.
Note: Could also substitute any citrus segments or combination of citrus for a variety of flavors and colors.
Original Print Headline: So many varieties make cooking with citrus fun
Chef Tiffany Poe, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., owns Tiffany Poe Culinary Services, a consulting, food styling and corporate coaching company. She and her husband have three small children and own The Grandview Inn, a historic bed and breakfast near the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska. Find more of her recipes on her blog, tulsaworld.com/gastronomymommy