Monday, February 27, 2012

Dehydrated Citrus Ideas and a Menu Plan

I love citrus fruit. Oranges, clementines, limes, lemons, grapefruit - I love it all! And the best thing about winter time is that citrus is in season. Since it keeps fairly well for a fruit, I tend to load up when a good sale hits. A few times this year I bought a 4 pound bad of oranges for $1.49 (maybe even a few cents less). A couple bags of oranges, a bag of limes (from Sam's), and a box or two of clementines, as good as they are, don't get eaten in lightening fast speed. So I decided to do some preserving.

The first thing I tried to make was a citrus marmalade. I follow the recipe exactly, and it turned out incredibly bitter. Bummer. Maybe next year I'll try a different method - we'll see.

I then went to my dehydrator, but if you don't have one you could easily use your oven to dehydrate citrus. I dehydrated limes and oranges. To do this I cut them thinly into rounds - about 1/8 inch or less in thickness. They took about 16 hours to dehydrate to the dry, brittle place I wanted them to be. The limes did turn dark - not sure what's up with that. They taste fine, however!

So what do you do with dehydrated citrus? Well, that's a great question! So far I've ground up the oranges and added the powder to a simple Chinese stirfry and made orange beef. That was pretty awesome. Tonight I made a rub with the limes and some other seasonings and used it as a fajita seasoning packet.

Fajita Seasoning Mix (note these amounts are approximate to what I made)

4 slices dehydrated limes, ground in a coffee grinder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4-1 tsp cayenne powder (just depends on how spicy you like it!)

Cut meat (I used beef) into strips. Toss with seasoning mix (the above recipe will make enough for about 2 pounds of meat). Allow to sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

Saute your onions and peppers in a canola oil. Remove from the pan when softened. To the pan add extra canola oil (like 1 tablespoon) and then saute your meat over high heat. Add back the onions and peppers. Serve with the toppings of your choice on a small flour tortilla. I like pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream.

This weeks menu plan:

Monday: Beef Fajitas, Zesty Black Beans, Chips and Pico De Gallo
Tuesday: Harvest Pork Stew and Salad
Wednesday: Chicken and Olive Bake and Salad
Thursday: Chicken, Mushroom, and Brown Rice Soup
Friday: Shepherds Pie and Salad

1 comment:

Sara Mae said...

Interesting! I would have never thought of dehydrating oranges and limes. But sounds good for your recipe ideas. May have to try!