Citrus fruit is a trendy ingredient for every course

Chefs looking to impart some zing in their dishes are reaching for citrus. When you walk into a restaurant in spring of 2014, expect to find citrus fruit in your appetizer, entree, dessert and even cocktail. As a student of an online culinary arts program, you too can start using this trending ingredient in your dishes. Here are a few ideas for each course:

Citrus is a great fruit to use in savory dishes because it’s lightly sweet and brings out flavors present in other foods. Here are some delicious appetizers for you to try:

Orange-marinated shrimp: Shrimp is already a touch sweet (as far as a protein goes), and orange will both complement and balance that taste. Use orange as the acid component in a standard marinade and consider adding potent herbs, such as cilantro. Marinate and grill your shrimp for an amazing starter.

Crab cakes with orange tarragon Hollandaise: The sweetness of crab has long been imputed into silver dollar cake form, but you can create a new spin by serving your dish with orange tarragon Hollandaise. Make your own sauce as usual but add orange juice, lemon juice, tarragon and a bit of Tabasco.

Keep the citrus going by adding it to an entree.

Grapefruit-marinated rib eye: Make a marinade using grapefruit juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger, and soak your steaks for several hours. Either grill or pan sear the meat with mushrooms, garlic and olive oil for a sweet, salty and tangy dish.

Citrus and herb lamb roast: Place lamb in a roasting pan with lemon rind, lemon juice, orange rind, orange juice and a mix of herbs and spices. Cover it and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Roast the lamb at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, then drop the temperature to 375 degrees. Leave the meat for 45 minutes, then reduce the temperature again to 135 degrees. Cook until it’s done.

Bring out the sweetness in your favorite citrus for a delectable finish to a great meal.

Lemon panna cotta: Create a panna cotta using lemon. The citrus will be balanced by the creaminess of the dairy. You can also serve this dish with a raspberry coulis – simply puree the berries and strain the seeds.

Make a signature cocktail that features citrus fruit.

Whiskey sour: You don’t have to get fancy to create a good citrus cocktail. A classic whiskey sour uses whiskey, simple syrup and lemon juice. Of course, you can add some lime as well.

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