Adding citrus juices lifts up your dishes

Roasted Halibut with Tomato Orange Butter. (Florida Department of Citrus)

Roasted Halibut with Tomato Orange Butter. (Florida Department of Citrus)

Rita DeMontis, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:18 PM ET

It's 2013, why don't you come on over and share your favourite meal with me? I'm throwing the mother of all potluck parties, and I want you to come along. In the next few weeks, I'll be offering recipes to share in my new column called Rita's Table — and I'm hoping you'll take part. All you have to do is share your favourite food photos with me by email ritastable@scribblelive.com or by tweeting or instagramming your photo with the hashtag #ritastable. I'll chose my favourite photos to appear in my column the following week. Stay tuned for more information. Join me at the table!

Until then — I know you're already missing the sunshine, and sometimes a sparkling glass of fresh orange or grapefruit juice will hit the spot.

Take it further by incorporating citrus juices in a variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury. Here's a selection of delicious and delightful dishes perfect for these winter months. All recipes and photos courtesy of the Florida Department of Citrus.

Black Bean Citrus Chili with Avocado Cream

This vegetarian chili is packed with flavour and has a mild heat. The juices bring out the balance of a citrus taste for the hearty black beans. For an additional kick of heat be sure to double up on the jalapeno pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (7 ml) ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) smoked paprika
  • 2 cans (19 oz/540 ml each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) each orange and grapefruit juices (or 1 cup/250ml orange juice)
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) chopped fresh oregano

Avocado Cilantro Sour Cream:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) grapefruit juice
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, green and jalapeno peppers, chili powder, cumin and paprika for about 8 minutes or until softened. Stir in beans, tomatoes, Florida orange and grapefruit juices, tomato paste, cilantro and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until thickened.

Avocado Cilantro Sour Cream: Meanwhile, in bowl, mash avocado until smooth. Stir in sour cream, cilantro, juice and salt. Dollop each bowl with sour cream to serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

TIP: If you cannot find a 28 oz/796 ml can of stewed tomatoes simply measure 3 cups (750 mL) of stewed tomatoes.

 

Roasted Halibut with Tomato Orange Butter

Decadent halibut is roasted and enjoyed with the fresh taste of orange juice and sundried tomatoes. This dish is simple enough for a weekend meal and elegant enough for special guests.

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick pieces halibut (about 1 1/4 lb/575 g total)
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (7 ml) fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 large clove of garlic, rasped or grated
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Tomato Orange Butter:
  • 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Place halibut pieces in large bowl. Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with fennel, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat fish well. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast in a 425F (220C) oven for about 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Tomato Orange Butter: Meanwhile, in small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and whisk in orange juice and sundried tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until tomatoes are softened. Stir in parsley and pepper. Spoon sauce over halibut to serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Until then — I know you're already missing the sunshine, and sometimes a sparkling glass of fresh orange or grapefruit juice will hit the spot.

Take it further by incorporating citrus juices in a variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury. Here's a selection of delicious and delightful dishes perfect for these winter months. All recipes and photos courtesy of the Florida Department of Citrus.

Black Bean Citrus Chili with Avocado Cream

This vegetarian chili is packed with flavour and has a mild heat. The juices bring out the balance of a citrus taste for the hearty black beans. For an additional kick of heat be sure to double up on the jalapeno pepper.

Chocolate Orange Brownies

If you love the marriage of orange and chocolate these dense, chocolaty brownies will become a favourite snack or dessert. Cut it into fingers for the kids and let them dip them into the sauce. Or serve this at the end of an entertaining meal with your favourite coffee.

Directions:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) butter
  • 3 oz (90 g) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) orange juice
  • 3/4 cup (75 ml) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla
  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) mini chocolate chips
  • Orange Sauce:
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) packed brown sugar

Ingredients:

In saucepan, melt butter and chocolate with orange juice over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and chocolate chips until well combined. Scrape into parchment paper lined 8 inch (1.5 L) baking pan and bake in 350F (180C) oven for about 20 minutes or until tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Let cool slightly.

Orange sauce: Meanwhile, in small saucepan stir together Florida orange juice, marmalade and sugar over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Serve with brownies.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Tip: If you like cakey brownies, stir in 1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda with the flour.

 

Florida Orange Ginger Tea

The bright fresh flavour of orange juice is enhanced with the fusion of spicy ginger and sweet Asian pears, through the infusion method used to prepare tea. For a different twist serve this drink as a refreshing spritzer with some ginger ale or sparkling water.

Directions:

  • 4 cups (1 L) orange juice
  • 2 Asian pears, cored and sliced
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) peeled and thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) granulated sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

In saucepan, bring orange juice, pears ginger, sugar and cinnamon to boil. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 1 hour to serve warm. Strain through sieve and pour into cups.

If serving cold, let stand for at least 2 hours, strain and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until cold. Pour over ice if desired.

Makes 4 cups (1 L).

Storage: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat if desired to serve.


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