Wednesday, February 27, 2008

House of Orange

Please forgive me if I've bored you with my orange love. Man, I didn't know I had it.
See, we moved to a new home with an orange tree in the backyard. Big deal.
Just before he left, the previous owner (who had grown up here) told me these were the tastiest oranges he'd ever eaten. Big deal.
I didn't get it.
Until winter, when the huge, lustrous orbs surged into ripeness.
They really were the tastiest oranges, and they needed using.
I went nuts for orange zest. It went into everything.
We used orange juice mainly for mixing with soda water for drinks.
I admit quite a few oranges were eaten out of hand.
But some sort of preserving was needed.
Soon I will be making candied orange peel, "creamsicle" ice cream, and a bit of marmalade.
For now, I've put up a jar of confit of orange slices, based on an idea Sam filched from the LA Times. The original recipe uses Meyer lemons. Aha, sayeth we rich in oranges. We can mimic that. It's nothing more than thin slices simmered in olive oil very slowly over low heat, for about an hour.
And it's lovely. If you look at Sam's sandwich it seems to be topped with a poached egg (but it's a slice of cheese). Inspired, undaunted, I topped some lightly buttered toast with confit of orange slices and a poached egg. Underneath the egg I judiciously sprinkled salt and some dried habanero flakes, just a bit, and boy was that tasty.
I have leftover orange slices in a jar that won't last forever. No problem, I don't intend to wait that long.


El said...

omg YUM! You're making a glut sound like the boon it really is. Great work.

(Citrus starved in the snowy midwest!)

peter said...

I just made spicy kumquat marmalade to go on duck sushi. Is there anything citrus can't do?

dancingmorganmouse said...

OOh, I've been eating blood orange marmalade on my toast lately, that confit looks wonderful.

Michael said...

Couldn't resist linking to this lovely post in order to get non-food people drooling. Check out
and enjoy!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm a sucker for orange, too, so no need for apologies. ;)

Anna Haight said...

I've heard that as long as it doesn't freeze, oranges preserve well on the tree... This looks great however!

Lannae said...

You are making my mouth water. I am a bit envious of you with the best orange tree. I am trying to imagine what it would be like to have fresh oranges by walking outside, and all the other orange goodies you are making. Ahhhh, yum.

Heather said...

Yum, that confit is a lovely idea. Can't you do that with whole oranges too? Like the salt-preserved lemons in Turkey or Morocco?

Sam said...

I made confit with your oranges too - I just cracked open the jar and simply ate it with some Adante crottin, not even grilled, just on the plate. It was delicious. I had included a few sprigs of rosemary in the confit process and it was perfect. Subtle, not over-powering.
How long do we think these confits will last I am wondering?

cookiecrumb said...

El: I appreciate your philosophy. Wish I could send you some seeds that would make sense!

Peter: Is there anything you won't do?

Morgan: Do confit. Easy.

Michael: Thanks.

Patricia: It's now all about new experiences. Fun.

Anna: Up to a point. They will lose inner moisture after a while, so we're in hurry-up phase. :)

Lannae: I just wonder. Can you not grow citrus? Maybe in a pot?

Heather: We've been thinking of the salty mess. It would last longer, yes. Mmm. Might think about one small batch to find out. Hell, the tree blooms every year!

Sam: Damn, I didn't even think of seasoning my oranges with rosemary. Touche!
As for how long it will last, I'm only guessing up to one month.

Zoomie said...

Love the title, too! Down with the Spaniards!

Lannae said...

I don't know if I could grow one in a pot or not. But logistics in my little abode with 0.05 acres of lovely shade trees may not led itself to growing citrus. But, as I read your description of what you made, zest, juice + soda, candied peel, marmalade, confit, ice cream... I am still salivating. I want to try it all!

Greg said...

I don't know what looks better the orange or the poached egg. I was thinking it needed bacon but the olive oil does the job I bet.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie! Shh! Some of my best friends... heh.

Greg: Bacon would have been divine. Bacon is always divine.

Mary Coleman said...

Confit of orange slices sounds...too good.

Sean said...

They're all yours! ;-D