This, like so many of my recipes, came about from a pondering in the kitchen this morning. I had just finished telling Mrs J that I was thinking of blogging more, properly, again, because I miss writing for pleasure rather than writing for deadlines – two books in a year is quite an effort! She agreed with me that wittering about my day to someone other than the cat ought to be a healthy pursuit, and so I pottered back downstairs into the kitchen feeling pleased with myself.
Then I made this orange juice, and just as I was about to scoop the peel up in my hands and pop it in the compost bin, A Thought occured to me. What if I didn’t throw it away, and instead gave it a whole new lease of life? I vaguely recalled buying a tiny pot of yuzu peel at Borough Market once, probably for the price of my firstborn and a limb, and set about trying to make something similar.
Yuzu is a fruit that I have come across in Japanese cookery, and flavour-wise sits somewhere between an orange and a lemon, with a peachy undertone. It is used for flavouring fish, used in a dressing or marinade with soy sauce, and for sprinkling on top of dishes to give it a bright finishing flavour. I like it very much, and my wallet does not. This isn’t an exact replica, but it will do the job in a pinch, and is basically free because it is made from a normally-wasted product!
(This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any products.)
You will need:
Orange peel, as much as you have.
Greaseproof or baking paper
A baking tray or sheet
A mortar and pestle, or a sharp knife and some patience
a pinch of salt
First tear your orange peel into small pieces to make it easier and quicker to dry out. Line your baking tray with greaseproof or baking paper, and place the orange peel on it. Try to make sure none of it is touching, to help it dry evenly, but perhaps this is my meticulous nature more than anything else.
Turn the oven on to 100C, which is very low, and place the tray of orange peel in the centre. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove from the oven and poke gently with a fingertip. It should snap like a cracker. If your orange peel is thick and gnarly, it may take a little longer, so turn it over and return it to the oven for 20 minutes, then check again.
When crisp, remove from the oven and cool completely.
Place into the mortar (the bowl, yes I had to look it up!), and grind with the pestle until small small. I never owned a mortar and pestle in my life until I found this beauty and I love it! It’s sadly out of stock but there are similar ones here.
Add a little salt to the mixture and decant into a clean jar. Use as part of a salad dressing, in a marinade, to add a little lift or zing to a savoury dish, or wherever you fancy.
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All text copyright Jack Monroe.
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