It’s amazing to think that part of my dinner was prepared 16 months ago (how we dehydrated orange slices back then – some of those exact oranges were used in the following meal)…
People occasionally ask us what to do with some of our ‘odder’ ingredients – just as dried orange slices (they include the peel after all). People are often surprised when I simply say “eat them”:
It’s not quite as simple as eating them straight from the jar – but it’s not far off.
I roughly chop them into smaller pieces and add them to marinades like so:
Stir them in really well and make sure they get some time in the marinade (i.e. 20-60 minutes). The longer they sit, the more flavor they will impart – and the more marinade they will use to rehydrate themselves. I stir-fry the entire lot and eat away – you will eat the rind without even noticing (though it can give a pleasantly chewy texture).
The peel adds a pleasant bitterness – offset by the flavors of the marinade it has absorbed in the process of rehydration.
If you’d rather not eat the rind (or want to try), add the slices whole and it’s easier to separate the rehydrated flesh without eating the peel.
Here’s a rough recipe I used last night (I didn’t measure) to marinade some beef:
- Dehydrated oranges. Lots. I quartered these mandarin-sized slices.
- Fresh garlic (would have added ginger as well but didn’t have any)
- Soy Sauce (use a fair bit – the beef and orange will suck them up)
- Oyster Sauce (to flavor – I’m a saucy guy and went liberal)
- Chile flakes (lots)
- Honey (about a tablespoon – it’s a nice kiss with the hot peppers)
- Salt (you don’t need a lot – the soy takes care of most of this)
- Pepper (we used fine-grated white pepper).
My final product tasted a little too much like marinade. I added some stock (veggie or chicken would do), brought to a simmer, added a bit of corn starch (mixed separately in a cup with a bit of the hot liquid to avoid clumping) and thickened.
Let it all mix together and come to room temperature before cooking.I tossed it all in a cast iron pan (it splattered and made a fun mess that was easy to clean) and Dana stir-fried some veggies, garlic and sesame seeds separately. We served it all on rice (which was cooked with a few slices of dehydrated lemons and stock).
I love to use preserving as a method of making ingredients – something that isn’t complete by itself but takes another dish to a level it just couldn’t get to otherwise (even with ‘fresh’ product).
Any other favorite uses out there for these?