~How to: Supreme Citrus Fruits (an easy Knife Skill)~
If there is one thing I do like about Winter it is vibrant-colored, in season, citrus fruit, and, for some reason, citrus fruit is over-the-top, tart 'n sweet and juicy this year. I've been eating a red grapefruit every morning, putting orange segments in our salads, green lime slices in my gin and tonics, and, I even made us a bright-yellow lemon-meringue pie last week for dessert!
FYI: Summer is NOT 'prime time' for citrus fruit! Winter is!!!
All citrus fruits are appreciated for their juice and the flavorful oils contained in their zest. All citrus fruit can be eaten "as is", but grapefruit and oranges are by far the two most popular. That being said:
There is only one way to eat unpeeled citrus fruit, and, there are two ways to eat peeled citrus fruit. These three culinary terms are:
The three S's of citrus fruit: Slice, Segment & Supreme!
Slice: The fruit is sliced in half (and eaten with a curve-bladed knife and serrated spoon). The fruit is sliced into rounds, half moon-shaped rounds or wedges (and picked up and eaten).
Segment: The fruit is peeled by hand, by pulling the peel loose a few pieces at a time, to expose one round piece of fruit. The fruit is then pulled apart, into edible segments.
Supreme: A sharp knife is used to surgically remove the skin, all of the bitter white pith, the unsightly membranes, all seeds, and, separate it into wedges. This is the ultimate way to prep citrus fruit for use in a fruit cup for breakfast or inclusion in a salad for lunch or dinner. To supreme a citrus fruit is a verb. To eat a supreme is a noun attributed to each individual wedge.
How to supreme an orange:
Note: Choose a knife you feel comfortable with. Too long a blade will be cumbersome. Too short a blade may be hard to control. I'm using a medium chef's knife with a 5" blade. In the culinary world, when it comes to knife skills, choose a knife that feels good in your hand, but if your knife isn't sharp, don't even begin the project!
~ Step 2. Stand the orange upright, on one of the exposed sides. Starting at the top, just where the white pith meets the fruit, begin slicing strips off, following the curve/contour of the fruit. Continue slicing around the orange until all of the skin and all of the white pith is off and a brightly-colored, "round" piece of juicy fruit is exposed.
Note: Depending on the size of the orange, I usually end up needing eight slices of the knife to expose the entire orange. A grapefruit requires me about twelve. Anything less than this will result in you wasting perfectly good fruit. Take your time as you do this and error on the side of too many slices!
~ Step 3. Take a look at the orange fruit. You will notice white lines (these are membranes) running vertically (top to bottom) through it.
Starting at the top, gently slice downwards, with the blade of your knife positioned on the inside of each white line, two slices for each supreme (see photo below).
~ Step 4. As you work, you will notice that the membrane that remains clinging to the core of the fruit resembles the pages of a book.
Continue slicing until all of the segments are supremed. Towards the end, if it is easier for you, place the orange on its side to remove the last one or two.
From this orange, in 1-2 minutes, I got 8 supremes. In the center is what remains of the membrane:
Special Equipment List: cutting board; 5" chef's knife or a paring knife, whatever you feel most comfortable with
~ My Love Affair w/Lemon & Lemon Meringue Pie ~ in Category 6, and:
~ When Life Hands You Lemons: Make Lemonade! ~ in Categories 10, 16 or 20!
Click on the Related Articles links below to get two of my favorite grapefruit recipes!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)