Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Orange Flower Wha?

While recently browsing one of my favorite sites, chefshop.com, I came across Clotilde Dusoulier’s (of Chocolate and Zucchini fame) “pantry”, or list of items she loves and recommends on the site (and yes, I can only hope that one day chefshop.com asks me to create my own pantry. But isn’t that every girl’s dream?)

Clotidle picked some real winners – dried coconut tops my list – and a few items I may disagree with (but hey, it’s her pantry! And she’s the one with a cookbook!) but I was most intrigued by her choice of orange flower water. A few months ago I purchased a bottle for a ricotta pie recipe that turned out not-so-hot for other reasons I addressed here. And so, with a failed (or at least not-so-hot) pie attempt and little interest in other uses for orange flower water, the tiny blue bottle was pushed to the back of the cabinet.

It surfaced against this weekend as I searched for ingredients to add to my granola bar recipe (and no, I didn’t put any in the granola.)So I find it fortunate that I noticed her pick today. Clotidle writes that a few drops of orange-flower water go a long way. It can be used to enhance fruit (like apricots, figs, strawberries, pears, or bananas. She recommends adding a few drops to fruit salads, fruit pastries or crêpes. My favorite suggestion (and the one I’ll try out tonight) is adding half a teaspoon of orange-blossom water to salad dressings. I’m always looking for something to spice up my favorite green salad.

Here’s a few other uses I found online:
To make a Victorian martini, add several drops of orange flower water to gin and vermouth.
Add it to your iced tea
Try using it in a Greek recipe, such as Kritika Patouthia.
Add a tablespoon into a rice pudding recipe

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