How great is citrus season, you guys? I love that it comes right at the tail end of winter, when we never want to see a potato, beet or apple again.
Can we have a moment of Real Talk about kumquats? They are freaks. I used to love to eat them whole when I was little, because I am weird and love sour things. My Sidekick will occasionally soak them in bourbon or rye for the tartest Manhattan or Old Fashioned you've ever had. But really, what else is there to do with these little weirdos? They do not yield enough juice to be useful. The spelling of their name is ridiculous. Turns out, good ol' Lucy G. Allen's got a trick up her sleeve.
Behold, the Stuffed Kumquat. This is a bit of a revelation, really. We all know how much I like stuffing cheese into other things, but everyone gets tired of deviled eggs at every single party. Why hadn't we all considered the kumquat? The highly edible peel becomes an aromatic, citrusy boat for anything you'd like to pipe inside.
Because we are still cooking from A Book of Hors d'Oeuvre, these are (duh) stuffed with "highly spiced cream cheese." In this iteration of that familiar directive, I went with sage, rosemary and thyme. My thinking, aside from clearly having a thing for Simon and Garfunkel, was to make each bite a little reminder of all the Christmas flavors we love, just before we get to say goodbye to winter for a full year.
Once you slice the kumquats lengthwise, the pith and flesh pull out quite easily. You'd do well to soak them in some bourbon or rye for the aforementioned Manhattan or Old Fashioned. I mean, serving that alongside the stuffed peels seems like just about the cutest fucking thing you could ever do. Give these lovable weirdos a try while they're still around!
Wash the kumquats well, wipe and cut in halves. Remove centers, which consist of tough pith and seeds, and fill with well-seasoned cream cheese.
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