Last night, friends treated my husband and me to a smashing roast chicken dinner (thanks again, Paul and Alice!) I volunteered to bring dessert. In recent weeks, I've had a hankering for something fruity and chile-influenced, which led me to poach these kumquats with a poblano pepper and serve them over a Sara Lee pound cake.
Oh, all right, you caught me.
The Sara Lee pound cake was a last-minute save. Anti-corporate control freak that I am, I made a batch of biscuits; but for some reason they came out tasting like bitterness incarnate. Will have to play around with that recipe for a bit and post it at a later date.
These kumquats, on the other hand, are to die for. Their tart-and-sweet flavor meshed excellently with the cinnamon, cloves, and chile.
Poached Kumquats With Poblano
2 pints kumquats
1/2 a poblano pepper
2 c. water
2/3 c. orange blossom honey
2/3 c. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
Heat your broiler to the highest setting. Meanwhile, cut the kumquats into thirds horizontally (yes, you have to de-seed them, which is a pain; but it's not necessary to peel them.)
Place the pepper skin-side-up on an oiled baking sheet. Broil about five minutes, or until the skin is wrinkly and partially black on top. Remove and let cool. Peel off the skin.
Combine the water, honey, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the kumquats and poblano, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Fish out the poblano, drain so that the poaching liquid runs back into the pan, and chop. Store the chopped poblano in a small container with a couple spoonfuls of poaching liquid to cover. Store the kumquats separately in the rest of the liquid. To serve, spoon the kumquats over any of the following (or something else that I haven't thought of):
Garnish with the chopped poblano. (Optional: Beat 2 Tbsp. of poaching liquid from the kumquats with 1 c. heavy whipping cream.) Serves 4-5.
Beat the eggs. Whip the cream. Show no mercy.
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