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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cuties Mandarin Oranges

CUTIES® History

As you may know, California CUTIES® are two varieties of mandarins: Clementine mandarins and W. Murcott mandarins. Clementines are available in the first half of the season, from November through January. W. Murcotts are available in the second half, February through April.

The origins of Clementine mandarins are shrouded in mystery. Some fruit historians – yes, there are such people – say it was Father Clement, an Algerian monk, who first discovered this unique hybrid and hence it was named Clementino. Others claim the Clementine mandarin originated in China.
Whatever its origins, we know this: The Clementine mandarin first came to the United States in 1909, to Florida. Five years later, the first saplings arrived at the Citrus Research Center in Riverside, California, where their production flourished and their reputation spread.

And now, the W. Murcott mandarins. In the early 1960s, a Moroccan scientist planted some citrus seeds from the Afourer Research station along the central Moroccan Atlantic Ocean near Marrakesh. The Nadorcott was selected from amongst these seedlings in the early 1980s. Since it was planted in row W in the experimental block, it was sent to California for evaluation as “W. Murcott.” In the late 1980s and early 1990s, in both Morocco and California, evaluators were drawn to the W. Murcott because of the exceptionally attractive deep orange-red rind color as well as the great flavor – high sugar balanced with acid.

Fast-forward to the year 2000. Grown in California's sunny San Joaquin Valley, CUTIES® undergo rigorous inspection to ensure superior quality, high sugar levels and minimal seed content. With such strict quality control, you're assured that CUTIES® are the best-tasting Clementines and W. Murcotts available.

(Reprinted from Cuties site at:

Recipes and pictures that follow are developed by Chef K and are his and not available at the Cuties website.

Mandarin Orange Cheesecake


2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup crushed almonds or English walnuts
1 tbsp Mandarin orange zest
1/4 pound melted butter


1 lb cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
3 medium eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 tbsp. Orange syrup (follows)
1 tbsp grated mandarin orange zest

CRUST: Add ingredients in listed order and blend. Press on bottom and sides of a 12 inch spring form pan. 

The crust is not "wet" but should press firmly into the pan.

FILLING: Soften cream cheese. Add sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, blend in vanilla and orange extract. Pour into crust, bake at 300 degrees F for one hour, or until a testing pick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

Mandarin Orange Syrup on a plate, place cheesecake slice on syrup, drizzle more syrup over cheesecake top, garnish with a round of fresh Mandarin orange and a sprig of fresh mint


1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated mandarin orange rind
1/2 cup mandarin orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Triple Sec orange liqueur (optional)


Combine first 6 ingredients and, if desired, orange liqueur in a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves.


1/4 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/3 cup fresh Mandarin Orange Juice
1 1/4 tblsp vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper to taste
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, skin attached
2 tsp Mandarin orange zest
1/4 tsp minced fresh Thyme
2 cloves minced Garlic

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl to make the herb mixture.

Take each chicken breast and slip your fingers between the skin and flesh of the chicken, leaving the skin attached.

Slide some of the herb mixture under the skin of each breast, pulling the skin back over each breast when finished.

Prepare a grill with an oiled rack set 4 inches above the heat source.

On a gas grill, set the heat to high. Mix together the orange juice, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl.

Grill the chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning once and basting with the orange juice mixture, until the chicken is cooked through.

Thai Mandarin Steak

For sauce
3 cups Mandarin orange juice
1 carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 jalapeño chili, seeded, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Thai red curry base
I tablespoon Mandrin Orange zest

For Steak

1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Thai red curry base
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 pounds steak (flank, strip, flat iron, chuck)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled butter, cut into pieces

Make sauce:

Combine orange juice, carrot, cilantro, grated fresh ginger, garlic, minced jalapeño, ground cumin and Thai red curry base in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil mixture until carrot is very tender and liquid is reduced by half, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Puree sauce in blender or processor in batches until smooth. Strain sauce and return to same saucepan. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Make steak:

Stir molasses, soy sauce, curry base and ginger in large glass baking dish. Add steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and cook pork until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 145°F, about 20 minutes. 

