Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oranges with Caramel and Cardamom Syrup

Finally, here is the fourth and final recipe of Challenge #9: Cooking Light (part 2)! I've saved the best for last, since this was definitely the culinary highlight of the evening :) We chose to make Oranges with Caramel and Cardamom Syrup for dessert, and it turned out absolutely fantastic, despite a few changes to the recipe.

The original recipe called for full-fat Greek yogurt, but we decided to substitute fat free Greek yogurt in order to increase the protein and decrease the fat in the dish. It's a lot thinner and less decadent than full-fat yogurt, but it still turned out very well. In fact, I'd be more inclined to repeat the recipe more often using this change. At the time, we also didn't have time to let the oranges soak overnight as indicated by the recipe. We were still able to get the flavor of the syrup, but I'd imagine it would be more intense had we let them soak. I'll definitely try it out in the future and see if it's worth the extra pre-planning to do that step. As it was, it still turned out really well!

Below is the original recipe, with our notes and changes (and pictures, of course!)

Oranges with Caramel and Cardamom Syrup
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 5 orange slices and 3 tablespoons yogurt mixture)

1/2 cup water
2 cardamom pods, crushed
6 tablespoons sugar
5 medium navel oranges (about 2 1/4 pounds)
1 cup whole-milk fat-free Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon orange-flower water
Mint sprigs (optional)

1. Combine 1/2 cup water and cardamom in a small, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve over a small bowl; discard solids.

2. Combine 1 tablespoon cardamom water and sugar in pan over medium heat, and cook for 9 minutes or until sugar is melted and barely golden (do not stir). Increase heat to medium-high, and cook for 1 minute or until mixture darkens to a deep amber. Remove from heat; carefully pour remaining cardamom water down the side of the pan. Return pan to medium-high heat; stir until well blended. Remove pan from heat.

3. Peel oranges. Cut each orange crosswise into 6 slices. Arrange slices on a rimmed platter; pour hot syrup over oranges. Cover and chill overnight for 30 minutes [though, as I said, this was only due to our time constraints. I will try soaking overnight next time].

4. Combine yogurt, honey, and orange-flower water in a small bowl. Serve yogurt mixture with oranges. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Jeanne Kelley, Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2008

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