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what I am cooking currently

Seville orange marmalade + a bacon sandwich

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Citrus is really one of my of my favorite things about winter. Satsumas, Cara Caras, meyer lemons…..I can’t get enough. I came across some Seville oranges which I don’t often see in the markets so I snatched some up to make marmalade which is really the only thing I know of to do with these beauties. They are super bitter and sour and have a thick tough rind which make it nearly impossible to peel. Not to mention they contain about 25 seeds per orange! BUT they are so aromatic and all of those other characteristics put together make for a mean marmalade.

I’ve never actually made marmalade before so after reading dozens of recipes, I settled on this amalgamation of a few. The key is to save all those seeds because they give you the pectin that will ensure the marmalade sets properly.

seville orange marmalade

makes 1 quart

  • 3 Seville oranges

  • 5 cups water

  • pinch of salt

  • 4 cups sugar

Wash oranges well and cut in half around the equator. Set a non-reactive mesh strainer over a bowl and squeeze the orange halves to remove the seeds, really digging in with your fingers to make sure you got all of the stubborn ones hiding deep in there. Tie the seeds up in cheesecloth and reserve the juice.

Cut up the rinds into fairly even sized pieces about 1/4″ long and as thin as you can get. In a large stockpot, add the orange pieces, seed pouch, water, salt and juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook until the peels are translucent, about 20 to 30 minutes. At this point stir in the sugar, return to a full boil then reduce the heat to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t scorch the bottom.

Continue cooking until it has reached the jelling point, about 220F degrees, if using a candy thermometer. To test the marmalade put a small amount on a plate that has been chilled in the freezer, return it to the freezer and check it in a minute.  It should be slightly jelled and not run all over the plate. If not, continue to cook until it is.

Once done, pack into clean jars, leaving lid off until cooled to room temperature, then store in the fridge.

bacon & marmalade on pumpernickel 

serves 2

This is a recipe I found in Ruth Reichl’s recent book My Kitchen Year which was adapted from a dish she had at Prune restaurant. It is a go-to lunch on a cold day. So simple and so good and satisfying, especially with a nice pint of porter.

Use a bacon with a softer smoke, such as applewood and a dark, dark, dark pumpernickel. My favorite is from a local baker here in Seattle called Tall Grass Bakery. It’s full of all the good stuff like sour rye, molasses, chicory, anise and caraway.

  • 4 slices of pumpernickel

  • 6 slices bacon

  • 4 Tablespoons marmalade

Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until cooked but not crispy. You want the pieces to be a little floppy. Toast the bread, slather as much marmalade as you’d like on each side and fill with 3 slices of bacon each.

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