Kumquats are so cute. I mean really, how can you resist? The bright orange, bite-size fruit just scream "Nature's Candy." But if you're new to kumquats, you might not be entirely sure what they are or how to eat them. Do you peel and segment them like little oranges? (A vision that immediately conjures up the scene in the movie "Big" where Tom Hanks' character nibbles an ear of baby corn as you would corn on the cob.) The Kumquat Growers, obviously, spell it out best: "The kumquat has a thin, sweet peel and a zesty, somewhat tart center. The kumquat tastes best if it is gently rolled between the fingers before being eaten, as this releases the essential oils in the rind. Eat kumquats as you would eat grapes (with the peel)."
They lend themselves beautifully to desserts and salads, and perhaps my favorite: marmalade. I actually set out to make kumquat marmalade when I brought home my stash of the little beauties because I wanted to use it in a marinade for some shrimp. But when I got right down to it, I hadn't purchased enough kumquats to make a proper batch, nor was I actually that ambitious. So, that idea evolved a little bit and I made a quickie kumquat/molasses glaze instead. It did the job nicely! The sweet and tangy glaze was the perfect counterpoint to the garlicky, spicy prawns. So the next time you're ready to throw some shrimp on the Barbie, this is a wonderful way to go!
Grilled Garlic Firecracker Prawns with Kumquat/Molasses Glaze
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
- The juice of one small lemon
- 3-4 tablespoons crushed garlic
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- Oilve oil, enough to coat the shrimp
- 15 kumquats, split in half and seeded
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 2 tablespoons dark molasses
- Dash of kosher salt