National Orange Juice Day

Seeing that today is National Orange Juice Day got me to thinking about it.  Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in Wisconsin we didn’t have access to a lot of fresh-squeezed orange juice.  Mom pretty much bought frozen orange juice concentrate which we would coax out of the can and stir with lukecool water to get it to melt.  It was orange juice, but it wasn’t that great.  Another childhood orange juice memory is of Orange Tang.  It has been decades since I have tasted it but somehow I can taste it now, like I just had a sip.  We even shook it in a special jar.  My wife, who grew up in Orlando, FL with orange trees in her yard, has lots of different memories of orange juice, but they drank Tang, too.

These days the orange juice section of the grocery store is overwhelming.  There is a myriad of brands and types of orange juice.  No pulp, extra pulp, extra calcium, low acid are just a few of the options, not to mention the “diet” ones.  And then there is the ultimate orange juice, as illustrated below.

I first used the recipe that follows in an adult cooking class years ago and I will never forget one participant in particular.  She had just zested the orange, was standing at her cooking station holding it and was looking a little perplexed.  I walked over to her and asked if I could help.  She looked at me and asked, “Where is the orange juice?”  I responded, “It’s in the orange.”  She beamed with her newly found knowledge and gave me a story to tell over and over.  Try this recipe with blood oranges or tangerines for a unique twist.

Fish in Orange Sauce

1 pound cod fillets (or other white fish)
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest of one orange
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup chicken or fish stock
¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons butter, cold
Chopped parsley for garnish

Method:  Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and orange zest on a plate.  Dredge the fillets in the flour and set aside.  Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat and when the foam subsides, add the fillets.  Do not crowd the pan.  Lower the heat to medium.  Do not allow the butter to burn.  Cook several minutes and turn once.  Cook another couple of minutes.  Remove to a warm plate.  It is okay if the fish is a little underdone.  You will rewarm it in the sauce.  If there are any burned pieces in the pan wipe them out.  Do not totally clean the pan.

Add the stock, orange juice and triple sec.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook until thickened a bit.  Remove from heat.  Add the butter and stir until the butter is incorporated.  Do not let the butter separate.  Add the fillets to the sauce and warm through over low heat.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve warm.

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