An easy and elegant shrimp dish made with the crown jewel of oranges – the honeybell.
Lemons are used more frequently in cooking than oranges, the former being kind of like the favorite son or daughter, with the later playing the role of red-headed step child, neglected and often forgotten. Yet, oranges are sometimes a great substitute for lemons, as long as what you’re making doesn’t require the extra acidity that lemons provide. Honeybell Baked Shrimp is a case in point. This dish is a delightful take on classic shrimp scampi using honeybell oranges instead of lemons. If you’re not familiar with honeybell oranges, I’m willing to bet you’ll be won-over, like I was, once you try them.
While vacationing in Florida recently, I purchased some fresh squeezed orange juice at the grocery store. I didn’t give much thought to the “honeybell” label on the front of the container, but as soon as I took a sip, I knew that this was no ordinary breakfast beverage. It was sweeter and smoother than any orange juice I’d ever tasted. My husband started calling it candy juice! Oddly enough, honeybell oranges are not oranges at all. Botanically speaking, they’re a rare citrus fruit hybrid. Sometimes referred to as tangelos, honeybells are actually a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. Known for their distinctive bell shape and super sweet, honey-like flavor, they are among the juiciest of citrus fruits. If you love to eat oranges, honeybells are the perfect fruit for two important reasons. They have loose skins, so they’re very easy to peel, and, best of all, they’re seedless! Unfortunately, though, honeybells are not widely available due to a short growing season so I was pleasantly surprised, upon returning home, to find some in my local grocery store. A bought a bunch to eat and thought it would be fun to develop a recipe using these citrus gems.
Honeybell Baked Shrimp couldn’t be easier to prepare. Just whisk together the honeybell juice and zest with a few other ingredients and pour the mixture over the shrimp. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top before it heads into the oven lends a saltiness that is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the juice. Serve Honeybell Baked Shrimp over rice or with some crusty French bread to mop up all of the delicious honeybell-butter sauce.
Honeybell oranges are harvested in January and February. If you can’t find any at your local grocery store, check on-line. There are several growers who specialize in honeybells who do a large mail order business. When honeybells aren’t in season you can substitute another type of orange in this recipe, however it won’t yield quite as much sauce (other types of oranges contain much less juice) and will be slightly less sweet.
- 1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
- ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
- Juice and zest of one Honeybell orange
- 1 large, or 2 small, clove(s) of minced garlic
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 Tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the shrimp in an oven safe casserole dish or divide them among 4 shallow gratin baking dishes (about 7 inches in width).
- In a small bowl whisk together the parsley, juice, zest, garlic, butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture evenly over the shrimp and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
- Bake until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.
LIKE THIS RECIPE? PIN IT FOR LATER!