Believe it or not, there are some positives in this unprecedented time of sheltering in place. One of those is that you can challenge yourself to waste absolutely no food. Not a scrap, not a spoonful. Consider the humble citrus fruit:
Citrus fruits last a long time but eventually you might find yourself with some aging oranges the way I did last week. I made marmalade which is not only tasty but extremely versatile. You can not only use it on toast and English muffins, both classic, but as a glaze for tarts, and to flavor poultry, and pork. I also use it as a key ingredient in orange beef, my one of partner’s new favorite dishes. The recipes for orange beef and the citrus marmalade (you can swap out whatever citrus fruit you have) are below.
So challenge yourself to waste not even a spoonful of food. Now is the time.
5 medium oranges, aging and slightly overly firm is best and you can swap out the equivalent in quantity for any citrus you have; grapefruit, lemons, limes etc.
1/4 cup lemon juice
6-8 cups of sugar, depending on how tart/sour your citrus is
Thinly slice the citrus, paper thin is what you are aiming for. Place the fruit and the lemon juice in a large pot and cover with water, about four to five cups. Boil for ten minutes until the fruit is tender. Cool slightly and blend the fruit up ion a blender making it as smooth or chunky as you prefer. Return the fruit to the pot and add in 6 cups of sugar and dissolve. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Boil until the mixture reaches 222-F degrees on a candy thermometer. This can take up to 30 minutes so stir often and keep an eye out for it so it doesn’t burn. It should darken slightly but not amber in color. You can also test the marmalade by placing a small plate in the freezer for about 15 minutes before putting a small amount of marmalade on the place and drawing a finger through the middle. If the jam doesn’t bleed back into one puddle then it is thick enough to take off the heat. Let cool slightly before spooning into hot, sterilized jars. You can also freeze the marmalade in clean, recycled jars.
Orange Beef & BroccoliIngredients:
1 pound cheap beef, thinly sliced (I use steeply discounted rib eye); best to slice the beef when it is semi frozen
Olive oil, about a tablespoon
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove smashed
1 tablespoon grated raw ginger
2 cups broccoli crowns, cut into bite sized pieces (you can also swap out for mushrooms, peppers, carrots, whatever you have handy in your vegetable crisper)
1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium is best)
1 teaspoon each: sugar, pepper and salt
1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 1/3 cup cold water
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup or so of sliced green onions and a tablespoon of sesame seeds for garnish
Microwave the broccoli in a bit of water until tender crisp. Set aside. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and stir until softened, about three minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute. Add the beef and sauté until cooked through, about five minutes. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and soy sauce in a pan. Whisk in marmalade and stir until well combined. Add the cold water mix to thicken if needed. When the beef is done, pour the sauce over and mix well. Add the broccoli/veggies at the last minute and stir to coat. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Serve over steamed white rice.