Orange is my new Chocolate!
How could this be true you might ask! It happened gradually over the past four months.
I just never knew that an orange had so many different uses and flavor enhancements. Normally would just peel, quarter or juice during the summer months. Which all are really great ways to enjoy an orange. However, once learning the many characteristics of an orange…well I just fell in love with all of them. (Trust me I still love my chocolate however it feels really great to have a new love)
It first started with learning how to segment an orange in a way that removes all of that white pith we really don’t want to eat. I remember that day in the kitchen very well. Cutting the top off and using my fillet knife, freshly sharpen, and beginning to peel the orange like an apple, round and round without breaking the peel. Of course, it was over a bowl so as not to lose a drop of the juices. Once the peel is removed and all remaining juices squeeze from that peel into the bowl, I held the orange in one of my hands and began to remove each orange segment from it’s membrane with the fillet knife. Once all of the segments were easily removed, I squeezed all of the juice from the membrane into the bowl where the orange segments and other juices where. From here you can make many different types of fruit salads or just serve the orange segments individually in a small dish. Segmenting an Orange is one of the many techniques learned during my 12 weeks at Ballymaloe Cookery School. So simple….but not!!
Then Rory O’Connell made Roast Duck with Orange Sauce one day in demonstrations. Duck is really good. Add the Orange sauce and now we are talking really grand! So the next day I was able to prepare this recipe in the assigned kitchen, felt like I was working in a 5 star restaurant This recipe came from Rory O’Connell. There are three whole oranges involved with this recipe. So you need to zest two of the oranges. Placing one-third of the zest into the cavity of the duck prior to roasting. With the other two-thirds of the zest, as finely as possible cut into Julianne strips which are added to the orange sauce. This is really juggling oranges, with the two oranges that were zest, you now juice them and add to the sauce. With the remaining orange use your technic of segmenting an orange. The segments of the orange are served with the Roasted Duck as a garnish and of course for some extra flavor, texture and temperature. At the end of the 12 Week Course there are practical exams. Yes, Roast Duck with Orange Sauce was my main course prepared!
More things learned from oranges still!!
We were asked or instructed to save all Orange peels after they were juiced in the “Candied Peel Bucket” at Ballymaloe. Seeing that we made Lemonade daily which took two oranges, we had lots of orange peel. So instead of having to purchase candied orange peel (which saves the budget and you get a better product) they are made on site several times a week with resources that would have just gone into the garbage! The Candied Peels are used in recipes like, Chocolate, Fruit and Nut candies, Minced meats, Garnishing cakes to just name a few and of course they are good just to eat like candy all by themselves. The shelf life is long also…
Still more Orange coming!
There were two cakes that might just be my favorites use of oranges. Moroccan Orange and Almond Cake and Tunisian Orange Cake. Both are Gluten Free, since they are made with ground almonds and no flour. With the Moroccan Orange and Almond Cake you actually boil whole oranges for about an hour give or take.
Once they are soft and cooled the oranges are placed into a food processor and turn them into a pulp! The pulp is then added to the other ingredients. Eggs, Ground Almonds, Sugar and baking powder.
This cake is So good…I love eating this cake for breakfast! However, it makes a perfect dessert anytime. Got one going in the oven now!
Just Dust with Powdered Sugar once cooled and it is now ready to serve.
I think Ireland is known for their Scones, and we made the most wonderful scone recipe, in my opinion, there called Crunchy Orange Butter Scones? Yes they are wonderful!! Sorry no photos of those.
Loving the jars of Orange Marmalade stocked in my pantry? Yes I made Orange Marmalade and Orange Whiskey Marmalade right after Christmas when all of those great oranges were available. Couldn’t find the Sevilles however found that the Cara Cara oranges worked well when I used the Whole Orange method for making the Marmalade. Thinking that you don’t have time to make Marmalade that time of the year? Learned that you can freeze the oranges whole and make when you do have the time. (Like maybe during a blizzard in Jan)
You would think that we would never go through this many jars of marmalade, however when you give as gifts, they go pretty fast!! Also, it is really great on toast or a little smear on a sandwich.
All of the recipes that I mentioned are in Darina Allen’s cookbook titled, Ballymaloe Cookery Course, unless noted.
Lastly, there is a recipe that I am going to make for the Super Bowl Game coming up in a few weeks. Chocolate and Orange Brownies!! (Recipe from Annabel Karmel!) They are really moist and have both ingredients that I love!!
Orange you glad you came along on this journey with me?