Tangerine salt is one of my true standbys; it has earned a permanent place on my shelf next to the stove, where I place things I use on a daily or near-daily basis. I make tangerine salt in small quantities, using one dried wheel and roughly two tablespoons of sel gris. I first put the wheel into my coffee grinder, grind it to a fine powder, then add the salt, and pulse it a few times to combine. The salt is a wonder; it turns a lovely shade of yellow-orange, smells fresh and toasty citrusy, and, siren-like, beckons me to use it every time I go near it.
Trader Joe’s used to carry acceptable dried tangerines, but, like many great products there, they have disappeared. But dried tangerines are dead simple to make at home: preheat the oven to 200, slice your favorite tangerine (the one in the photo is a Minneola, one of my faves) thinly into wheels, and place on a cookie sheet (outfitted with a Silpat if you like) for roughly two hours, or until they start to really dry out, brown a bit, and finally toast up. They then live in a jar, ready for me whenever I need them, which is often.The quantity in the photo is a single Minneola, and will last me a while, more than likely a month or two.
I’m also fond of using tangerine dust, i.e. pulverized dried tangerine into a fine powder. You can add it to crusts (breadcrumbs, lentils, rice, etc.) to give them color and citrusy zip. You can sprinkle a little on a salad for extra prettiness and vibrant flavor, you can just munch on them like potato chips — amazing with a glass of chilled sake and some edamame.
OK breakaway cooks, let put our collective wisdom to work here: what else can you imagine with them? Do try making them, and be sure to put them in a handsome jar that visible when you cook, so that they can constantly remind you of their wondrous presence.
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