Posts Tagged ‘orange’

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

We have had a busy couple of weeks, in the most wonderful way.  We went on an epic vacation to Disney World with our extended family.  There were twelve of us in all– six adults and six children– and it was fantastic,  I’m more than a little sad that this long-planned trip has now come and gone.  Luckily, the transition back to our normal lives here in Minnesota was pretty easy.  We’re having a beautiful fall, with stunning colors and perfect temperatures.  October is my favorite month anyway, and this one is living up to every expectation I’ve ever had.  Both of my sweet little ones celebrate birthdays this month– which makes me love it even more.

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

As for that getting back into the swing of things, we went to a neighborhood potluck last night where our friends smoked an impressive 36 pounds of pork.  It was ridiculously delicious!  I made this autumnal dish for the get-together and received some nice comments, so I figured I’d share it with you as well.  It’s a cross between a side dish or a salad, or maybe even a main course.  Let’s just call it food, shall we?  It has a wonderful feel of fall to it and contains some of my favorite things.   I fancy rice and squash as a combination, and a few of you may remember this dish from last year? This time I went with the nutty, toothsome, wild rice.  I’ve been tossing it into soups and salads whenever I can.  I also stocked up on Winter squash at the farmers market yesterday, so I figured I’d add some in as well.

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash , and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Then I decided to make this delicious citrus curry dressing to pour on top of everything.  I’d been dreaming about this dressing after having recently gone out to lunch with a couple girlfriends.  This dressing was on all of our salads and it was insanely delicious.  (No worries, ladies– I think I’ve got it down.  Or something very close and fantastically delicious in it’s own right.) The dressing’s base is orange juice that has been reduced to amp up its flavor.  The curry addition makes it unique and almost addictive.  Bite after bite, you’ll keep wanting more.  I also decided to add some kale into the mix, since I had a bit left from my final CSA box.  I massaged it first with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and salt for about 3-5 minutes.  Massaging kale helps it soften a bit, and in this dish, it is worth the little extra effort.

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

I came across some wonderful honey goat cheese at our co-op and knew it would work perfectly in this dish.  Wow!  There is a smidge of honey in the dressing, so it tied in beautifully.  Of course regular goat cheese would work fine, too.  I topped the dish with coarsely-chopped roasted and salted hazelnuts, but walnuts or even almonds would serve the purpose, too.  Anything that provides a little crunch for texture. The dish can be served warm, but I prefer it at room temperature.  Which makes it a perfect make-ahead dish for the holidays.  Hope you are all doing well– enjoy!

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

The Recipe: Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing

1 cup uncooked wild rice

1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 1/2- 2 cups coarsely chopped kale (any variety will work)

roasted and salted hazelnuts, for garnish (about 1/2-3/4 cup)

crumbled honey goat cheese (or regular), for garnish (about 1/2 cup)

olive oil

kosher salt and cracked pepper

For the Citrus Curry Dressing:

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges  (Valencia worked great)

1 tablespoon finely minced shallot or red onion

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sweet curry powder

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place the diced butternut squash on a large rimmed baking sheet and coat with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast for about 20-25 minutes, or until tender.  Turn the squash once while roasting.  The amount of roasting time will depend on how big or small the squash pieces were cubed, so keep a watchful eye.  Remove from oven when tender and let cool a bit.  Squash that is really hot is fragile and will fall apart more easily.

Meanwhile, rinse the wild rice in water and place into a large saucepan with 4 cups of cold water a little salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  The rice should be tender after about 45 minutes.  Then drain the remaining water and fluff with a fork.  Let cool for a bit. This method uses a bit more water than usual, but helps in that you don’t have to keep such a watchful eye so it doesn’t burn.

To make the dressing, begin by placing the orange juice into a small saucepan and reduce (uncovered) over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until 1/3 cup orange juice remains.  Stir often. Let cool.  Then you may begin making the dressing by using one of two methods.  The first method uses an immersion blender (which I couldn’t live without).  Place all of the dressing ingredients into a tall cylinder shaped container (my blender came with one) and pulse a few times with an immersion blender until the dressing is uniform and well blended.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can simply use the bowl and whisk method to make the dressing (or even shake in a lidded jar).   Add all of the ingredients to the bowl, except the olive oil.  Mix together, and then slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Season with kosher salt and cracked pepper.  You may be surprised that you’ll have to add a bit of salt to bring out the flavor of the dressing.

Add the coarsely chopped kale to a medium-sized bowl and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and salt. Massage kale for a few minutes until it is tender and has wilted a bit.

