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INGR E DI E N T S
8 medium navel or Cara Cara oranges, or a combination (about 4½ pounds)
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons salted butter
I N S T RUC T ION S
Juice 2 of the oranges to yield ¾ cup juice. Cut the top and bottom ½ inch off of
the remaining 6 oranges. Stand each orange on one of its flat ends and use a sharp
knife to cut down and around the fruit, peeling away all the skin and pith. Thinly
slice the oranges crosswise and shingle evenly in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
Combine the sugar, ¼ cup of the orange juice, and the cinnamon sticks in a
medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat (this should take
2 to 3 minutes) and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar begins
to color around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. (The bubbles should go from thin and
frothy to thick and shiny.) Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, swirling the
pan often, until the sugar is coppery-brown, 1 to 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, and whisk until melted. Add a
splash of the remaining orange juice and whisk until smooth (the mixture will
steam and bubble vigorously), then add the remaining orange juice and whisk
until fully incorporated. If the caramel separates and sticks to the bottom of the
pan, return it to the heat and simmer until the hardened caramel dissolves. Pour
the caramel evenly over the oranges, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the oranges to a serving platter or individual
plates. Remove and discard the cinnamon sticks and whisk the caramel to
recombine. Pour the caramel over the oranges and serve.
DON'T think about the caramel's color for the first few minutes. The sugar
mixture will melt, froth furiously as the heat increases (and moisture
evaporates), and finally subside into larger, shinier bubbles before coloring.
If the sugar browns too quickly, slide the pan off heat and whisk steadily to incorporate
FRESH ORANGE slices bathed in caramel sauce -- simple, bright, and bold. Similar desserts
were all the rage on London dessert carts during the '80s. Known as "aranci caramellizzati" in Italy, it
was first introduced by food writer Elizabeth David in her 1954 work, Italian Food. Nigella Lawson offers
a similar recipe in Forever Summer and suggests serving the oranges with yogurt, an idea we were happy
to adapt here. If two oranges don't yield enough juice in the first step, add water to measure ¾ cup total.
To switch up the flavor, replace the cinnamon sticks with two star anise (our favorite) or six cardamom
pods (lightly crushed). Use granulated white sugar, not a "natural" sugar, since the latter will make the
color of the caramel hard to judge. Unsalted butter and a pinch of salt replaces salted butter. You also can
serve the oranges with ice cream, pound cake or topped with a handful of toasted and chopped nuts.
Crying Tiger Steak
1 large shallot, sliced into very thin rings (about 1/3 cup)3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon ground white pepper
1½ pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3 pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1½ cups (about 7 ounces) red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
In a large bowl, combine the shallots and lime juice and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of the sugar, the salt and white pepper. Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then rub all over with the sugar-salt mixture.
Prepare a grill for very high, direct heat. For a charcoal grill, spread a full chimney of hot coals evenly over half of the grill bed. For a gas grill, set all burners to an even, high flame. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.
Grill the steak (directly over the coals, if using a charcoal grill) until charred all over and cooked to desired doneness, 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on the thickness of the steak). Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the fish sauce, pepper flakes and remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar to the shallot-lime juice mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Thinly slice the steak against the grain, then transfer to the bowl along with any accumulated juices. Add the tomatoes, cilantro and mint and stir to combine. Transfer to a platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired, and serve.
DON'T ignore the grain of the steak. Skirt steak has obvious muscle fibers running from one end to the other. Cutting the steak with the grain will result in tough slices. Cutting across the grain shortens the muscle fibers, producing tender, juicy meat.
VERY HOT GRILL was essential to quickly developing a flavorful crust on the meat before the center overcooked. Rubbing the steak with sugar first increased the char. While we love the addition of white pepper here, black pepper can be substituted. And a teaspoon of red pepper flakes brought noticeable heat, but the amount can be adjusted to your liking. During our testing we found that fish sauce varies in potency from brand to brand; start with 2 tablespoons and taste if you're not sure how strong yours is.
Thai Coleslaw with Mint and Cilantro
Serves 4 to 6
INGR E DI E N T S
3 tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 medium serrano chili, seeded and minced
5 tablespoons coconut milk
1 pound Napa cabbage (1 small head), thinly sliced crosswise
(about 8 cups)
6 radishes, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
4 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed and thinly sliced
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
½ cup roasted, salted cashews, coarsely chopped
I N S T RUC T ION S
In a liquid measuring cup, combine the lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and chili. Let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk until combined. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, radishes, peas, cilantro and mint.
Add the dressing and toss until evenly coated. Stir in the cashews and serve. DON'T use "light" coconut milk or "cream of coconut" for this recipe. The former is too thin, and the latter is too sweet (think piña coladas). For a richer version of this slaw, feel free to use thick coconut cream in place of coconut milk, reducing the volume to 4 tablespoons. And don't forget to vigorously shake the can before opening to ensure that the fat and liquid are fully emulsified.
COCONUT MILK offers the right balance of richness and fresh flavor for this Napa cabbage-based coleslaw; mayonnaise and oily vinaigrettes were too heavy. For heat, we tried Asian hot sauces but preferred fresh chili "cooked" in lime juice, which mellowed the bite and helped disperse the heat more evenly. Fish sauce adds seasoning and pungency, but we found potency varies widely by brand (we like Red Boat), so start slow and add to taste. Many vegetables worked well, but the combination of sweet sugar snap peas and crispy radishes tested best.