What the hell am I supposed to do with them? Peel and eat them? Drink the juice? Put the segments in a salad? Then I got a brilliant idea: make a syrup by reducing the juice! I’ve done this in the past with pineapple juice and balsamic vinegar. Concentrating the sugars really works wonders on these acidic liquids. They become zingy and potent, perfect for spiking stuff with.
There’s no recipe involved here. All you do is squeeze some oranges (in my case, about 8) and reduce the juice in a shallow pan (no cast iron!) until you get a nice, thin syrup. It will thicken a bit further upon cooling. Why not throw in some spices while it’s boiling down, like fresh ginger slices, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon, depending on how you’re planning to use the reduction? If you have leftovers, they can keep about a week in the fridge or freeze it for longer storage.
And how would you use this citrusy syrup? I like to use a couple of tablespoons to make a salad dressing. Or a little in a nice cocktail. Or in a pan sauce for something like pan-seared chicken or pork. Or in a sauce to brush over grilled meats. Or in a nice soy-based dipping sauce for spring rolls. You get the idea.
A couple of tablespoons of the orange reduction, a cube of cilantro-garlic puree from my freezer (or about 3 tbs chopped cilantro with 1 clove minced garlic), mustard and a little oil to bring to all together. Very nice salad dressing.
Here's my attempt at being fancy-schmancy. Pan-seared chicken on mixed greens and sweet potato cake dressed in cilantro-orange dressing.
This is my submission to Weekend Wokking, an event created by Wandering Chopsticks that spotlights a theme ingredient. This time it's the orange (if you hadn't guessed)! The host is Eating Club Vancouver. If you'd like to participate, there's still time! Send entries by Sunday, Feb 1 to email(at)eatingclubvancouver(dot)com.