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Credit: quincesandthepea.com
Migas is a delightfully dense Spanish dish that hits all the right spots on a cold rainy, wintery night. It is made by stirring stale bread crumbs in a pan of olive oil, sautéed garlic, chorizo, jamón and bacon rashers, and then served up with a fried egg and some grapes.  

The other day I had mine served with sections of oranges instead and I was pleasantly surprised by how well the oranges featured, cutting through the rich flavours with its citrusy sweetness.

This triggered me think about recipes using oranges, as they are in their peak season from late winter to spring, and  a whole bag load of them just costs a Euro. I’d love to do more with them besides having them as an out-of-hand snack or OJ.

Traditionally associated with marmalades, compotes and sorbets, orange and sugary treats go hand-in-hand. But what if you told yourself that Christmas is done and it’s about time to work on the beach body, to cut back on the sweet stuffs?  Here are a few suggestions on how to incorporate oranges in your meals.

First of all, let’s keep in mind that oranges offer a refreshing sweetness that leaps on our palates, instead of being dully tart. When cleverly adopted, they offer bright flavour accents to our dishes.

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Credit: thewimpyvegetarian
Starters
Salads are always a good place to start. Raw red onions and oranges go well together, so chop them up and throw them in together with your tomatoes and red onions, lay them between your edamame and scallion, scatter them onto arugula, onions and parmesan.

Instead of using honey or sugar in your vinaigrette, blood orange juice is a great syrupy substitute while adding that extra flavour dimension. Oranges bring out the sweetness of shellfish too, so if you are having shrimp or scallop version salads, don’t hesitate to add in some oranges.   

Sweet potato and orange make a fantastic pair if you are thinking of making decadent purees or potages; carrot and orange are also a quintessential match. Just make sure to add a tad more salt and pepper to balance out the sweetness of these two combinations.  

Mains

We all know that oranges make a luscious reduction for the classic duck or chicken a l’orange as well as Chinese style crispy chicken with orange, but Italians also have a place for oranges in their pasta sauces. Try a creamy tomato sauce with orange, or roasted garlic and orange sauce; both are great sauces to combine with seafood.
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Credit: Channel4.com
Putting oranges under the oven brings out their fragrance and sugary goodness, creating a nice citrusy undertone,   for example to glaze your smoky barbecued ribs, or to baste your roasted lamb with rosemary; you could let it simmer with your slow-roasted pork loin, or stuff a whole orange into herb roasted chicken for that added tang.

We’ve already established that oranges are really lovely with rich dishes piled with charcuterie; don’t forget chunky casseroles and hearty beef stews would work wonder with orange juice and a bit of port!   

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Credit: stephsnacks.com
Snacks
Oranges somehow go amazingly well with some heat, as the Mexicans have discovered, by sprinkling chilli and salt onto segmented oranges. A really yummy snack. 

So next time, dare to throw in some orange juice when you’re making spicy salsa dips, or toasting chilli-spiced macadamia nuts. Mmmmm.

If you're a purist and would rather concentrate on having a nice unadulterated orange juice by itself, take it a step further by learning how to pair juices with your meals too.

Do you have any awesome savoury orange ideas? Share your thoughts with us below!

You may also like:
Inviting Guests Who Don't Drink? Pairing Dishes With Juices
Oriental Braised Duck 
A Quick Guide to French Mother Sauces

 


Comments

José Ramón
27/03/2013 2:33am

Malaguenian Salad, traditional dish of Málaga (Andalusia, Spain) with potatoes, fish, onion, olive oil... and orange. Recipe here: http://www.directoalpaladar.com/recetario/ensalada-malaguena-receta (in Spanish).

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