what should I do with all these oranges
February 26, 2022 6:46 PM   Subscribe

It's orange season. For reasons, I have bags of oranges from the neighbors' trees. Blood oranges and navels. Both brightly flavored and tart, not real sweet. Now what?

Here's what I've thought of:

1. Just serve them peeled and sliced as a composed salad. Fine, as far as it goes.
2. Juice and drink. I don't have a juicer, though, and it's slow going by hand, and the result is kinda rough on the stomach.
3. Marmalade. I made a jar already. It's ok. These aren't really marmalade oranges (note: are Seville oranges even available in the bay area?) I don't have the room or need to store a whole bunch of mediocre marmalade.
4. I made a small amount of blood orange curd. The color is surprisingly offensive (that pretty orange-red gets real nasty looking in combination with egg yolks) and the flavor is kinda meh.

Any other ideas? Maybe something savory somehow?
posted by fingersandtoes to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have a similar problem right now. You can combine them with berries for a jam, which improves both color and flavor. You can also slice thin and dehydrate, which you can string for a pretty garland.

You can also candy the peels, which is often the tastiest part of a mediocre orange, and makes a nice baking ingredient.

There's also "magic garbage" which is usually lemon peels that you bury in sugar in the fridge until the sugar liquefies and is infused by the flavorful oils for a delicate syrup. Not sure it would work with mediocre oranges.
posted by blnkfrnk at 7:05 PM on February 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, blnkfrnk is talking about oleo-saccharum which you could totally make with oranges. It’s lovely in cocktails of course but you can also use it for lemonade (orangeade!) and other non alcoholic refreshments. Also, use it in salad dressing and marinades, reduce it for a finishing sauce, pour over ice cream…

Oranges are great with pork, by the way. Tons of recipes out there from all kinds of cuisines, though my favorite is probably Cuban style mojo pork, which is made with sour oranges and might be ideal.
posted by Mizu at 7:23 PM on February 26, 2022 [6 favorites]

Oh also, you could learn to juggle.
posted by Mizu at 7:24 PM on February 26, 2022 [6 favorites]

Nigella's cake is really great. You can make it with any kind of citrus. It doesn't use up enough, though.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:38 PM on February 26, 2022 [6 favorites]

Best answer: A friend gave me a cellophane bag of sliced dehydrated oranges for christmas. She had dried them in a slow oven. They were very pretty and unexpectedly delicious.
posted by Thella at 8:00 PM on February 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Mizu, you think that Cuban thing could be done with turkey or another non-swine meat?
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:24 PM on February 26, 2022

Best answer: Oh heck yeah, just search for “mojo sauce” and pick your recipe to riff on. I feel like if you’re doing something that isn’t a pork roast type of meat you should amp up the fats a bit so go for maybe more oil or add butter or something. It’s good on shrimp, I know that for certain! Also great with a baked sweet potato.
posted by Mizu at 8:31 PM on February 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

Sicilian Orange Cake will use two of them. The syrup part of the recipe would be worth making in a larger quantity for just pouring on ice cream or making cocktails.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:22 PM on February 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Oh yeah I've made some pretty great slow-cooked skirt steak, for pulling apart, with fresh orange juice and a little rind as the liquid (and cumin and onion and chilli).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:06 AM on February 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

I made marmalade recently but don't like marmalade, so have been using it in recipes. Nigella chocolate orange cake. Loaf cake. A Waitrose recipe I can't find online which is baked apples with marmalade, brandy, golden syrup and lemon juice (let me know if you want the quantities). You can also bake hams in it and put it with turnips or carrots. There are also recipes for steamed marmalade puddings which I am planning to try. I realise your oranges are currently proto-marmalade but some of these recipes would work using sliced oranges. Alternatively, I liked experimenting with different marmalade recipes, which is how I came to need to use up marmalade. You might find that other recipes do not produce mediocre results.
posted by paduasoy at 12:28 AM on February 27, 2022

Best answer: Moroccan Orange and Cinnamon Dessert Salad

Sicilian Fennel and Orange Salad with Red Onion and Mint

Orange poppyseed cake (only uses the rind, but the above two recipes don't use the rind)

I use oranges and apples to stuff duck and goose. Maybe it's a bit much to cook a whole bird now, but here you have a delicious recipe that I make year round, using frozen duck breast: Duck Breast à l’Orange

