Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Jan 15, 2013

Winter Citrus Salad

Libations used: 1/4 cup Grand Marnier, 3 Tbs of orange bitters
Libations left over: None, but gosh, there's a lot of booze in this salad already...
Right now it's prime citrus time at the markets, and for those living in cool clime, it's probably the only kind of decent fruit you can get.  This recipe from The Kitchn for a Winter Citrus Salad has a slightly sweet and slightly bitter dressing with honey, Grand Marnier (an orange flavored liqueur) and fruit bitters.  Feel free to get creative with the types of citrus you use and play around with the sweet, sour and bitter notes.  The Kitchn suggests combinations of oranges, clementines, tangerines, kumquats, satsumas, pumelos, tangelos and grapefuit, and then orange, Meyer lemon or Buddha's Hand zest.  I opted for orange zest and juice with Minneola tangerines for their sweetness, pink grapefruit to add a little bitter flavor and kumquats for texture.  For the bitters, you can use lemon, orange or grapefruit.  I went heavy on the bitters with 3 tsps of Fee Brothers' West Indian Orange Bitters because it has a rather light and floral flavor.  To really make this salad pop and look pretty on the table, try to cut the fruit in different ways.  I peeled and separated the tangerines into segments, cut the grapefruit into supremes and then cut again in half, and the kumquats were sliced in half.  This dish is perfect to make for a boozy brunch, or to clear your fridge of all the citrus lying around.

Winter Citrus Salad - serves 6 to 8
  • 2 tsps finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup light, floral honey (I used clover honey)
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 3 tsps Fee Brothers' West Indian Orange Bitters
  • 6 cups fresh citrus fruit pieces - I used 3 Minneola tangerines, 3 pink grapefruit and about 20 kumquats
- In a large bowl, add the orange zest, orange juice, honey, Grand Marnier and bitters and whisk.  If you're not big on bitters, try adding it 1 tsp at a time to gauge the taste.  Each brand of bitters is going to have a different flavor profile.
- Add the fruit and toss gently to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours for the dressing to seep in.
- Let the salad sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.