Uh, so I got distracted from Texas Week by puppy sitting. My apologies. Those are stories (and photos) for a later post.
Right. Blood oranges.
I had heard of them, obviously, usually featuring in fancy recipes from lands far away, but had never actually seen in Coles (Duh. That’s because they don’t stock things that are cool). I just assumed they didn’t exist here, and went about my life, substituting normal oranges should I ever want to use said fancy recipes.
Until, one rather cold, early morning at the Subi Farmers Markets… BAM. There they were. Just sitting there, like it ain’t no thang. As I tend to do when I see things I like, I panic bought 5 of them, just in case they were never going to be there again. What was I going to do with them? Um, I have no bloody idea. But they were there, I saw them, I wanted them, I bought them. I’ve purchased many a stupid item in the same mindset (don’t ask what I’m doing with the aqua chalkboard paint, rugby ball, yoga dvds, Polaroid camera…).
The next day, having planned dinner for Keaton, I woke with a start and sat bolt right up in bed. I KNEW. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted, I’d seen it recently. Could I find the recipe anywhere? Not a chance. Luckily, what I wanted was not complicated, and Google didn’t let me down. Blood orange panna cotta; sweet, but with a tartness that prevents it being too sweet. Light, airy, with a syrup that packs a striking pink punch. The perfect palate cleanser after rich, heavy ribs.
Turns out, Texas is one of 3 states in the US that produces blood oranges. Who knew? It’s all coming together in a pretty little, rather tasty bow.
Blood Orange Panna Cotta
From Bon Appetite
2 1/3 cups fresh blood orange juice (from about 12 blood oranges)
1 3/4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
3/4 cup sugar
7 teaspoons finely grated blood orange peel
2/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
1) Pour 1 cup juice into a saucepan (off heat). Sprinkle in the gelatin, and let stand for 15 minutes (do not stir).
2) Over low heat, stir until the gelatin dissolves. This may take a couple of minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 5 teaspoons of peel.
Continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Strain into a bowl, pressing on the solids to squeeze out all the goodness (then throw away the solids). Cool for 10 minutes, then whisk in yoghurt, cream and lemon juice until the mixture is smooth.
3) Divide between up to 6 glasses, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
4) In a saucepan over low heat, stir remaining orange juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons orange peel and cardamom until the sugar dissolves. Then increase the heat, and boil for 15 minutes until thick and reduced to around 6 tablespoons. Strain away the solids, and chill in a small bowl.
5) Spoon the syrup over panna cotta, and serve.
Uh, be warned. The juice stains. My nails and poor white t-shirt are not talking from experience. At all.
I only bought 4 oranges, so there wasn’t as much syrup as the recipe says. I also divided between two, and it made for a generous serving. I’m greedy.