Saturday, February 25, 2006

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #3: A Very Orange Meal

I am pretty sure I have the late winter blahs. This blue feeling is not being helped by the fact that today it snowed some more and with the wind chill was a balmy 10 degrees. So, this morning while sipping a latte at the bookstore cafe, I decided what better way to get myself out of my funk than cooking up a storm. After MBH and I returned home, I sat down to decide on my selection for the Weekend Cookbook Challenge #3. This month's theme was very challenging: to cook foods that are orange.

For the longest time, the only thing I could think of "cooking" for this WCBC was a molded orange jello salad with shredded carrots from a 1950's Woman's Day cookbook I own. It wasn't until I was reorganizing my cookbook collection a few days ago to make room for a few new cookbooks that I rediscovered Simply Delicious Cooking by Ron Kalenuik. A friend had given me this cookbook for Christmas several years ago. I remember thinking when I received it that the recipes were rather fussy. As I started flipping through the cookbook, gazing at all the lovely photographs, I noticed most the pictures contained quite a bit of orange. In fact, I found enough recipes to create a whole meal of orange food. The recipes in the cookbook were quite easy to follow and turned out wonderful. Also, I'm not sure if my palate has matured with age or if I am more confident in my cooking skills but I didn't find the recipes to be as fussy as I remembered. The cookbook is no longer in print, but if you can find a copy I would recommend that you add it to your collection. If for nothing else for the wonderful food photography.

The menu for our Very Orange Meal

Appetizer: cheese platter of English Stilton with Mango and Apricots, Extra Sharp New York Cheddar, wine crackers, and orange slices

Main Course: Orange Roughy Meuniere served on a bed of wild rice and Orange Brandy Carrots

Dessert: Individual Grand Marnier Peach Cobblers

Wine: Bonny Doon Pacific Rim 2004 Reisling; a wonderful crisp wine with orange blossom and apricot overtones

Recipes from Simply Delicious Cooking by Ron Kalenuik

Orange Roughy Meuniere

Six 6oz orange roughy fillets
1/2 Cup butter
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Place fillets on a baking sheet. Heat butter in a small sauce pan and brush fillets with melted butter. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. While fillets bake, continue to cook the butter over low heat until it turns a hazelnut colour. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Remove fish from oven, place on serving plates and pour butter sauce over fillets. Serve.

Orange Brandy Carrots
note: the recipe in the book calls for asparagus but the sauce worked fabulous on carrots!

1 lb petite sweet carrots (peeled)
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup Grand Marnier liqueur
2 tsp grated orange rind
1 1/2 Tbsp butter

Steam the carrots until just tender. Blend cornstarch with sugar. Heat the orange juice and liqueur to boiling. Stir in the sugar/cornstarch mixture, reduce heat and simmer until thick. Remove from heat and stir in orange rind and butter. Place carrots to a serving dish and pour sauce over. Serve at once.