Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blood Oranges

This time of year a truly amazing and vibrant fruit is the blood orange. It has an extraordinary deep red color and the sweet, sweet flavor of an orange kissed by a raspberry. It makes a dramatic presentation and can be used in any recipe that calls for an orange. Its color is very romantic so it is lovely in cocktails or freshly juiced for an intimate breakfast. So see where your imagination takes you with this local yet exotic fruit.

Mahi Mahi with Blood Orange Salsa
4 blood oranges
2 avocados, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1-inch ginger, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced
Juice of 2-3 limes (to coat)
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 6-ounce mahi-mahi fillets
Using small sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from orange. Working over small bowl, cut between membranes to release segments. Add avocado, onion, garlic, ginger jalapeno, and lime juice to oranges in bowl; stir gently to blend. Season salsa to taste with salt. Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Add fish to skillet and sauté until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
Place 1 fillet on each of 2 plates. Spoon salsa atop fish and serve.

Blood Barbecued Chicken
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp. butter
1/3-cup honey
3-tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Asian Chili garlic sauce (you can substitute Tabasco, to taste)
Juice of one lemon
Juice of 2 blood oranges
2 tablespoons Blood orange zest
1 1⁄2 tbsp. cornstarch
3 pounds boneless chicken breasts
3 pounds drumsticks
Olive oil for brushing

To make the sauce, in a small saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until tender. Add the honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, chili sauce and blood orange zest. Gradually blend the orange juice into the cornstarch; add to the onion mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly brush the chicken drumsticks with oil. Barbecue on a grill 6 inches above the glowing coals for 20 minutes. Turn and cook 20 minutes longer. Brush the chicken breasts with oil and add to the grill cooking 10 minutes on each side. Brush with sauce. Continue cooking until the chicken is tender, turning and brushing occasionally with sauce. Serves 6.

Pomegranate, beets, fennel and blood oranges
The joy of this salad is that beets are widely available pre cooked. The pomegranates seeds and vinegar are also now in most every market making this salad simple and elegant.

8 medium beets
6 tablespoons olive oil
1-teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4-cup water

Juice from 2 blood orange
4 tablespoons pomegranate vinegar

1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
4 blood oranges, peeled, cut into1/4-inch-thick slices
1-cup pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place beets in roasting pan and toss with 3-tablespoon oil, 1-teaspoon salt, and 1/2-teaspoon pepper. Add 1/4-cup water. Cover pan with foil; roast beets until knife easily pierces center, about 50 minutes. Cool. Peel beets and cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges.
Whisk orange juice, pomegranate vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl to blend. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Add beets, onion, fennel, orange slices, and pomegranate seeds to vinaigrette in bowl; toss. Season salad with salt and pepper. Servers 4-6.

Blood Orange Salsa with Homemade tortilla Chips
A fiery winter salsa and the tortilla chips are easy and so much better than anything you have tasted. You can let the older kids loose on this project with close supervision.

For Salsa:
2 Blood oranges, peeled and diced
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 red onion, minced
1-teaspoon blood orange zest
1-teaspoon garlic, minced
1-inch ginger, minced
1⁄2 jalapeno, minced fine
1/4-teaspoon salt
1-tablespoon cilantro

In a bowl combine all ingredients except the cilantro and chill, covered, until ready to serve. Before serving toss in the cilantro.

For the chips:
12 count package of corn tortillas
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt
Preheat oil in deep skillet. On a cutting board stack 4 tortillas and cut into 8 wedges. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Add a handful of wedges to the hot oil. Separate any that stick together. Fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on a cookie sheet lined with a brown paper bag or paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and continue with the remaining tortillas.

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