Tuesday, January 8, 2008

When Life Hands You Oranges...

...make dried orange zest!

In the last few months I've run across a number of recipes that call for orange zest, and I'd run out and buy an orange just to zest it. And while I don't mind doing that, I've found that it's much simpler to make some dried zest to keep on-hand in the spice cabinet.

Here's how.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from orange. Try to avoid removing the white pith, because that has a bitter taste.


Lay your strips on a paper-towel covered microwave-safe plate.


Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Here's how it looks after 30 seconds.


How much longer you'll need to zap this depends on your microwave. Go in 30-second intervals. In mine, it takes only another 30 seconds, after which it doesn't FEEL completely dried, but after sitting for 5 minutes they crisp right up. Here they are all done.


I keep this stored in a zipper bag in the spice cabinet for use as needed. Just like with any herb, when a recipe calls for fresh zest, use a third of that amount for dried.

6 comments:

Hippolyra said...

What a good idea. My boyfriend juices oranges everyday for breakfast and chucks the rinds out. I shall zest them now before he juices them. Waste not want not.

Mrs. W said...

Exactly! I love having orange zest on hand... it particularly came in handy during cookie-baking season!

Lulu said...

Awesome idea! I'm assuming that you can do the same thing with lemon?

Mrs. W said...

I don't see why you couldn't do it with lemons, limes and even grapefruit if so desired. A bag of mixed citrus zest would be great!

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Thank you for the tip... I'm going to the kitchen to peel some oranges!! :)

Margot

Mrs. W said...

You're welcome, Margot! I love this trick too much not to share it.

Yesterday it was so nice to just grab some dried orange zest and toss into a pork roast recipe... the whole thing was scented with orange without being sweet. Delicious!

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