Candied Citrus Peel

Years ago, my aunt started baking and giving away loaves of stöllen for Christmas.

What’s Stöllen?

Stöllen is a delicious, yeasty bread (sometimes called “Christstöllen) that is traditionally made at Christmastime. It is chock full of nuts, fruits, rum-soaked raisins, and marzipan and covered in powdered sugar. Like any homemade bread, it takes a little bit of time to make, but it’s easy and oh-so-worth-it.

My aunt would make this bread every December, and every other year when we visited for Christmas, she would give us a loaf. Alas, my aunt (and the rest of my family) lives in an area where the weather can be very unpredictable starting in November, so we had to stop planning Christmas trips to see everyone.

We also had to learn how to live without stöllen during the holiday season.

That would not do.

So I started making it myself. I’m not going to reprint the instructions here today, but here’s a link to the recipe I use. You’ll note, if you read the recipe, that the authors recommend making your own candied citrus peel (I also recommend a read because it’s a fascinating look at the history of the bread).

Candied Citrus Peel

I use the recipe for candied citrus peel that the authors link to in the stöllen recipe. It’s easy and delicious. In fact, each year the little sister of one of my son’s friends asks, “When are the Reades making those orange peel things?” Note to that little sister: you’ll be receiving some in a few days.

My son and I made the candied citrus peel today and I documented the process with photos. We used one red grapefruit, one lemon, one lime, and three oranges.

Wash your fruit first!

Slice the top and bottom from each piece of fruit.

Score the peels so the fruit is divided into fourths (just to make it easier to remove the peel), then remove the peel.

Save the fruit for juice or cooking!

Slice each piece of peel into 1/4″ wide strips.

Boil the strips in plain old water for 15 minutes.

Drain the strips, rinse them, drain them again, and repeat the boiling/draining/rinsing/draining sequence TWO more times.

Once the fruit is draining for the last time, mix 2 c. of sugar and 1 c. of water in the pot.

Bring it to a boil and boil for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar.

Add the peels and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

While I wait for the peels to finish simmering, I pour some granulated sugar into the food processor and give it a whirr for a minute or so. Pour the sugar into a Zip-loc-type bag.

After the peels have simmered for an hour, scoop them out a few at a time and let them drain…

before tossing them in the sugar.

Take the peels out of the bag and lay them on a baking rack to dry. Repeat with the rest of the peels.

Save that leftover syrup! It makes a mean Tom Collins!

You have to let the peels dry out for a day or two, then use them up or freeze them. Eat them, give them as gifts, chop them up in stöllen, or use them in any other way you can think of!

I wish you happy cooking! Stöllen is a fairly new tradition for our family (within the past five years or so)—what holiday traditions do you have?

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes for July

The dog days of summer are officially here!

This is normally the time of year for grilling and no-cook dishes, but I invented a sandwich that I want to share with you. It requires actual cooking, but it’s delicious.

Sausage Sandwich Divine

4 long hot peppers

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds

2 large red peppers, seeded and sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 small can mushroom stems and pieces, drained

1 6-oz. can tomato sauce

4 torpedo-style rolls

8 slices Provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover lipped baking sheet with foil. Place long hots on the foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven, cover bottom of pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add sausage, red peppers, and onion. Cook until sausage and vegetables are cooked through, stirring often.

Preheat the broiler.

Slice long hots lengthwise and crosswise, then add them to the sausage mixture along with the mushrooms and about half the can of sauce (save the rest of the sauce for another use, or use more of it with the sandwiches, if you’d like).

Cook mixture until heated through.

While the mixture is cooking, split the rolls and place them under the broiler for a couple minutes, until they’re just turning golden. Watch the rolls carefully!

When the rolls are lightly golden, remove them from the oven. Using a slotted spoon, place about 1/4 of the sausage mixture down each roll. Cover mixture with two slices of Provolone and put the sandwiches, open-faced, under the broiler. Broil for just a minute or two, or until the cheese has melted. Serve hot.

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Here’s a nice, cool one that’s good to take to July 4th and other summer parties and potlucks. This salad goes by lots of names and it’s pretty popular.

Carolyn’s Salad

1 box pistachio instant pudding

2 8-oz. cans crushed pineapple, undrained

1 8-oz. container whipped topping (I use Cool Whip)

8 oz. cottage cheese

1 c. miniature marshmallows

Combine pudding mix and pineapple in a medium bowl. Stir until well blended.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Add pistachio mixture to whipped topping mixture and stir until everything is blended. Place in a 13×9″ pan and chill.

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And another cool salad for hot summer days. Pair this with grilled chicken or other light main course.

Almond-Raspberry Salad

8 c. Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1 c. fresh raspberries

1/2 c. sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 c. seedless raspberry jam

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

1/4 c. honey

2 T. plus 2 t. canola oil

In a large salad bowl, gently toss the lettuce, raspberries, and almonds. In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients; process until smooth.

Pour over salad and toss gently until coated; alternatively, serve salad and pass dressing.

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Enjoy!

I’m always looking for recipes from other people. If you care to share a favorite recipe, send it along and I’ll put it in a post.

Until next time,

Amy