Artisan Cuisine is published monthly.
I love taking something normally thrown away like orange peels and turning it into a gourmet treat.
Yeah, instead of the compost bin, you can keep those citrus peels and make them candied and dipped in chocolate. Or, they can be added to holiday cookies for an extra zesty punch of flavor.
Start with organic citrus fruits if at all possible. Scrub the fruit well and then peel and reserve the fruit for eating.
Slice the peel into strips and, using a paring knife, remove the white pith as much as you can. It's ok if you can't get all of it. In fact, some people like to leave a littlebit on, but it will make it have more bitterness.
In a saucepan, add water bring to a boil. Add peels and leave for 1 minute.
Drain the pot of water through a strainer, leaving the peels in the pot. Add more water, bring to a boil and repeat. Do this a total of three times. It helps to remove bitterness from the bit of pith still remaining.
Then, in a saucepan, add 1 cup water and 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes.
Then add the sliced peels from 3 oranges or the equivalent of such if you're using lemon or other citrus peel. Turn down the heat to a simmer and leave the peels to "candy" for one hour.
Next, place the peels onto a silpat or parchment paper to "dry" for at least an hour or overnight. Then dip them into sugar to coat and keep in an airtight container.
They will keep for some time (at least a month).
Now you can chop them to add to cookies or dip into dark chocolate and give as a holiday gift.
Anne Boulley is a local chef and culinary instructor with a passion for artisan foods. For more information about her cooking classes and catering services, go to thegourmetguide.com.