I also make a fresher combination, with duck breast roasted on a dry pan, served on a salad of frisée, orange wedges or slices, apple slices and a dressing made with the rendered duck fat, balsamico vinegar, a bit of orange juice (just the juice from your cutting board, when you have prepared the oranges). The duck fat should provide enough seasoning, but taste.
First thaw the duck breast in the fridge over night. Season the skin side with salt, white pepper and powdered ginger. Put on a cold pan (not non-stick) and raise the heat slowly to render the fat off. When the skin is golden and easily releases from the pan, cook it two minutes on the other side. Put aside to rest.
While the duck meat is resting, prepare your salad. Arrange the frisée and fruits on a plate or dish, and make the dressing in the pan, adding juice and balsamico to taste, and tasting for balance. pour the dressing over the salad and top with sliced duck breast. I'm allergic to nuts, but some toasted chopped walnuts add a nice crunch to the whole. I sometimes use toasted pine nuts that I can eat.

Apropos poultry and oranges, what about orange chicken?

In a restaurant, I've had a white fish with orange sauce, it was a bit spicy and very good. You are as good a judge as me as to which of the many recipes on the web for this you might prefer.

BTW, if this looks to be a recurring event, it's worth it to buy a simple citrus squeezer like this one. You don't need a big appliance just for oranges.
posted by mumimor at 3:36 AM on February 27, 2022

Best answer: I would make shrub: wash and chop into chunks (with rind), toss with equal volume of white sugar. Cover with towel and stir/mash 1-2x per day for 2-3 days. Add 0.5-2 parts vinegar by volume, let sit for another 2-3 days. At the end, strain and bottle. If you used a lot of vinegar it's shelf stable for several months, if you used a little it's good for several weeks, or months in the fridge.

Use it anywhere a sweet/tart syrup is called for, or add fizzy water and ice for a nice old-timey soda.

Another option would be to preserve them in salt, like is more commonly done with lemons.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:04 AM on February 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

The color issues you are experiencing with blood orange curd is legit, and is like the most unappealing color of a food ever. I have done this. It is extremely not-cute. My condolences.

If you make cocktails at home (or want to) making orange bitters is a great way to utilize the zest from all sorts of citrus. Using an ISI whipped cream whipper and No2 charges can extract delightful flavor into alcohol. Original source is Liquid Intelligence, but this blog post outlines the process quite nicely. They last a really goddamn long time, and I even add a few drops to plain seltzer water to get an 'orange' la croix style drink.

From the same original source, you can also 'acid adjust' any citrus juice with more citric and malic acid (easy to purchase at any home- beer-brewing supply store) to make it a stand in, acidity wise, to lime juice. It can then be used in place of lime juice in just about any cocktail recipe.

Both classic margaritas and gin gimlet with acid corrected blood orange juice is pretty dang simple once the juice is made and really lovely. My personal favorite I tried, is making a navel orange-juice-acid corrected mojito, using pineapple sage instead of mint.
posted by furnace.heart at 8:54 AM on February 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

The Nigella Lawson cake linked above, with the blended boiled orange rind, is really shockingly good.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 10:14 AM on February 27, 2022

Response by poster: just for posterity, agree the nigella cake is a miracle but I need to be eating a little less cake these days
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:28 AM on February 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

We have a giant navel tree. I like a salad with sectioned oranges with some combo of olives, fennel, watercress, red pepper flakes (often people have with red onion, I don’t really like it) dressed with a little olive oil. Similar to this.
posted by vunder at 11:20 AM on February 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don’t have a recipe to link to, but I would make oven-poached salmon or similar fish. Juice a combo of each orange type and slice one of each. Pour the juice into a roasting pan and lay in the fillets skin side down. Brush them with olive oil or scatter some butter on top. Salt to taste. Top with orange slices. Roast in a slow oven. When the fish is done, remove the fillets and reduce the poaching liquid to use as a glaze.
posted by expialidocious at 12:09 PM on February 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

I just made a big batch of blood orange soda syrup. About 1 cup of juice to 1 cup of sugar (or less if you want it less sweet) plus some peel (but none of the white stuff under the peel -- you can zest or use a veggie peeler) Bring it to a boil and then simmer until it thickens a bit, strain, and mix with seltzer! It should be good in the fridge for at least a few weeks.
posted by tangosnail at 8:16 AM on February 28, 2022

Use the zest to make Johnnybird's Toast Dope. So good.
posted by Lexica at 3:28 PM on February 28, 2022

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