Orange Produce Week… tangelos and carrots

Wandering around the produce aisles, I looked for something unusual… I see pineapples, apples, onions, garlic, peppers, potatoes… but nothing that I haven’t seen, had or cooked before (or had other people cook for me!). But the goal was to find two unusual specimens.

As I perused, I found relatives to foods that I had never tried before – and lucky for me, the store had a huge variety of orange types. I picked out the most vibrantly orange fruits, which turned out to be tangelos. Some light wikipediaing tells me they are a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo and are sometimes called Honeybells. When I tried one, I found them to be a bit sweeter than a good old navel orange, and have a deeper flavor (if that makes any sense). I snatched some up.

I also grabbed some long, full-grown carrots. I’ve eaten a baby carrot or two, but wanted to see what I could do with the baby carrot’s parents.
Starting with the tangelos… this is how I used them: 1) I ate them plain!; 2) on a weekend morning, I made orange juice; 3) I cut them up in a salad (“supreme-ing” them).

Let me explain what I learned about supreme-ing tangelos. When you cut up an orange (regularly), you usually have about 6-8 slices, but there is a membrane-type thing that gets caught in your mouth when you are trying to get the juice. To supreme, or section, you cut the fruit out of the membrane. You slice the orange on the north and south poles, then de-peel it completely. You take a sharp knife and, following the membrane lines, cut between the membranes in a wedge shape. The little sections fall out of the orange, completely free.

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And then there were the carrots… this is how I used them: 1) I shredded them up to use in a veggie wrap; 2) I glazed the carrots with a little honey (see recipe below); 3) a weird carrot salad I tried… (shredded carrots, Western dressing and raisins… didn’t work well… but I tried it!).

I’m not a huge cooked carrots fan, but on vacation once I had a honey-glazed carrot sidedish that was actually delicious. I found a recipe on foodnetwork.com that was quick and easy. I peeled and boiled the carrots, then put them in a saute pan with butter, honey, and lemon juice. I kept them moving around until I decided they had enough of a glaze on them, and served them with a side of extra honey sauce (extra from the pan). I wasn’t thrilled with them, but they were pretty good. Not as good as what I had on vacation though – I think I need to roast them with the honey glaze to get the outside crispy. Maybe I’ll try that next time…

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Overall, I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with some of these – I would never have attempted the glazed carrots, and the juice was delicious. I may try those carrots again…

Javier

 

Home Assignment 1… Pasta and Ceviche

With the weather turning gloomy and snowy, I decided to introduce a bit of the tropics in my lunch – ceviche! I cubed some red bell pepper, white onion, Serrano pepper, added tons of cilantro and lime, and cut up some giant shrimp. Serve with whole wheat crackers. Definitely the longest part of making this recipe is all the cutting. I wish I were on one of the cooking shows where all the ingredients are pre-cut and waiting in little bowls for me to use them!! But looking at the final result, perhaps I added a bit too much cilantro… just kidding, there is no such thing! For extra kick, I added Salsa Huichol… (not recommended for mild palates, muy caliente!)

Again, following the winter theme, I wanted something warm for dinner. What is more warming than a big plate of pasta! Unfortunately our pantry did not host the proper ingredients to actually make pasta sauce, but odds and ends of leftover Bertolli and Classico sauces tasted good! Also included was: whole wheat penne pasta, whole wheat bread, LOTS of fresh garlic, margarine, and fresh parmesan. Very tasty on a cold “spring” night…

As for my pantry, luckily my wife keeps our cupboards pretty full. Hiding amongst the spices are many different chili powders, used for various dishes. I like my food hot! As for all the baking supplies, I can’t take credit – that is my wife’s favorite hobby.

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My wife and I try to plan out work week lunches every week – we map out what ingredients we need on Fridays to make sure we have everything. I tend to like dishes that are hot (not cold), but I don’t like using the microwave, so it isn’t always easy! But ceviche is a great one that we can make ahead. I am always open to new ideas, though, as I like variety. I’m still waiting for my work to install a range… but I may be waiting a while on that one! 🙂

-Javier