I went for my first ever cookout yesterday! It was my first time at a cookout because I am a horrible cook and nobody ever associates me with cooking, hence I have never been invited to one. Despite the fact that my group only has one person who can cook, we had a lot of fun together! Ok, more about that later.
It was a Sunkist event at Cookyn Inc, so we incorporated their oranges in all our dishes, from the appetisers to the desserts! I never knew that there were four different types of oranges–Naval, Cara Cara, Valencia and Blood. The ones that we commonly see around the supermarkets are the Valencias and Navals.
Blood oranges, as the name suggests, has a dramatic bright red colouration. It also contains anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes the effects of free radicals. On the other hand, Cara Cara is pinkish red, rather similar to grapefruit, and has a tangy cranberry-like taste.
We got to work with the Valencia and Cara Cara.
My cousin accompanied me to the event and we met my Instagram friend, Alain, and his wife-to-be Reina. I got to meet some of my other Instagram friends like Izzah, Lirong and Vivienne for the first time, but did not manage to take any photos with some of them.
Our first station was the Sangria station, where we mixed our drinks.
First, squeeze cut oranges into a glass and leave them in the glass. Next, pour about a third of red or white wine and add some ice. Following that, top it off with some Sprite. Lastly, mix it with a cinnamon stick, stick a parasol in and voila… you are done!
Happy us with our Sangrias, which we refilled continuously throughout the event!
After taking the group shot, I realised that Izzah did not have any, so I made one for her.
We then moved to our stations and we were Team Cara Cara for the day.
There were four different groups, reflecting the four different types of oranges.
Before we started cooking, we got to learn more about Sunkist. The Southern California Fruit Exchange was founded on 29 August 1983. It was later known as Sunkist Growers and the trademark ‘Sunkist’ was adopted in 1908. Their first logo was created only in 1969!
We moved on to cooking after that mini history lesson!
We first prepared the salmon. It was actually a simple dish. One teaspoon of dill and olive oil on both sides, which a dash of pepper and salt. Rub the seasonings in and it is ready to go into the oven. An important tip is to choose the thickest fillets for better taste!
While waiting for the salmon to cook, we learn how to make the most out of our oranges.
We learnt two ways to serve our oranges. One is to cut it wedges and to remove the membrane, so that you can get straight to the juicy parts. The second one is to slice it and caramelise it using a blowtorch.
We tried it under professional guidance.
The interesting thing is that after caramelisation, the Cara Cara tasted like ham! It has a salty and savoury taste.
By then our salmon fillets were done.
We used the wedges for the salmon and the caramelised orange slices for the appetiser, which was poached prawns with yoghurt dressing and salsa.
Finally, we moved on to dessert, which was actually a competition among the groups. We were obviously on the losing end,with the other groups having bakers and mums who could cook, but the most important thing is that we enjoyed the process!
We were given a Mystery Box which contained the ingredients which we had to include in our dessert.
Unfortunately my camera died on me before I could capture a photo of the final product!
All in all, I must say this was one of the best Saturdays I had, learning new things and making new friends. Let me end of with a quote that we used for our group’s slogan:
“We came in as strangers, but we left as friends.”