When all of the ingredients are ready, add them to a huge serving platter or bowl.  Pour half of the dressing over everything and gently mix.  Taste.  Add more dressing if you like.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then top with crumbled goat cheese and chopped roasted hazelnuts.  I prefer this dish at room temperature.  Refrigerate leftovers.  Enjoy!

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Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

I’m now well into my sixth month of being obsessed with tacos.  Seriously, we’ve been eating them at least once a week for more than a half year, and I’m not even close to getting sick of them.  Tacos al pastor?  Sure.   Spicy shredded beef?  Yes.  And then there are these amazing carnitas tacos that we’ve been enjoying.  They’re perfect to prepare in advance (and I live for meals like this in the summer), they’re healthy (if you don’t go overboard), and they’re oh so tasty.

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas, or “little meats”, can be served simply as a stand-alone dish, but I love it in these tacos even more.  It’s a new addition to my repetoire, which also includes these, and these— both of which are also favorites.  This carnitas version combines the lively flavors of lime and orange, which pair beautifully with pork, cumin, and garlic.  The recipe couldn’t be simpler–  you can make it on the stovetop.  Perfect for when firing up the oven in the summer heat doesn’t sound so tantalizing.  Put all of the ingredients into a pot, no sautéing required.  When cutting your pork shoulder up into cubes, don’t trim off any fat– you’re going to need that so the meat doesn’t get dry.  Let it cook down for about 2 hours and then sear the pork at the end.  That’s it.  Did I mention that it’s completely delicious?

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

The fresh tomatillo salsa is a fantastic compliment to the carnitas.  You may be tempted to buy a ready-made salsa from the store, but don’t.  The freshness of this topping cannot be bottled and you’ll end up spending more on a store-bought version that pales in comparison.  It only takes a minute to either chop or pulse the ingredients together– definitely worth your time.  And as far as toppings go, I’m stuck on queso fresco cheese, white onions, and cilantro.  The combination is sublime and it tastes so fresh.  Hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.

Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa via Relishing It

The Recipe: Carnitas Tacos and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

For the Carnitas:

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes (do not trim the fat)

2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted then ground

2 teaspoons kosher salt

6-7 garlic cloves, chopped

Corn tortillas, queso fresco cheese, limes, cilantro, and white onions for toppings

For the Tomatillo Salsa:

4 tomatillos

1/2 medium white onion

4 garlic cloves

1 jalapeño

small handful of cilantro (around 1/3 cup)

juice of 1 lime

kosher salt

To make the Carnitas:  Place all of the ingredients into a large Dutch oven.  Add enough water to just cover the pork.  Bring to a boil, then simmer the pork uncovered for about 2 hours.  Do not touch the pork.  Let it do it’s thing.  After 2 hours, bring the heat up to medium/high and begin reducing the liquid for about the next 45 minutes.  When the liquid is mostly gone, sear all the sides of the pork pieces.  They will be tender and practically fall apart.  Keep a watchful eye at this point, as you don’t want them to burn.

To make the Tomatillo Salsa:  Rough chop the ingredients and place them into a food processor and give them a few pulses until the salsa is your desired consistency.  Alternatively, you can chop all of the ingredients by hand.  Make sure to season correctly with salt.

Source:  Carnitas recipe adapted from The Homesick Texan

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Orange and Olive Oil Cake

Pretty much every time I walked into my Grandma Jesch’s home as a child, there was a newly-baked cake waiting for me.  And I stopped by to visit at least every other day.  I guess that’s likely the source of my infatuation with cake.  I love them.  I love every kind of cake.  I love big decadent cakes with billowing frosting.  And tarts loaded with pastry cream and topped with ripe summer berries, make me swoon.  But sometimes…sometimes I want a simple cake.  A snacking cake.  Like the ones my Grandma Jesch made.

This orange and olive oil cake is the perfect snacking cake.  It’s interesting and delicious, without being too glamorous.  The olive oil lets you know it’s in there, though it’s subtle.  It adds a slightly floral flavor that works wonderfully with the brightness of the orange zest.  The cake stays moist with the help of the olive oil and the yogurt; and in my experience, it’s better after sitting for a few hours or even overnight.  Be warned though, the modesty of this cake may deceive you.  Since it doesn’t have the pomp of a fancy chocolate layer cake, you won’t think of it as dessert.  Your guard will be down.  You’ll wander into the kitchen several times over the course of the afternoon, and suddenly, half of the cake will be gone.  Not that that happened to me.  And I certainly wouldn’t tell you if it did…

The Recipe:  Orange and Olive Oil Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 large eggs, separated

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup plain yogurt

3/4 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil  (preferably something fruity, if possible)

zest of 3 oranges

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Place rack in the center of oven.  Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with a nonstick cooking spray; or butter it well, flour it, and tap out any excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks until they are pale and light; slowly pour in the sugar until it is completely incorporated.  Add the yogurt and olive oil and mix until thoroughly combined.  Add the orange zest and vanilla, mix until just incorporated.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two parts, beating after each addition until just combined (it should only take 10 seconds).  Scrape down the bowl and beat again for 5 seconds.

