Monday, March 12, 2012

Red Onion & Blood Orange Marmalade

Red Onion & Blood Orange Marmalade  with a pork chop, sweet potato puree and broccoli

This all started, when Chuck-the-Baker announced to me that somewhere in the depths of our cool basement, there was a bag of unused blood oranges. He had bought them to use in one dessert or another about a month ago and they were still down there. We also had a few in the kitchen refrigerator. Hmmm. If they weren’t beyond withered, they would probably need to be used promptly. What he carried up was a bag of still-perfect Moro blood oranges. They were in far better shape than the ones in the fridge.

Now the thing is, I absolutely adore blood oranges. I tasted my first ones on a trip to Italy as a teenager and have been hooked ever since. I actually tasted the juice on a dare as the friends I was traveling with were put off by the color. If you haven't tried them yet, they have an almost floral undertone to the flavor and are less acidic tasting than most other oranges. The deep color looks so luscious and rich.  So letting these go into the compost bin was really not an option.

After zesting nine smallish blood oranges and then squeezing out the beautiful, deep ruby red juice, there was about ¼ cup of zest and a bit more than 2 cups of juice. What to do besides freeze it all?

I have a recipe I’d found on a blog from Egypt by Sarah Khanna called ButteredUp to make lemon curd in the microwave. So some  blood orange curd was on the list. The curd would keep well in the fridge, and could, maybe, go into tarts or pie, since Pi-Day is coming on Wednesday. But that recipe needed only a cup of juice.

When I don’t know what to do with something on hand, I go look at what ELSE I have around. Necessity is a Mother, but she came through this time. Tonight’s dinner was going to be pork chops that were sitting in brine in the fridge. In the crisper was one largish red onion. Red onion and blood orange…Red onion and blood orange marmalade to have with the chops. An absolutely perfect tart-sweet accompaniment to those chops. It was utterly delicious.

Here is the recipe for the marmalade, and I promise to give you the microwave recipe for the blood orange curd this week. Promise.

Red Onion & Blood Orange Marmalade

2T unsalted butter
1 lg. red onion in large dice (about 1-1/2 cups)
3 small garlic cloves, minced
1T minced ginger ( I used jarred)
½ cup blood orange juice (from about 3 small oranges)
Zest from 3 small blood oranges
½ cup orange marmalade
½ cup dry red wine

Melt the butter in a medium sized heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and sprinkle lightly with salt. Stir well, cover and cook (sweat) gently until the onions are slightly soft, but not browned, about 5 minutes. 

Add the blood orange juice, the zest, the wine and the orange marmalade and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until the juices are thick, about 8 to 10 minutes. Taste for salt and season if necessary. Serve as a sauce or garnish with pork or chicken. Makes 4 servings.

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