Creme De La Creme

Dozen Best Orange-Flavored Dishes

I’m borderline nuts about oranges. I’ve never encountered a dish made with oranges than I didn’t like. The juice of oranges–as well as the much different flavor of the oil from orange skins–can be worked into a wide range of dishes and sauces, both sweet and savory. Some of them are famous, like the French duck a l’orange (although that’s become something of a rarity). A lot of chefs are using orange juice instead of lemon in their hollandaise, to good effect. And if you ever run into something that combines orange and chocolate, get it. Here are my current favorites with an orange component.

1. Rue 127. Mid-City: 127 N Carrollton Ave. 504-483-1571. Diver scallops, roasted fennel, orange emulsion. Wow.

2. Juniper. Mandeville: 301 Lafitte. 985-624-5330. Panneed asparagus topped with crabmeat and orange hollandaise. In season, satsuma juice is substituted.

3. L√ľke. CBD: 333 St Charles Ave. 504-378-2840. Stuffed shrimp with orange hollandaise. A great dish for lunch, dinner, or even brunch.

4. Vizard’s. Uptown: 5015 Magazine. 504-895-2246. Seared duck breast, sweet potatoes, haricots verts, orange foie-gras demi. Ask to have the duck cooked medium, unless you really like the toughness of rare duck.

Orange flan.5. Mr. B’s Bistro. French Quarter: 201 Royal. 504-523-2078. I wonder why more chefs haven’t discovered how good the flavor of oranges are in creme brulee. This one is further spiked with a bit of ginger.

6. Lilette. Uptown: 3637 Magazine. 504-895-1636. Chocolate brioche bread pudding, with orange caramel sauce over the top. Here’s that orange-and chocolate magic I mentioned.

7. Sesame Inn. Mandeville: 408 N Causeway Blvd. 985-951-8888. Here’s that Chinese orange-flavor beef. The orange peel is present in the dish. So are hot red peppers.

8. Jamila’s. Uptown: 7806 Maple. 504-866-4366. Makroud is a semolina cake with dates and orange blossom syrup. You could almost call it Tunisian bread pudding.

9. Feelings. Marigny: 2600 Chartres. 504-945-2222. Duck bigarade is a classic French name for the classic orange-flavored, duck. It’s been on the menu since the place opened. The orange-flavored sauce runs into pecan rice.

10. Patois. Uptown: 6078 Laurel. 504-895-9441. Chocolate-orange crepe. Nothing needs to be added.

11. Royal China. Metairie: 600 Veterans Blvd. 504-831-9633. Orange flavor catfish? Chinese restaurants usually reserve their orange-peel sauces for beef, but how about this!

12. Phoenicia. Metairie: 4201 Veterans Blvd. 504-889-9950. Ashta is a pastry filled with made with what seems like fluffed-up Creole cream cheese, with pistachios and orange flower water syrup).


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