In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Scoop 1 cup of the egg whites into the batter.  Use a rubber spatula to gently fold them in.  After about 30 seconds of folding, add the remaining egg whites and gently fold until they are almost completely combined.  Do not rush this process.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minute, rotating the pan half way through the baking time, or bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes.  Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan (an offset spatula works well) and turn out onto a rack to cool completely.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar right before serving.  This cake stores well at room temperature for about 3 days in a tightly covered container.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Baked Explorations

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First, a warning:  this is an overly-enthusiastic blog post today because…IT IS MY BIRTHDAY!  That’s right, I still get REALLY excited about my birthday.  Even though I’m clinging to my mid-thirties, like a child I still get giddy whenever August 26th rolls around.  I look forward to the phone calls with my family and friends.  I wait for the e-mails, cards, and Facebook wishes.  I love it all.

Now a second warning:  I’m going to get a bit sentimental.  The truth is, I still love my birthday so much because I look back on my life thus far, and forward to another wonderful year.  I’m so fortunate to be married to my wonderful husband, and I have two beautiful children.  I had the benefit of growing up in a loving family and then marry into another.  Thanks for having me, Mom and Dad.  Here’s to many more great years!

So what about the food?  Rather than make a birthday cake, I decided to go with one of my all-time favorites.  This carrot cake is easily one of the best I’ve ever eaten.  After giving my neighbors a sample, they agreed that this is as good as carrot cake gets.  It has the perfect amount of nuts– they provide just enough texture and flavor without overwhelming the dessert.  It has no raisins, which, to be honest, I don’t really miss.  The cake is dense, as you’d expect, but not heavy– in short, it’s perfect.  The two secrets to this cake are oranges and limes.  Freshly-squeezed orange juice and a little zest really add a fragrant punch, while the icing– laced with lime juice and zest– make it unforgettable.

The Recipe: Carrot Cake with Lime Mascarpone Icing

For the Cake:

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened

2 cups light brown sugar

5 large free-range or organic eggs, separated

zest and juice of 1 orange

1 1/2 cups of self-rising flour, sifted

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

1 cup ground almonds

4 ounces / 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, plus more for topping the cake

1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

10 ounces/ 3 cups organic carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

pinch of kosher salt

For the Lime Mascarpone Icing:

4 ounces mascarpone cheese

8 ounces full-fat cream cheese

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

zest and juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and line with parchment paper a 9 – inch square or round cake pan.  (Note:  I used mini-loaf pans and yielded 6).  Beat the butter and sugar together by hand or using a stand mixer until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the egg yolks one at a time and add the orange zest and juice.  Gently stir in the sifted flour and baking powder, and add the ground almonds, walnuts, spices and the grated carrots.  Mix together well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then gently fold them into the cake mix.  Scoop the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 50 minutes (less if using the mini-loaf pans) until golden and risen.  To check cake using a toothpick, insert into cake for 5 seconds — it’s done when it comes out clean.  If it feels sticky, bake a bit longer.  Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.

To make the icing: mix all of the ingredients except the lime juice together.  Carefully add 1 teaspoon at a time.  Making sure the icing doesn’t get too thin.  Spread generously on the cake and top with walnuts.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Cook With Jamie Cookbook

Thanks again for stopping by Relishing It today.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend — I know I will.


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I hope you all had a lovely Memorial Weekend.  Ours was fun, though not ENTIRELY relaxing– both kids were sick Friday and Saturday– so we didn’t get out as much as we would have liked.  Thankfully, by Sunday all was well and we enjoyed a fantastic barbeque at our friends’ house down the street.  The dodgy weather even complied!  Much of the neighborhood was there, with kids running to-and-fro.  Everyone brought something to share.  I made these beauties and this dish from my friend, Angharad’s blog.  Fantastic!

Today I’m offering you another one of my favorite recipes to try before rhubarb season comes to a close.  (Hopefully you’ll freeze some rhubarb so you can enjoy it throughout the year).  I love coffee cake.  It’s simple and uncomplicated, not fussy, and almost always tastes sublime.  It’s one of those cakes that makes afternoons so much better– brew a pot of French-press coffee and enjoy.  The rhubarb makes this cake very moist, yet it doesn’t become mushy.  Even better, it’s not overly sweet– like many rhubarb dishes can be.  I added orange  zest for a hint of citrus, and topped it with almonds.  Together these three really came together to make a fantastic, delicious flavor.

