Orange sections liven up a main dish salad like nobody’s biz. How do you get them out of the orange in one piece?
Well, here’s what I do. This is how I was taught when working in the pastry shop at Louie’s Backyard in Key West, Florida. I had to switch there because I was pregnant and I had that smell thing going on, and I could not handle being around all the meat in the regular restaurant. I wasn’t very good at pastry, but I did learn a thing or two, including this technique and how to break an egg with one hand.
This method yields lovely section with no pith, as well as a little bit of juice for good measure.
Perfect Orange Sections: How To
First off, choose your knife. A curved blade is best. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my boning knife handy; they really work the best. But this one did in a pinch, though it wasn’t so sharp for the first couple of cuts, until I ran it over a steel.
Slice off the skin at the “poles” of the orange. Yeah, I know. I should have done a thinner slice. Stupid dull knife. I’ve been yelled at by so many kitchen employers for wasting food. If this happens to you, buck up, little tomato! Just squeeze the top of the orange for more juice, or dig out that little bit of flesh for a snack.
Set the orange down on one of its now flat surfaces. Remove the peel by making vertical cuts down the sides of the orange. This is where that curved blade comes in handy (especially if it’s sharp enough), as it nicely slices away the curved surface of the orange.
Just keep going…
…until you have a naked orange. (#naked gets SO many more clicks.)
Now, it’s time to get the orange sections. Make sure you have a bowl. Hold the orange in your hand over that bowl. Carefully slice out a section of orange at a time.
It’s kinda like you’re shaving the membrane away with the knife. Sometimes, I actually just lift it from the second side after the first side’s been freed.
Once you have all the orange sections, give the membrane a good squeeze.
Not only are you the proud possessor of a bowl of perfect orange sections, you’ve got a couple of tablespoons of orange juice, which you can throw in the dressing, or just drink out of the bowl. Like the orange-juice loving kitten that you are….