6 innovative recipes for using winter oranges in cooking
With the onset of winter comes a seasonal abundance of citrus fruits in India – oranges, sweet lemons, grapefruit and others. While there’s nothing better than a glass of fresh orange juice for breakfast, its juicy pulp also lends itself to many sweet and savory creations.
Whether used as a main ingredient or a complementary flavoring, oranges can play a versatile role in cooking. Their flavors work well in both sweet and savory dishes, since their refreshing and citrusy taste can elevate a wide range of recipes. The vibrant and lively orange flavor not only adds brightness to dishes, but it also enhances and balances other flavors in the recipe. The natural acidity in oranges can tenderize meats, add depth to sauces, and even cut through rich or fatty ingredients in a dish, providing a refreshing contrast. Orange zest, in particular, also provides a concentrated boost of citrus flavor without the acidity, making it ideal for baked goods, pickles and dressings. Vitamin C and antioxidant-packed citrus fruits also provide health benefits and nutrients that can elevate the taste and nutritional value of multiple recipes.
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Make your own homemade marmalade by boiling orange slices with sugar and water until thick and then spreading them on toast, as a cake filling or with cheese for a delicious meal. Marmalade tends to have a thicker consistency compared to jam, allowing the delicious fruit flavors to shine without being overpowering with the high sugar content. Marmalade is also a great way to preserve seasonal fruits and increase their longevity, as you can use thin tendrils of peel to amplify the flavours.
A popular Chinese option that can be recreated at home, you can make a spicy orange glaze by boiling orange juice, soy sauce, honey and a pinch of ginger to baste pieces of fried chicken. Using boneless chicken thigh pieces coated in cornstarch and fried before being tossed in this sweet, garlicky glaze makes a great accompaniment to fried rice or pasta — or even plain rice, when you’re craving it. delicious meal.
Create a moist and delicious cake by incorporating fresh orange juice and zest into a classic almond cake batter. This teatime cake, although best eaten on its own when warm, also tastes delicious as a sweet end to a meal, when paired with some smooth whipped cream. Soak any leftover orange almond cake in some citrus-based liqueur, a layer of cream and fresh fruit to make a delicious winter cake.
Add classic Indian rice pudding with sweet, juicy oranges for a sweet ending to your meal, best enjoyed cold. A popular Bengali and Assamese dish is thick rice pudding that is cooked slowly for a few hours, flavored with cut orange slices and enjoyed during the winter, especially on fasting days. Garnish with chopped almonds and pistachios for some texture, color and crunch.
Make a vibrant salad by mixing cooked quinoa with slices of orange, chopped almonds, fresh herbs like mint or parsley, and a simple vinaigrette made of orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, and a pinch of hot pepper flakes. Since quinoa has no flavor of its own, using bright flavors such as orange and herbs can enhance its appeal – both aesthetically and in terms of flavour. Add to your salad some grilled tofu or fish, or even grilled vegetables like pumpkin, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes.
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Combine thin orange slices with sliced roasted beets, red onions, and feta cheese for a refreshing salad. Add some pickled onions and baby greens for color as well as to offset the sweet and tart flavors of its two main ingredients. This salad is packed with antioxidants, fiber, and color, making it an attractive starter to a meal or a light lunch for one. Replace beets with other vegetables that have a sweet flavour, such as carrots, squash, pumpkin, etc.