Sunday, February 12, 2012

Food Trends Mash-up: Blood Oranges and Fish

My food trend selection for this post is the blood orange.  It seems to be popping up wherever I go – on restaurant menus, in cocktails, etc.  I’m drawn to it like a moth – it sounds exotic and usually signals a colorful feast.  If you, like me, have been wondering what exactly is a blood orange, you’re in the right place.  image
I actually found a site called  Who knew?  Not only does the site give everything you wanted to know about blood oranges – and then some – it also provides food and drink recipes (I hear an idea for our next Thirsty Thursday post, don’t you?).
Blood oranges are so named because of their red flesh. They contain a pigment called anthocyanin which is not typically found in citrus but rather more common in other red fruits and flowers. Not only is the inside of the orange darkly pigmented but depending on the variety, the outside may also have dark washes of red. They’re originally grown in the volcanic atmosphere of Mount Etna in Sicily, which provides them with high levels of antioxidants and some unique health benefits not found in traditional oranges.   Because of their growing popularity, Sicilian blood oranges are now being grown in California and Texas, which means they’re also turning up at local grocery stores December through May.
If you can’t find any at your local grocer, you can order them online through Melissa’s Produce December through March.  They won’t come cheap though – 4lbs for $21.25 if you order through; $23.50 if you order direct from Melissa’s (unless you live in Arizona – sorry Barb --- or Florida).
Another way to sample the joys of blood oranges is by buying them in juice form. image Enter Italian Volcano orange juice made from a blend of three red orange varieties:  Tarocco, Sanguinello, and Moro.  At around $16 per bottle, I would tend to use it as a recipe ingredient rather than drinking it for breakfast.  
Other blood orange products:
--Blood orange infused olive oil.  I picked up some at my local olive oil and balsamic vinegar store, di olivas.  I mix it with a cranberry pear balsamic for a to die-for salad dressing.
--Stonewall Kitchen’s Blood Orange Marmalade.  I plan to try that as a glaze on chicken or fish.
-- Lavigne Fruits is another online source of blood orange juice and gourmet syrup – which they recommend for use on pancakes, other breakfast foods or as a topping for ice cream.
-- Williams-Sonoma is even offering actual blood orange trees you can grow on your patio or in a sunny window of your kitchen.  The tree arrives from a California grower at 18” high and can mature to 4 to 5 feet. 
Barb's Food Trend: fish
Many of you have caught on to Meatless Monday...what about Fish Friday (not a new concept to all those Catholic Fish Fries out there!)?  Fish is a great source of protein, low in fat and can be prepared so many different ways.

Wondering what types of fish and seafood are sustainable and "safe" to buy?  Check out this link: Marine Stewardship Council

Here's a family tried-and-true recipe that I modified to pair with Sharon's blood oranges:

2 fish filets (we prefer tilapia, cod or halibut)
one blood orange, sliced
1/4 c. black olives such as kalamata
one garlic clove, sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375. place each fish filet on a piece of aluminum foil that can be wrapped around the fish. season with salt and pepper, cover with orange slices and olives. Drizzle each with olive oil. wrap up and bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Excellent with a green salad tossed with a vinaigrette made with blood orange juice.

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