I’m starting to get a complex. Could I be the Dark Angel of Death?
It seems that whenever I show favor to a television program, magazine or movie it tanks. It’s banished to the land of The Nevermore.
Last year, I was nuts about the NBC drama ‘Kings’…NBC promptly cancelled the series. The same with ‘Southland’ (in my opinion the best police drama on TV since Hill Street Blues…Crap! Did I just date myself?).
I have a similar track record with magazines. Portfolio, Men’s Vogue…gone. And then there’s the Big Kohona. Earlier this year I decided to trim back my massive number of magazine subscriptions. I settled on Food & Wine and Gourmet. Despite being in circulation for over 68 years, Gourmet recently folded. How could this be?
I had a similar experience with the short-lived culinary magazine, Taste. Launched by Williams-Sonoma (2001- 2002), the publication was very much like Saveur magazine: two parts unique and worldly recipes with a heavy dash of culinary travel adventure. It was a great read.
I was so traumatized by the magazine’s demise that I stashed my back issues away in a box and I am just now getting around to testing out the recipes.
I’ve always wanted to try candied orange peels but I feared they would be bitter. But flipping through a back issue of Taste, I spotted this recipe for Chocolate Covered Candied Orange Peels and decided to face my fears and go for it.
I really liked them. For me the best part is the contrast of the sweet citrusy orange and the rich chocolate. The orange is pure and intense. The bittersweet chocolate reins in the orange’s sweetness and leaves you with a rich finish.
I added a splash of the French orange liqueur, Grand Marnier. It gives the dessert snack a more saturated orange flavor.
As for my fear of the bitter pith…no bitterness at all…just pure orange.
By the way, don’t waste all of that fresh orange juice. Save the juice to make these fantabulous Chocolate-Orange Squares – they’re one of my favorite new desserts.
CHOCOLATE COVERED CANDIED ORANGE PEELS
Adapted from Taste Magazine (via Deborah Madison), Holiday 2001
2 ½ cups granulated sugar, plus more for storage
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 TSP Grand Marnier, orange liqueur (optional)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 TBL unsalted butter
Scrub the fruit to remove any waxy coating. Score each fruit into quarters and peel; reserve the fruit for another use. Put the peels in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Drain the peels and cover again with cold water. Place a heavy heatproof plate on top to keep the peels submerged. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand until the liquid reaches room temperature or as long as overnight. If the pith is very thick, scrape away the excess. Slice the peel into strips.
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the 1 1/2 cups of the granulated sugar, corn syrup, Grand Marnier and 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. When the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear, add the peels. Cook slowly until the peels are translucent, about 1 hour. Transfer the peels to a rack set over a tray to catch drips.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of granulated sugar out onto a plate. When the peels are cool enough to handle, roll each in sugar to coat, then return it to the drying rack for 1 hour. Coat the peels a second time with sugar, then return them to the rack to dry for 1 hour more.
If not dipping the peels in chocolate, sprinkle the bottom of an airtight container with sugar, arrange the peels in a tight layer on top and sprinkle with more sugar. Arrange the remaining peels in layers, sprinkling with sugar between each layer. Cover and refrigerate.
If dipping the peels in chocolate, melt the chocolate with the butter in the top pan of a double boiler set over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan. Blend thoroughly.
Dip the ends of each cooled peel into the melted chocolate, coating just one side. Transfer to a sheet of waxed paper and set in a cool place to harden. Store in sugar as described above. Makes about 1 lb.