Recipes

Mandarin recipes

I buy at least 20 pounds of mandarins every year from one of our many growers in Placer County for eating and cooking. Most of the mandarins are eaten right out of the bag, but a few make it into salads, drinks, and as glazes or sauces. Experiment a bit and try them on or in whatever sounds good to you. Mandarins are easy to squeeze for juice, and the juice freezes well.

The following recipes are courtesy of Joanne Neft, co-author of two local farmers’ market-inspired cookbooks (“Placer County Real Food” and “The Art of Real Food”) and one of the original founders of the popular Mandarin Festival held each November at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.

Pat Rubin Cotton

I buy at least 20 pounds of mandarins every year from one of our many growers in Placer County for eating and cooking. Most of the mandarins are eaten right out of the bag, but a few make it into salads, drinks, and as glazes or sauces. Experiment a bit and try them on or in whatever sounds good to you. Mandarins are easy to squeeze for juice, and the juice freezes well.

The following recipes are courtesy of Joanne Neft, co-author of two local farmers market-inspired cookbooks (“Placer County Real Food” and “The Art of Real Food”) and one of the original founders of the popular Mandarin Festival held each November at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.

Pat Rubin Cotton

Mulled mandarin juice

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes: 6 cups

This is a twist on the standby mulled apple juice so popular during cold fall and winter days. It’s easy as can be to make, and absolutely delicious served cold or hot. You can adjust the amount of spice depending on your taste. Garnish with a slice of mandarin.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups mandarin juice, freshly squeezed or frozen

2 cups unfiltered apple juice

1 mandarin peel, cut into thin strips

2 to 3 cinnamon sticks, each 4 inches long

6 whole cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

6 whole green cardamom pods

1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then immediately reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste the juice. If you like it sweeter, now is the time to add some honey. Remove from heat and let it cool for 1 hour. Strain. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Mandarin vinaigrette

Prep time: 5 minutes

Add a little zing to salads this fall. This vinaigrette is tasty over a variety of salads. Try it on a salad of red leaf lettuce with walnuts and sliced mandarins, as well as a salad of spinach, kiwi and walnuts.

INGREDIENTS

3 mandarins, juiced

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste.

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and toss with salad just before serving.

Mandarin and Meyer lemon sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

You’ll love this delicious sauce over vanilla ice cream.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup sugar

2 cups mandarin juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice

3 tablespoons mandarin zest

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend the sugar, mandarin juice and cornstarch together. Whisk in a double boiler over medium heat until thick. Remove from heat. Add butter and stir until it melts. Add the lemon juice and mandarin zest. Chill. Serve over vanilla ice cream.

Mandarins with Brussels sprouts

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves 8

Brussels sprouts aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if you don’t fancy them, substitute them in this recipe for a vegetable you do love. Still, it can’t hurt to try them. You might be surprised.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup mandarin juice

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, quartered

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

6 mandarins, segmented

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Over low heat, reduce the mandarin juice to 1⁄4 cup. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with the garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet tray 15 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Toss immediately with the mandarin juice reduction, and add the mandarin segments.

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