Blood Oranges Three Ways

Not sure if you have noticed all the citrus in the grocery store and at produce stands, but Dave and I sure have.  We even schlepped back a bushel of citrus from our Florida road trip in December.  And ever since our juicer has been working overtime making fresh squeezed orange juice of different varietals. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than fresh squeezed orange juice!

Among my favorites this time of year is the Honeybell (aka tangelo) and most recently the blood orange.  I had obviously heard of this said blood orange (El Vez’s Blood Orange Margarita anyone?), but I had never brought one home to my own kitchen.  During one of our weekly trips to the Italian Market, Dave and I saw the oranges being sold at one of our favorite stands and picked them up.  I love the beautiful crimson color on the inside and the sweetness of its juice.

The first recipe we tried was this Blood Orange and Onion Salad.  So delightful and refreshing.

Of course, we had to test our own version of a Blood Orange Margarita.

And my sweet tooth couldn’t resist this Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake.

I even made blood orange mimosas for a recent Girls’ Dinner.  While they are in abundance, I would highly recommend picking up a few!  All three recipes are below:

Blood Orange and Red Onion Salad
Adapted from Food and Wine

1/4 small red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
Maldon salt and fresh ground white pepper
4 blood oranges
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T basil leaves chiffonade or torn

1. In a bowl, toss the red onion with the vinegar and season with Maldon salt and white pepper. Let stand at room temperature until softened, 15 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, peel the oranges, removing all of the bitter white pith. Thinly slice the oranges crosswise, removing any pits. Arrange the oranges on a platter and scatter the red onion on top. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with Maldon salt and white pepper. Garnish with the basil and serve.

Blood Orange Margaritas
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
makes a single serving

1 1/2 ounces tequila (silver or gold, based on your preference)
1 ounce aperol, grand mariner, or other orange-flavored liquor
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 1/2 ounces blood orange juice (about 1-2 oranges)
salt for the rim, lime/orange wedges for garnish

Rim the ridge of your glass with a lime wedge and dip in salt. Fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, aperol, blood orange and lime juice with ice, and shake for about 30 seconds. Pour over ice and squeeze in lemon and orange slices.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Butter for greasing pan
3 blood oranges
1 cup (200 grams or 7 ounces) sugar
Scant 1/2 cup (118 ml) buttermilk or plain yogurt*
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (156 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups (219 grams or 7 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

*I actually used soy yogurt and it worked well

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from 2 oranges and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until orange zest is evenly distributed in sugar.

2. Cut off bottom and top of the oranges so fruit is exposed and orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife. Cut orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with another orange. Break up segments with your fingers or cut to about 1/4-inch pieces with a knife.

3. Halve remaining orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup; you’ll will have about 1/4 cup. Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs and olive oil.

4. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ones. Fold in pieces of orange segments. Pour batter into prepared pan.

5. Bake cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up. Serve with whipped cream.

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Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

Admittedly, I am not one to read the newspaper for current events, but I religiously visit the Food section online of both the Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times. I recently came across an article on a new exhibit at the Franklin Institute called Kitchen Science. In addition to making me wonder if I am too old to attend the cooking demonstrations, it included recipes from FI caterer, Steve Poses.  A recipe for Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread peaked my interest and I remembered the extra cans of pumpkin lying around in my pantry.  This recipe is quick and easy and is great for breakfast on the go, or even as an edible gift!  Aren’t the cracks in the bread beautiful?!

Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Steve Poses via The Philadelphia Inquirer

Makes 1 loaf or 12 servings

1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest or orange juice
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil
2 cups cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries,  coarsely chopped
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl whisk together orange zest or juice, pumpkin, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Whisk in eggs to combine, then whisk in melted butter or oil. With a spoon, stir in cranberries, dried cranberries, and pecans. Stir in flour until combined.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until the center is firm, risen, and slightly cracked, about 65 to 75 minutes.