Friday, March 4, 2011

preserved oranges

i hadn't yet been to morocco
when i first became seduced by tagine
meat braised into submission
in the company of
dried fruit
toasted nuts
exotic spices
preserved citrus

preserved lemon 
can be plucked off the shelf 
of your favorite fancy grocery
i have found preserved oranges
offer a slightly sweeter note
couples well with
headier spices like

preserved oranges are
easy to make at home
and use few ingredients

within 10 minutes
you will be transported 
to a far away land
full of culinary possibility
preserved oranges
smallish thin rind oranges
kosher salt
pink peppercorns
star anise
bay leaf
thoroughly wash and scrub the oranges removing stems.  cut into fourths without allowing the knife to cut all the way through. cut approximately 2/3rds through the fruit. generously salt the flesh of the orange  using a sterilized jar with proper fitting lid begin to press the oranges into the jar.  pour additional salt in between the layers of oranges.  periodically drop in peppercorns using no more than 10   in your entire jar. continue doing this until the jar is well packed and full.  squeeze orange juice to fill in the gaps. slide in a bay leaf and star anise.  add a bit more salt, then seal.  turn upside down on the shelf of the fridge overnight. the next day, turn it back right side up. if you see a gap, fill it with oranges, salt and orange juice. close it up and place back in the refrigerator. let "steep" for 4 weeks. these will keep for about 6 months.  rinse before using.  use as you would preserved lemons.


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