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Jan 6, 2008 09:30 PM

What can I do with all of these citrus peels?

I eat a lot of tangerines (and other citrus fruits, but especially tangerines) this time of year, and whenever I peel one, I feel like there's something that I can and should be doing with the peels. I know that I can candy them, but that seems like a) it's something that I would have to do immediately after peeling, which means I would have to do frequent tiny batches (unlikely to happen) and b) that they wouldn't last very long, am I right about this? The other thing that I've thought of is the orange version of limoncello, and just tossing the peels into a vat of vodka whenever I eat some (which I will likely do with some of them). But is there anything that I can do with the peels after peeling the fruit (and so with the white pith still attached), or other creative ways of using or preserving the peels? I'm up for anything, drying (as long as I don't need a dehydrator), freezing, candying, canning, etc. Thanks for any ideas!

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  1. i like dropping them in a pitcher of water for a refreshing citrus water. The basic idea is take whatever peels i have and add them to cold water. within a few hours you get a hint of flavor, and I remove them before it gets bitter, but this depends on how many peel and how much water. usually it's all gone before then. I've never tried it, but I'm sure some mint leaves would be a great addition. There's not many things this refreshing without calories.

    1. Make a vinaigrette with the zest. Put a batch in a jar and add zest as you go.

      1. You can dry them, as the Chinese do, and use the dried peels to flavor stews or stir-fries.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bcc

          Dried tangerine peel is also used in Provencal dishes to flavor roasts, stews, and daubes. You can add them to any bouquet garni where the flavor would be appropriate. But you do need to remove the bitter pith. To dry them, scrape off as much of the pith as possible and place on a rack in a warm, dry spot until curled but still slighty pliable. They can be stored in a screw-top jar at room temperature and added to almost indefinitely.

        2. I'd zest them before you peel them to eat - I've made a delicious Lucques beef stew that calls for orange zest and you could use tangerine instead. I'm sure some zest would also be great with fish - some of Goin's recipe also call for putting zest on fish, along with some herbs and letting it sit for a couple of hours to absorb the flavors.

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