Kishu1 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.22.11 Kishu? I Don't Even Know You!

I come from a very linguistically focused family where all sorts of word games (not to mention mind games) were the order of the day. I'm very into language and its limitless possibilities for manipulation, including the humblest pun. Never can resist. Ingredients are sort of like words, able to be tossed together in seemingly infinite combinations, so that cooking becomes a kind of jazzy poetry (rap?!) or improvised narrative. The kishu is a sweet little grace note, an ampersand between clementines and satsumas. This tiny mandarin, only slightly bigger than a jawbreaker, originated in China and arrived in Japan around the 17th century, where it is known as mukaku-kishi. Mukaku means seedless, which they are. They have a super-short season and are not that easy to come across. I got mine through Local Harvest, a locavore network that helps you find farmers' markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, and through which you can buy produce, grass-fed meats and other coveted items. My kishus came from Churchill Orchard, a small organic farm in Ojai, California.
Peel 790 xxx
kishus are a bright spot in winter

Tagged — clementine
Citrus 790 xxx
photo by gluttonforlife

1.26.11 C is for Citrus

Winter citrus: it may not be exactly local, but it's American and it's in season now. Just when you couldn't possibly feel more desiccated, chapped, pasty or vitamin-C deprived, there is a burst of juicy refreshment in the form of tart-sweet oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and kumquats. Peel some grapefruit segments and toss them into a salad with thinly sliced radicchio, toasted walnuts and pecorino. Grate some orange rind into your morning oatmeal. Or make grapefruit brulée by dotting a half with brown sugar and chopped fresh mint and sticking it under the broiler for a few minutes. Add some zip to your fizzy water with lemon-rosemary syrup. Or make lemon curd and spread it on store-bought shortbread or a piece of sourdough toast or your finger. Toss sliced kumquats with arugula and toasted almonds. Squeeze fresh orange juice and mix it with good tequila and a little pomegranate molasses. Make some clementine granità. If you're really lucky, you might come across some wild (kaffir) limes, like the ones I brought back from LA (see above). I've been doling them out to make them last longer—their tropical perfume is so fantastic. Squeeze just a quarter of one into a glass of water and it becomes an exotic elixir. I just used the last one in a pineapple sorbet. Snow? What snow?
Tagged — clementine