Archives for posts with tag: oranges

I’ve made some recent discoveries.

1. Trader Joe’s frozen vegetarian meatballs are delicious. I’m one of those vegetarians that other vegetarians are talking about when they say, it’s a shame that people eat so much fake meat. Obviously I’m on board with real foods. But I also love tofurkey deli slices, and these meatballs. I just ate them in a lunchtime sub, and they’d be great on a platter of plain old spaghetti with jar sauce.

2. Summery cocktails are refreshing in February too. A Campari spritz I made up last night: 1.5 oz. Campari, 1.5 oz. fresh orange juice, 1 oz. sweet vermouth, over ice, topped with soda water. Really mild, both in terms of booze and bitterness, and shockingly red.

I’ve got another quick bread on the docket. The first time I made this it was gone in a day. The next one lasted longer, but that’s just because two people can eat only so much quick bread.

nuts and seeds

mix the dry ingredients

I’m not a sesame-obsessed person, but recently I’ve grown more interested in how it might play on the sweet side of the arena rather than the savory. Especially when combined with other nuts, it brings this rich almost bitter quality to an otherwise mundane bread.

drip glaze

Toasted with butter is the best way to eat it.

sliced bread

Orange Sesame Bread

1/3 C coconut oil, melted
1/2 C brown sugar
2 T flax meal
1/4 C plus 2 T water
1 T orange zest
1 T vanilla extract
1 C soy/almond milk
1 t apple cider vinegar

1/2 C golden raisins, soaked in boiling water for 10 min. and drained
2/3 C toasted nut pieces (walnut was best, cashews very good)
1/2 C toasted sesame seeds, divided (reserve 1 T)
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C spelt flour
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t kosher salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1 t ground cardamom

1/3 C powdered sugar
2 t orange juice

Grease and flour a 4×8 loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the first eight ingredients, the wet ones. In a separate, large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, the raisins, the walnuts, and all but one tablespoon of the sesame seeds. Using a plastic spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until there are no flour clumps remaining. Go slowly and avoid beating the batter. Spread the batter into the loaf pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean (45 minutes every time for me). Cool on a rack in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the loaf and let it cool entirely on the rack.

Whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and reserved sesame seeds, adding a little more juice if necessary to achieve a drizzly glaze. Once the bread is completely cooled, drizzle the glaze over it. Slice the bread and serve.

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At the latest Brewster Ladies’ Library book sale, I scored a wonderful cookbook–The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden. For $1! It has a large format, 500+ pages, hundreds of recipes, explanations of indigenous foods, and charming tales. The first night I made tiropita (phyllo cheese pie), sweet and sour eggplant, mashed zucchini with onions, garlic and mint, and this simple, refreshing, and absolutely delicious recipe.

Orange Slices in Orange Syrup
from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
serves 2

4 large navel oranges
1 T sugar
1 t orange blossom water
zest of 1 orange

Reserve 1 orange for juice and zest. If you use commercial oranges, as I did, skip the zest. Cut off the stem and blossom ends of the other 3 oranges, and cut off the peel, top to bottom, leaving no pith. I squeezed the juice out of these pieces of peel into a small saucepan. Cut the now juicy bare orange into slices, and put them into a large flat dish, like a soup plate.

Zest the peel of the remaining orange into the saucepan, cut it in half and squeeze it into the pan as well. Add the tablespoon of sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce it by half, remove from heat. Add the teaspoon of orange blossom water. (Many health food stores and gourmet shops carry this divine extract, it makes a great bath splash too.) Pour over the oranges, chill, and serve.

I used navels from California, but the second time I made this recipe, I unwittingly bought one from South Africa. It was pale orange inside and not very sweet. I juiced it, but obviously, this recipe depends on great oranges. Try one before you buy many.

I have found a use for leftover cranberry sauce. I realize this comes too late for most of you. Once the turkey is gone, it’s hard to know what to do with the cranberry sauce. And by now, Thanksgiving was weeks ago and you probably chucked the sauce. However–

(1) Store-bought cranberry sauce keeps forever. It’s mostly sugar. You never think about your jars of jam going bad.
(2) You might like some the next time you roast a hunk of meat, or some squash, and we have a recipe for you.
(3) They’re still selling cans of it at the store.

In a vinaigrette, cranberry sauce adds sweetness without being cloying (I’m saying this as someone who doesn’t like raspberry vinaigrette). This means that if you don’t have cranberry sauce on hand and you decide to sub some jam, you should use less than I’ve suggested below.

The salad is a pretty obvious winter salad: greens with some crunch, citrus, and nuts. Do whatever you like within that rubric and you’ll end up with a delicious winter salad. It is particularly refreshing after a weekend of eating pasta, chex mix, and donuts.

Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
makes 3/4 C, enough for many salads

3 T balsamic vinegar
3 T cranberry sauce or jelly
6 T good olive oil
6 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and saved, stems discarded
1/2 t kosher salt
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and gently crushed

I make my dressing in an old jar big enough to fit my immersion blender in it. Obviously, you can make this in a proper blender, a food processor, or just in the jar, well shaken. Mix the first five ingredients together and blend. Add the crushed garlic and give the dressing a shake. You can fish out the garlic cloves later (an hour or two is enough), but I’m too lazy and I usually just leave them in the dressing and avoid them as I go.

Simple Winter Salad
serves 1 as a meal salad, 2 as a side salad

3-4 cups greens (I like baby spinach, red leaf lettuce, and sliced endive)
1/3 English cucumber, sliced
1 clementine, peeled and segmented
1 handful chopped pecans
two spoonfuls cranberry vinaigrette

Toast the pecans at 350 for 4ish minutes, until you can smell them. Immediately remove them from the oven and let them cool. Meanwhile, put the rest of the salad fixings in a big bowl and drizzle over the dressing (or plop it on, depending on the viscosity your dressing achieves in the fridge). Add the pecans once they’ve cooled and several grinds of pepper. Toss with tongs (I think it’s easier than salad servers) or with your hands (this works best, actually).

As you can see above, I ate mine recently with a side of toast, globbed with almond butter and blackberry pomegranate jam.

Variations: a Persian cucumber for the partial English one, some grapes in addition to the clementine, some other kind of citrus (I’ve made it recently with Cara Cara oranges, supremed, and they’re great). No one would object to goat cheese either, I imagine.