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In celebration of citrus

Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, clementines – all these citrus fruits  are here with us in abundance from Christmas until springtime, as if to say, “We help you survive!”

Indeed, citrus fruits are essential. They put sizzle on our taste buds, add a sparkle to recipes reminiscent of their sunny homelands and each fruit packs a powerful punch of nutrition. They are rich in vitamin C, A and fibre with no fat.

Celebrate the sensational zest of citrus at every meal with these recipes.

Citrus Pork

An ideal entertaining dish with the seductive flavours of lemon, orange, sherry and marmalade. For ease, preparation can be done in advance with the pork served hot or at room temperature. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts could substitute for the pork tenderloin.

2  12 oz (375) g pork tenderloin

2 tbsp (25 mL) each, Dijon mustard and orange marmalade

2-4 slices side bacon

Sauce:

1 cup (250 mL) orange juice

1/2 cup (125 mL) each, dry sherry and fresh lemon juice

 1/4 cup (50 mL) orange marmalade

1 tbsp (15 mL) each, grated ginger root, grated lemon and orange rinds

1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard

1 bay leaf

1 tsp (5 mL) marjoram

Trim pork tenderloins if necessary then slice them Close pork tenderloin and wrap each spiral-fashion with bacon. Arrange pork in a baking pan sprayed with baking spray and cover. Bake at 350°F (180°C) 25 to 35 minutes or until pork reaches 165°F (75°C) and is pale pink inside.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium high heat, whisk together orange juice, sherry, lemon juice, marmalade, ginger root, lemon and orange rinds, mustard, bay leaf and marjoram. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered until sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Once pork is cooked, tent with foil five to 10 minutes, then slice on the diagonal about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Add pan juices to the sauce and bring to boil. Drizzle sauce over sliced pork; serve extra sauce in a jug. Serves four generously.

Moroccan Oranges

This recipe may take two guises, one sweet, the other savory. Whichever version you choose, this is the best time of year to make it simply because seedless navel oranges are at their sweet best. Be sure to save all the peels to transform into candy.

6 navel oranges

orange flower water

extra virgin olive oil

thin slices of red onion

seedless olives

thin slices of orange peel

Using a sharp knife, cut off both ends of the orange and remove. Placing on the flat side and working from top to bottom, cut off the peel from the orange; remove all including the white pith. Continue around the orange to remove all the skin. Slice the orange horizontally into quarter inch (6 mm) slices.

Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with orange flower water and a little olive oil. For the dessert version, garnish with orange peel. For the savory version sprinkle with sliced onions and olives. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves six.

Lime and Ginger Sweet Potato Soup

Absolutely yummy! The overtones of lime and ginger in this soup are sublime. Its rich flavour is guaranteed to make a dreary March day feel as if sunnier times are just around the corner. Although the soup has no cream the silky texture of the pureed sweet potatoes produce a luxurious finish.

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 inch (10 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1-2 limes, grated and juice reserved

1 each, onion, sliced leek and celery stalk, coarsely chopped, garlic clove

1 bay leaf

4 cups (1 L) low salt chicken stock

Water to cover vegetables

1 can (14 oz/ 396 mL) coconut milk

1-3 tsp (15 mL) curry powder

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) fresh black pepper

Garnish:

sliced fresh lime

In large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine chopped sweet potatoes, parsnip, ginger-root, lime rind, onion, sliced leek, celery, garlic, bay leaf, chicken stock and enough water add to cover vegetables. Bring to boil; reduce heat and cook covered until vegetables are very tender about 35- 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Using a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth adding reserved lime juice, coconut milk, curry powder, salt and pepper. Serve bowls of this soup garnished with a slice of lime.   Makes about 8 servings.

Taste. Add more lime juice if necessary (depends on the juiciness of the limes) and salt and pepper (depends on the seasoning of the chicken stock).

 

Jan Main is an author, cooking instructor and caterer  -  janmainskitchen@yahoo.ca

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