The Recipe: Rhubarb Coffee Cake

For the Cake:

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup white suger

1/2 cup, butter (at room temperature)

1 cup sour cream (at room temperature, if possible)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon almond extract (vanilla can be substituted)

1 egg (at room temperature)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Zest from 1-2 large oranges

1 cup whole wheat flour  (If you don’t have whole wheat flour, all-purpose can be substituted)

1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more to coat the rhubarb

3 cups diced rhubarb

For the Crumb Topping:

1/2 brown sugar

1/4 cup butter (at room temperature)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare a springform pan by buttering it, placing parchment paper on the bottom, buttering the parchment paper, then flouring. Shake out excess flour.  (Note: a 9×9 square pan can also be used)

To make the topping:  Mix the sugar, butter, and cinnamon together using a fork.  Then gently add the 1/4 cup of almonds.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, toss the diced rhubarb with a little bit of flour so it is evenly coated.  Do not mix the excess flour into the cake.  This will prevent the rhubarb from falling to the bottom of the cake.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugars and butter until creamy, 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the egg.  Next,  add the sour cream, almond extract, and orange zest and combine until just mixed.  Add the flour mixture and blend until just mixed (over-mixing any cake when the flour is added will yield a very tough cake).  Next,  fold the rhubarb into the cake using a rubber spatula.  Pour into prepared pan, making sure it is even.  Sprinkle the topping on top of the cake (I found that using my fingers worked the best).  Then finish with the remaining sliced almonds.  Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cake cool completely in pan on a cooling rack.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Cakes and Frostings with Schmecks Appeal by Edna Staebler

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I bought a new pan– a mini-bundt pan, and I love it.  I’ve recently found myself coming up with excuses to bake more, just so I can see those tiny, adorable cakes.  As my husband has mentioned (after listening to me justify making another little bundt-shaped treat) , the line between a hobby and mental illness can be a thin one.  Who cares when the results are fabulous?  I love these orange and vanilla-scented bundt cakes.  They’re incredibly flavorful, and just small enough to justify eating more than one.

For this recipe, do not cheat and use anything other than freshly-squeezed orange juice.  Trust me, you won’t get the concentrated flavor that these cakes can deserve from a bottle or from a frozen can.  I love it when a cake recipe delivers a potent, layered, flavor.  Here, the orange zest in the cake batter is the first wonderful layer.  Next, there’s the glaze with its freshly-squeezed orange juice that also moistens the cake.  Finally, there’s the fantastic icing.  These three layers really combine for a powerful citrus punch.  Here’s the thing though, the cake flavors aren’t limited solely to orange citrus.  This cake also offers strong vanilla notes.  If you’ve baked with vanilla beans before, you know that they are not subtle.  They give you big flavor.  Together, the vanilla and orange citrus pair beautifully in this cake–or cakes, if you want to break out the mini-bundt pan.

The Recipe: Orange and Vanilla Scented Bundt Cake

( Makes 1 bundt cake or 26 mini-bundt cakes)


3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 2/3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise  (2 teaspoons vanilla can be substituted, if in a pinch)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3 large eggs

2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2/3 cup buttermilk  (To make your own buttermilk — 2/3 cup regular milk with 2 teaspoons white vinegar mixed in.     Let sit for 10 minutes).


1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter


2/3 cup powdered sugar

4 teaspoons (roughly) freshly squeezed orange juice

For the Cake:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350° F.  Butter and flour 12-15 cup Bundt pan.  Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend.  Using electric mixer, beat sugar and orange peel in large bowl at low speed to release essential oils from peel.  Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into sugar mixture and beat to blend well.  Add butter and beat until light.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in orange juice (mixture will look curdled).  Stir in flour mixture, then buttermilk.  Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.  Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.  (Note: if using mini bundt pans — fill them 3/4 full and bake between 12-15 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean.)

For the Glaze:

Meanwhile, boil orange juice, sugar, and butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes ( less for mini-bundts).  Using small sharp knife, cut around the sides and center tube of pan to loosen cake.  Turn cake out onto rack and brush with glaze.  Cool completely.

For the icing:

Place sugar in small bowl.  Mix in orange juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until thick pourable consistency forms.  Drizzle icing over cake.  Let stand until icing sets.  (Note: I felt there wasn’t enough icing to top all of the mini-bundts, so I double the icing ingredients.  The recipe already reflects the change). Enjoy with a relaxing cup of coffee or tea.

Source: Bon Appetit Desserts

I hope you all enjoy this cake as much as we did!  Have a great day and see you soon!


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