Squeeze the Most out of Winter Citrus

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January is a great month to feature citrus on your menu. As you might guess, we’d love to see you pairing it with seafood!  Whether you’re juicing, zesting, supreming, pickling, candying or otherwise working with citrus in your kitchen now, here are some ideas for highlighting fish and shellfish.

Tangerines

Whether you’re looking to add a hot or cold citrus dish to your menu, poached or pickled shrimp paired with refreshing tangerine is just the kind of light and fresh dish your customers are craving in January.  Give them what they want! They’re working hard to keep their New Year’s resolution to eat healthy.

Don’t forget about tangelos, which are a cross between a Tangerine and a Grapefruit. Minneola tangelos are easily identified by a characteristic knob-like formation at their stem end.

Oranges

Oranges add a zesty pop to any seafood dish.  Keep your eye out for Cara Cara oranges, a type of navel grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley. They have a distinctive pinkish red fruit and sweet flavor with a tangy cranberry-like notes.  Some orange zest can add a great flavor to a winter mussel dish.

Beautiful and delicious, blood oranges bring a dramatic touch to any seafood dish. What about setting off a lighter colored fish like sablefish or cod with a bright slice of grilled blood orange or a sauce featuring fresh squeezed blood orange juice?

In case you were curious about their red color, the good folks at Sunkist tell us that:

All oranges contain carotene — that’s what makes them orange. Blood Oranges get their red color from high concentrations of a pigment called anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are the agents believed to be responsible for cancer, aging and other health ailments.

Grapefruit

Scallops seem to pair naturally with grapefruit – we see this tasty combo on winter menus around the country. We offer a nice variety of big, tender sea scallops (have you tried the U-10 Hokkaido Scallops from Japan yet?) that will make an amazing entree, or look into pre-ordering some Nantucket Bay Scallops – also a seasonal delight.

Here’s a handy chart that features a wide range of grapefruits. Who knew there were so many options?

Need some more inspiration? Carolyn O’Neil highlights some amazing sounding dishes including a Raw fluke served crudo style with blood orange and pink grapefruit and has some wine pairing advice for you grapefruit lovers out there.

You might also enjoy this Citrus Flavor Wheel!

Ceviche is another citrus + seafood match made in heaven. There are too many tasty combinations to list – but don’t stop at lime!

And don’t forget pomegranates and persimmons – these two fruits are also in season now, and can also brighten up a seafood dish. Let us know how you’re using citrus on your menu!

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