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Posts tagged ‘orange’

biscotti – two ways

Biscotti are rustically charming Italian twice-baked cookies. Dough is first formed into a long roll and baked, then cut on the diagonal and baked a second time to dry them. They’re a delicious, even politely meant-to-be-dunkable treat. In Italy, biscotti are dunked into coffee and enjoyed for breakfast. In the evenings, after one of their famously-long and leisurely dinners, biscotti might be dipped into wine (especially vin santo.)  In that sense, they’re a sort of chewable, meltable, endlessly-adaptable delivery system for the beverage being enjoyed alongside.  Biscotti have made their way stateside, though some of them are highly sweetened and fancified and bear little resemblance to their Italian ancestor. I’ll offer the more traditional sort here.

What we love about biscotti

they’re positively delicious when, bite-by-bite, they’re softened in coffee

they fall into the “treat” category without being overly sweet

even after weeks (if they last that long) they’re as good as ever

they make someone a sweet little present

they look so cute in a jar

I sent out sample packages of two versions for a vote. The results were close, but the lemon-aniseed version narrowly beat out the orange-walnut among testers. This was a very limited sample so I wouldn’t read much into it if I were you. They’re each good, and each has a following, but my husband and I come down on the side of the Grand Marnier-walnut. With fans in each camp though, I thought it only fair to let you decide for yourselves. (I’d start with the walnut – but you already knew that.) Post a vote if you like! And if you find a way of pairing your biscotti up with a favorite beverage or frozen dessert, I’d love to hear your discoveries.

Grand Marnier Walnut Biscotti

  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier (or substitute a brandy or Cognac of your choosing – see NOTE)
  • zest of 1 orange – about 1 Tablespoon
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting your board)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

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Citrus Broiled Shrimp

Apart from the hours the shrimp spend soaking up the marinade, this dish is quick and easy to prepare. These delicately-flavored, citrusy shrimp are especially delicious (if a little finger-lickingly messy) dipped in melted butter. Though the instructions here are for broiling, they could just as easily be cooked over a hot fire on the grill instead. If set to marinate in the morning, they’d make a fast summer dinner with corn on the cob and a fresh salad. (serves 4)

for the marinade

  • grated zest and juice of 3 oranges
  • grated zest and juice of 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce (Asian section of your market)
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyume leaves

the shrimp

  • 2 pounds extra-large shrimp (16 – 20 count)

additions

  • coarse salt (especially Fleur de Sel)
  • Melted butter for serving (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the marinade together.

Spread the cleaned, shelled and de-veined shrimp in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour over the marinade, and cover. Refrigerate for at least 4, and up to 8 hours.

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Moroccan Orange Salad with Red Onions & Black Olives

This salad from Morocco is colorful and refreshing, and perhaps unbelievably delicious. If you can be swayed by it’s somewhat unique beauty to try it (as I was), I believe you’ll return to it again and again. I quickly rinse the sliced onions to remove any of their biting sharpness. They mellow almost instantly and the flavors seem to all come together in perfect balance. This salad accompanied our skewered chicken, grilled asparagus and couscous for last night’s dinner. It’s also an excellent accompaniment to hot stews or highly spiced dishes, which is, I suppose, why Moroccans imagined it in the first place. (Recipes for the rest of dinner to follow.)

Orange Salad with Red Onions and Black Olives

(serves 4)

  • 3 fresh navel oranges
  • 1/2 – 1 red onion
  • 1 handful of black olives (12 or so)
  • 2-3 Tbl. olive oil
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
  • sea salt
  • 1 t. cumin seeds, roasted
  • 1/2 t. Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Optional: fennel bulb – see below for variation

Roast the cumin seeds on medium-low heat in a small pan. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.   Read more

Orangettes – Candied Orange Peel Dipped in Chocolate

 Orange and dark chocolate! A show of hands – who loves this combination? For me, it ranks up there with the best of sweet culinary marriages!  I do want to warn you before we get started though that this is not something you’ll want to do if you’re in any way pressed for time; or if you’re one who shuns repetitive activities, (some prefer the word boring.) Every once in a while, some of us (with a higher tolerance for things slow) like to put on some happy music and wile away some hours playing in the kitchen with food. I had a day like that recently, and this is what came of it:

If I’d had some company, we could have danced a bit and the play would have been far more enjoyable – but then there would have been a witness to the “mistakes” that would mysteriously disappear.  So, you take the good with the bad. And these are good!

Orangettes – Chocolate-dipped Candied Orange Peel

This recipe can easily be halved, and for your first batch, you may be happier doing that. But once you’ve tasted them…a whole batch will do just fine. I’ve discovered that if you can draw the process out over two days, the final result will be improved. I candy the orange peel and roll in sugar the first day and let them dry overnight. The next day, it’s all about the dipping, and the cleaning up your mistakes.

Ingredients

candying the oranges:

  • 6 large navel oranges (always when you’re using the peel of any fruit or vegetable, it’s far better to use organic or unsprayed produce!)
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup orange juice  (either store-bought or from the flesh of the oranges put through a strainer)
  • for rolling:
  • 1/2 up of regular granulated sugar or turbinado sugar (you decide – or choose both)
  • for dipping:
  • 10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate

Preparing the oranges: Read more