Transfer the  steak to a  platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.

Bring sauce to simmer. Remove from heat. Gradually add 6 tablespoons butter, whisking just until melted. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut steak into 1-inch-thick slices. Serve with sauce and Mandarin Orange rice.

Mandarin Orange Rice


2 teaspoons butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1 tablespoon Mandarin orange zest
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups Mandarin orange juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in onion, and cook until tender. Mix in rice, and season with Mandarin orange zest, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook and stir until rice is golden brown. Pour in orange juice and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Remove cooked rice from heat, and gently mix in cilantro to serve.


Tortellini means little hats, so this is a recipe to get your thinking cap on.


Kosher salt
1 quantity sausage tortellini  (recipe follows)
2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1" pieces
Zest and juice of 2 Mandarin oranges
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto; sauté until browned, about 3 minutes.

Add reserved pasta water, orange juice, half of zest, and cream; bring to a boil. Add pasta; cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and divide among warm bowls. Sprinkle remaining orange zest over pasta.

Homemade Tortellini

2 tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 pound Italian sausage or for spicy hot use Njuda
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese
6 large eggs
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Make The Filling:

Melt the butter in a medium sautè pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent.

Add the pancetta and cook for 1 minute, then add the ground veal and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the veal is browned through, about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer the cooked meat mixture to a food processor, add 2 of the eggs and Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese and pulse until well blended. Cover and refrigerate while you make the pasta.

Make The Pasta:

In a large bowl, add 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, and make a well in the center. Break the remaining 4 eggs into the well. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork for about 1 minute, then start to work a little of the flour from the edges into the eggs, until the eggs are no longer runny. Using your hands mix the flour and eggs thoroughly into a ball. If dough is too wet, and you are having trouble forming it into a ball add half of the remaining flour. If it is still not working out add the rest of the flour, but you should not need more than that.

Transfer the ball to a lightly floured work surface and knead: flatten the dough with the palm of your hands, fold it back towards you, rotate it a half turn and repeat. Continue this process for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and firm. Shape it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Anchor the pasta machine to your work surface following the manufacturer’s instructions, and set the rollers to the widest setting. Cut the ball into 4 pieces. Take one piece and flatten it into a half-inch disk. Pass the disk through the rollers, turning the crank with your hand. Fold the dough into thirds and roll again. Repeat this 2 more times.

Move the dial to the next notch, narrowing the rollers and run the dough through them. Continue this process, narrowing the rollers by one setting on the dial each time until you reach the second to last setting. Lay the flattened dough to the side and repeat the procedure with the other 3 pieces. To save space you can stack the rolled out sheets of pasta on top of each other, separating them with kitchen towels.

Stuff and Shape the Tortellini:

Working with 1 sheet of pasta at a time, cut them into 2 inch squares. Brush the tops of the squares lightly with water (this will help them form a seal when you shape the tortellini, and also make the pasta easier to work with if it has dried out too much). Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square and fold one corner over the filling, forming a triangle.

Press down around the filling, eliminating any air pockets and sealing the triangle. Wrap each triangle around your little finger pressing the opposing corners together to make a circle, and curl the top point back slightly. Place the shaped tortellini on a lightly floured baking dish in a single layer.

Apple and Mandarin Orange Pie

3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon grated Mandarin orange peel
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples, about 2 pounds or 7 medium
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons butter
PREPARE recipe for double crust pie, using a 9-inch pie plate. Roll out dough for bottom crust and place in pie plate according to recipe directions.

HEAT oven to 400ºF.

COMBINE sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, orange peel, salt and nutmeg in small bowl. Place apples and raisins in unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples. Dot with butter. Moisten pastry edge with water.

ROLL out dough for top crust, place onto filled pie and finish edges according to recipe directions. Cut slits in top crust or prick with fork to vent steam.

BAKE 35 minutes. Remove pie from oven. Brush with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. Cover edge of pie with foil, if necessary, to prevent overbrowning. Bake 10 minutes or until filling in center is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

Double Pie Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup water


In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Roll out dough on a floured counter. Don't over work it. Use as directed in pie recipe.

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