College Kitchen: Orange you glad?

Squeeze with ease.

Lemon Garlic Pasta, topped with a lemon garnish.

Bridget Bennett

Lemon Garlic Pasta, topped with a lemon garnish.

by Lucy Nieboer

Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, but we Minneapolitans have yet to see a sprouting tree bud or feel a hint of a warm southerly wind. A long stretch of gray winter days spans ahead of us with no end in sight.

Going to the grocery store at this time can be depressing. The fresh herbs in Lunds, probably shipped in from somewhere south of the equator, are drooping, and the produce in the House of Hanson is barely identifiable.

Among the soggy, bland and generally gross fruits and vegetables glistens a bright beacon of vitality. The shiny, aromatic peels of the citrus fruits stand apart from the rest.

The College Kitchenista has developed three recipes to keep some pep in your slipping-on-ice, salt-stained step.

 

Tangerine Glazed Salmon

Tangerines are oranges’ sweeter, more developed relatives. Their extra sugar and slightly more exotic flavor profile intrigue the palate and add a touch of sophistication when used in sauces and glazes. Paired with steamed vegetables, this dish makes a terribly tasty, guilt-free dinner.

 

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup fresh tangerine juice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon tangerine zest

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

Pepper

2 fillets of salmon (4 ounces each)

Tangerine slices

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix soy sauce, minced garlic, juice, sugar and zest. Add pepper to taste. Coat each fillet with a generous amount of glaze. Wrap the pieces in foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

Lemon Garlic Pasta

Whoever said, “’Tis the gift to be simple,” must’ve been a wonderful cook. This dish is the easiest thing to whip up in a pinch and appeals to almost any appetite. With the right garnishes, it looks like it was lifted from the pages of “Cook’s Illustrated.” In reality, it takes no longer than a box of macaroni and cheese.

 

1 serving whole wheat spaghetti

1 tablespoon butter

2 large cloves garlic

1 handful spinach

1/2 lemon

4-5 sprigs parsley

Shredded parmesan cheese

Salt

To portion the right amount of pasta for one person, make a loop with your thumb and forefinger. Make that loop about as big around as a quarter. Grab as much pasta as will fit inside that loop. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Finely chop garlic. When the water boils, add garlic and pasta to the water. This will give a great garlicky flavor to your dish, but mellow out the harsh bite of raw garlic. Add the spinach to the boiling water. When it shrivels and floats to the top, lift it out with a fork, and set aside in a bowl. When it’s tender, drain the pasta. In the bowl with the spinach, add a large pinch of parmesan cheese, butter and the juice of the lemon. Toss. Once plated, sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

 

Shrimp Ceviche

A ceviche is a colorful, acidic seafood dish that is enjoyed in the summertime months, usually in places that promise coastal breezes and high tides.

Being the hearty Midwesterners we are, we silence the ever-present calls of the tropical shores and settle instead for the frigid cold.

Just because we refuse to leave this barren tundra doesn’t mean our meals must suffer. Imagine taking a bite of this cool pink shrimp dish sprawled out on a chaise under a cabana while “Girl from Ipanema” plays softly in the background.

 

1 avocado

3 limes

1 pound cooked frozen shrimp

1 Roma tomato

1 Serrano pepper

1 handful cilantro

1/2 small red onion

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

 

Overnight, defrost shrimp in the refrigerator; using fresh shrimp is OK, too. Rinse shrimp, devein, and peel. Cut into bite-sized pieces, and place in large bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the shrimp, coating completely. Add salt and pepper. Let this mixture marinate in the refrigerator for about two hours. Carefully remove seeds from the pepper. Finely dice. Dice tomato, onion and avocados. Mince the cilantro. Thoroughly mix all ingredients together. Serve with thick corn tortilla chips. Adapted from “Muy Bueno Cookbook”’s Shrimp Ceviche.

 

Modern day grocery stores have tricked us into thinking that everything is always in season. Unfortunately for those of us inhabiting cold weather climates, seasonality still plays a huge part in the flavor and freshness of meals. Luckily, as long as those trees south of the Mason-Dixon keep pumping out the produce, we won’t want for fresh fruits all winter long.