We may be freezing and bracing for another winter pummeling, but it feels like summer in Mariano’s! Their produce racks are bursting with summer flavors with loads of fresh citrus of any variety you can imagine.
In our house, I am lucky if I can grab a bite of a clementine or an orange before my kids get their hands on it and devour it. My son is currently in love with blood and Cara Cara oranges. We have to hide them, so he doesn’t eat them all in one sitting!
Since it has been the most wintery of winters, we have been craving some lighter, more summery meals to make us feel like the days are getting longer! You might be surprised, but there are lots of ways to use citrus in your savory recipes to make your meals feel a bit brighter.
Savory Citrus Recipes
My most favorite meal, ever, is fajitas. We marinate our steak in a lime marinade, and we serve it with cilantro lime rice, and yes, even my kids eat it!
My husband is the cook in the family, and he has this incredible talent to take what we have or what he picks up and making great recipes from it. His theory in marinades s that you just kind of wing it, toss it all in a bag, and let it sit for about an hour, so the meat gets to room temperature.
Basic Lime Marinade Recipe
This is for about 1.5 lbs of skirt steak
- 2 Limes
- 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1-2 chilies, Serrano or jalapeno depending on heat and your desire for heat
- Salt and Pepper – about 1/4 tsp each (or however you normally do your meat)
- 1 tsp. Oregano (we use Mexican oregano)
- Juice the two limes into a large plastic bag, add the rest of the ingredients and steak.
- Close securely and cover the meat totally by massaging it and flipping it from side to side.
- Let sit for at least one hour.
We love to serve fajitas, really any spicy dish with cilantro lime rice. Using citrus and some seasoning is a great way to spice up and make plain white rice more interesting. Make cilantro-lime rice, make your white rice as you would per the package instructions adding ½ – 1 lime’s worth of lime juice to the water before cooking and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro. We then serve it with a wedge of lime and more cilantro so that the parents/adults at the table can make it more flavorful.
One of our go-to ways to use citrus in our savory dishes is to make Lemon Oregano Chicken. There are so many ways to make this, sometimes called Greek chicken; everyone has some variation. You can even fill your roasted chicken with lemon wedges can add flavor and moisture to your chicken. Last night we made another marinade; citrus is excellent for marinades!
Lemon Oregano Marinade
recipe from Everyday Food
- 1/2 cup olive oil1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (I used a little more and did a whole lemon)
- 3 tablespoons of fresh oregano (we used dried)
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together.
- Pour over meat in a large bag and allow to sit for one hour.
We again used citrus to flavor our plain ordinary white rice and made it Greek. We added the juice of a lemon and dried oregano to the water before it cooked. After it was made, we mixed it with spinach (sauteed with garlic and olive oil) and feta cheese.
This is how my husband cooks, he just takes what we have and he throws things in here and there and makes these great meals. I however need a recipe and instructions, it’s just the only way I feel comfortable. So our last savory recipe is one of those. It’s from Everyday Food Magazine (favorite!) and every time I make it blows my mind:
This salsa is always so surprising and is a huge hit at any party we serve it at. There is pretty much nothing spicy in it, but it has a very savory flavor. The first time we made it, I was worried that it would taste like a dessert with orange and mint, but it’s not at all. We serve it over grilled tuna in the summer, we substitute some pork chops, and it was a great substitute, so tasty! If you want to bring something different to your big game party that still fits in with the traditional game day food, I urge you to give this one a try.
What are your favorite ways to use citrus?
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