Thursday, February 2, 2012

Healing Foods: Honeybell Orange Juice and Candied Orange Rind

January marks the month for Honeybell Oranges. These delicious, juicy oranges are only available at the first of the year for a very short time. We ordered a few cases of them for our office to give everyone some much needed vitamin C and a delicious treat during a long, post-holiday month.

I brought some of these beauties home to make freshly squeezed orange juice for part of my two week juice fast (more on that later) and to give the girls a glass of vitamin packed goodness in the morning. I also zested the skin of the orange to use in salad dressings. Even the zest was delicious, so I decided to candy some of the rind in a sugar syrup (a very English thing to do--my mother loves candied citrus) and--once cooked--dip the candied orange rind into a semisweet chocolate. It makes for a heavenly, bitter/sweet treat that provides additional vitamin C and dietary fiber along with a bit of vitamin A and calcium.

Easy to make and an elegant, delicious sweet to eat--these are great to serve as a light, sweet treat with tea or coffee.

Candied Orange Peel
Cut and quarter 4-5 oranges, removing the fruit. Thinly slice the skin quarters lengthwise. Bring 21/2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water to a boil, add orange peel and reduce heat to medium/low. Let orange rinds simmer in the sugar syrup, stirring occasionally, for about 1.5 hours. With a slotted spoon, remove orange rinds from the syrup and place on a rack to cool. Let sit for 24 hours. Melt 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels. Holding the rind at one end, dip the rind and cover one half of the length of the rind with melted chocolate. Place on a sheet of tin foil or wax paper to cool. Refrigerate 5 minutes to allow chocolate to harden, then peel from paper and place in an airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Comfort Food: Pulled Pork Sliders for Laura's Superbowl Party

My friend Laura went looking on the blog for a dish I have served a few times at potlucks. Pulled pork sliders are a crowd favorite--and easy to make. She will be hosting a Super-Bowl party, and wanted to serve these. They are easiest made in a crockpot--but since I don't have one--I bake them in a dutch oven on low heat for most of the day. The smell is heavenly. I put a basket of mini-brioche rolls (or mini potato roll slider buns) onto the table with a big bowl of cole slaw and a party is made. So for Laura and all looking for a great party food--here you go:

Pulled Pork (for sliders)
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder-trimmed of fat
1 onion sliced thin
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt

Using a large dutch oven (or 6 quart crockpot), place trimmed roast, onion, ketchup, water, vinegar, brown sugar and seasonings. Cover and cook at 275 degrees for 6 to 8 hours, stirring sauce occasionally and basting the roast. To check done-ness--try shredding an area of the meat with a fork. If it shreds easily, remove onto a platter, and shred with a fork. Return to sauce and stir over low heat on the stovetop--taste and correct seasoning. Serve with mini rolls and cole slaw (recipe follows)

Cole Slaw

3-4 cups shredded green cabbage
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded carrots
1 /4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup seasoned sushi rice vinegar
1/4 cup neutral oil (canola or grapeseed)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all vegetable ingredients together. Whisk oil, vinegar salt and pepper together. Stir into cole slaw mixture and turn to mix well.