Mix it up this holiday with a colorful orange spice cake. (photo by Barry A. Kaplan)
In honor of Tu b’Shevat on Feb. 3-4, why not try some variety to celebrate the New Year of the Trees? One usually thinks of dates, figs and carob on this holiday, specifically the species of fruits that are listed in the Torah as native to Eretz Yisrael. In Israel today, sometimes we augment that with other in-season fruits, like apples, persimmons, strawberries (though beautiful, they are expensive!) or varieties of delicious citrus. Here are some recipes using oranges.
SYRIAN ORANGE CHICKEN
makes four servings
1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp oil
1 cut-up chicken
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup chicken soup
1 1/2 tsp corn starch
1/2 chopped onion
juice of 1/2 lemon
6-9 halved, pitted dates
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a baking dish.
- Heat margarine and oil in a frying pan and brown chicken. Place in a baking dish.
- Add orange juice, chicken soup, cornstarch, onion and lemon juice to frying pan and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens. Pour over chicken.
- Cover and bake 45 minutes.
- Garnish with dates and orange slices, cover and bake at least 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve with rice.
ORANGE JUICE SALAD DRESSING
The dressing is good on a salad with lettuce, avocado and grapefruit.
3/4 cup oil
6 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch dry mustard
- Combine oil, orange juice, sugar and mustard in a jar.
- Shake well.
ORANGE SPICE CAKE
6 seeded, peeled, cut-up small oranges, such as mandarins or tangerines
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup non-dairy creamer
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a cake pan, two loaf pans or place mini papers in a mini-muffin pan and spray with vegetable spray.
- Place orange pieces, oil, eggs and brown sugar in a mixer or food processor and blend a few seconds.
- Add ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, flour, baking powder and non-dairy creamer and blend.
- Spoon into baking pans. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
ORANGE DROP COOKIES
makes three dozen
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsalted pareve margarine
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp grated orange peel
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets.
- Cream sugar and margarine with eggs. Stir in orange juice and orange peel.
- Add flour, baking soda and nuts and mix well.
- Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, foreign correspondent, lecturer, food writer and book reviewer who lives in Jerusalem. She also does the restaurant features for janglo.net and leads weekly shuk walks in English in Jerusalem’s Jewish food market.