Friday, March 13, 2009

A Rind is a Terrible Thing to Waste... I Think

Thanks to recycling, I'd just as soon throw a can into the trash as a dog would pass through its invisible fence. In other words, every now and then I do, but it causes me great pain.

I'm hoping that after reading this post, people feel the same way about citrus rinds. Though precisely why that is I don't yet know.

Here's what I do know. Every time we eat a clementine or a squeeze a lime for a michelada, we simply toss (or compost) the rind. But the rind is a powerhouse of vitamins, and it's used in everything from marmalade to Chinese medicine. In other words, there's a deposit we can claim on this bottle.

I haven't decided what to do with the rinds I'm saving, so for now they're simply thumbtacked to the kitchen wall, where they've dried quite nicely and look like tropical snakes. I first thought to save my rinds when I read the following in Joan Nathan's Jewish Cooking in America:

"The [orange] peelings were to be scattered all over the room, so that they could fill it with their aroma. When they began to wither, they were to be cooked for a long time and then used for preserves."

The quote hails from a Polish immigrant who was experiencing their first orange and clearly intended to make the most out of it. If someone handed me an orange for the first time, I certainly wouldn't throw any of it out. Especially not during the Great Disruption.

A Ukranian friend of mine suggested hanging the rinds up in closets as moth deterrent, but I was hoping for something I could eat. Any suggestions?

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Anonymous said...

I believe Nigella Lawson has a recipe for a clementine cake that uses the entire clementine fruit- rind and all. Haven't tried it yet, but it's on my list of things to cook at some point.

Melissa said...

750ml Everclear, 750 ml decent vodka, 20 clean lemon rinds (no white parts). Wait ~1month, filter with a coffee filter. Add 4cups sugar boiled in 4cups water (cooled of course). Bottle in glass, stick in the freezer, wait 2 weeks at least for best flavor (I usually sample on bottling night and it is still delicious).
I have also made mixed citrus "limoncello" and it is good, but I prefer straight lemon.

Thanks for your blog, I enjoy it. I found it following Bittman's and your opinion of beets, I agree. We also avoid processed food and do almost all from scratch.

Michelle said...

Mom used to candy them. And I don't know if you remember, but she also used to make marmalade from the calamondins we got from the huge tree in our yard. Elaine and I picked the fruit and it pretty much went into the blender, peel and seeds and all. Then the puree was cooked down with sugar. The result was still pretty tart, but it made the house smell awesome.

Mushy said...

they look more like tapeworms, IMHO
I love citrus rinds! Cover them in chocolate!

Anonymous said...

1 Cut them into strips and simmer them in simple syrup until they're soft, then roll them in granulated sugar and let them dry. Great with a cup of tea, great for a gift.

2 Remove the pith and grind them in a food processor with a little sugar; store in the freezer and add a bit to cookie or bread dough.

3 Put them on top of your hot wood stove. When they're dry toss them in with your kindling when you're starting a new fire. They smell good (briefly) and make a lovely tiny blaze as they ignite.

Karen B said...

I like the candied rind suggestions. But I think you're supposed to use fresh rinds to candy them. There's a recipe in how to cook everything.

Smileyfood said...

Stop whatever you're doing right now and immediately grind up a tablespoon's worth and mix it into 1 cup plain greek yogurt and teaspoon cumin for an amazing, amazing raita. We eat this with hot spinach patties.

Anonymous said...

I think dried rinds can be used to make citrus flavored salts.

Anonymous said...

OH, I had heard about the whole clementine baked goods too, but I was/am suspicious about the rinds being waxed or pesticided. Or both. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

With fresh rinds, scrape off the pith, lay the rinds out on a baking sheet and put in an oven that's turned to the lowest heat setting for 20-25 min, until the rinds have darkened slightly and dried out. Grind them to a powder and use as a replacement in any recipe that calls for citrus zest. The toasting gives them a deep, dense caramel flavor on top of their citrus taste.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about what you could do with those rinds and I thought maybe you could make them into some kind of powdered zest for chicken and/or fish dishes.

Jinni said...

i hail from this lovely group of islands in the indian ocean called the MALDIVES. over here we salt the squeezed limes in glass jars & let them stay in the sun for a week or so. This produces the best pickled lime you would have ever had. It is used as a condiment with rice dishes.
As for the citrus rinds...well...just dry them in the sun and grind it into a powder & bottle can use it to flavour cakes, even pulaos & also as a face pack/scrub when mixed with honey or yoghurt.
Hope that this helps you abit.

octopod said...

Dried orange peel chicken? (Add some fresh for extra awesomeness.)

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