Okay, it’s Day 9 of our 20-Day/20-Part series of blog posts titled “Tips, Tricks, and Secrets of Professional Chefs”. Last post, we talked about our 5 Tips for Perfect Pasta!
Today’s post is short, sweet (and a little sticky…) it’s Secret #9: Giving Citrus a Roll.
Whenever possible, when preparing a recipe that calls for lemon, lime, or orange juice, I try to go with fresh-squeezed. It tastes so much better!
Like many folks, I inherited one of those round “citrus juicers” from my mother’s kitchen, but here’s a trick Dad taught me, for getting the most out of my favorite fruits.
Before you halve your orange, lemon, or lime, place it on a flat surface, and roll it back and forth with the heel of your hand, exerting firm, constant, downward pressure. You want to press hard enough that you can feel the fruit give a little under your hand, but not too hard…or you’ll end up with a pulpy mess, and juice all over your kitchen!
After a few rolls, you should be able to feel the fruit softening, as the pulp inside is crushed (which releases the juice). Now, place the fruit on a small plate or bowl to catch the extra juice, and slice it in half, across the middle, with a very sharp knife.
At this point, you can either use your citrus juicer, a press, or (what most chefs do) squeeze the fruit with one hand, and allow the juice to run through the fingers of the other (to catch any seeds or pulp) and into a bowl. Rotate the fruit 1/4 turn clockwise in your hand with each squeeze.
By rolling the fruit first, you’ll get a lot more juice, for a lot less effort.
This is also a great job to assign to any junior kitchen assistants! Try it with one of my favorite summer drinks, Brazilian Limeade.
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