Saturday, November 22, 2008

Orenji Winter Holidays Pricing Guide Now Available!

Orenji is pleased to annouce the arrival of the 2008 Winter Holidays Pricing Guide!

In this year's guide you will find delicious items from Holidays past, as well as many new desserts, pastries, scones, confections, and cookies for your holiday enjoyment!

To access the 2008 Orenji Winter Holidays Pricing Guide, visit the link below (or at the left):

2008 Orenji Winter Holidays Pricing Guide

To place an order, please send an email to: or call jacob at 646.505.9794.
In this year's guide, you will find items (pictured clockwise, starting top left): our Pumpkin Scones, Chocolate and Pistachio Praline Bouche du Noel, Lemon-Blueberry and Almond Stuesal Tart, a variety of festive cheesecakes, hand-crafted chocolates, and Holiday Krispy Treats.

Of course, the most popular item we sell each year during the holidays are our Assorted Holiday Cookies-- This year, we have 38 varities planned. (Holiday cookies are sold by the pound. Each cookie is handcrafted to be bite-sized, and prepared with the finest ingredients, including imported Belgian chocolate. You can expect approximately 2 ½ to 3 dozen miniature cookies per pound, in thirty-eight varieties. )

We look forward to helping each of you celebrate your winter holidays... and wish you each a peaceful and happy holiday season!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Celebration of Orange: Sweet Conclusions...

Our review of the 2008 Celebration of Orange-- an event in which all the food needed to be orange in flavor, color, or theme-- concludes with a look at the desserts we prepared...

We first turn our attention to individual cheesecakes, flavored with roasted pumpkin and bittersweet chocolate. These bite-sized morsels were rich and creamy, with the bitterness of the chocolate serving as a perfect compliment to the sweet pumpkin filling.

A pumpkin and milk chocolate poundcake provided a less rich, but equally as flavorful alternative for those guests looking for fall-themed flavors, without the calories!

Crispy and butter orange and pistachio shortbread with milk chocolate were a guest favorite.

White chocolate truffles infused with pumpkin spice provided a bite-sized and creamy explosion of flavor. We noticed more than one guest eating more than one of these confections!

Individual sweet potato tartlets with toasted marshmallows and pecans provided a bite of comfort food, while not overwhelming or cloying the palate. These tartlets combined the sweetness of the potato with toasted caramelized sugar of marshmallows. Toasted pecans added a textural contrast and sweet, nutty flavor.

Orenji's famous caramel apples and pears were miniaturized for this event, using Lady apples and Seckel pears. Dipped in sweet cream and butter caramel, rolled in toasted cashews, and drizzled with smooth Belgian milk and white chocolates, these tiny fruits were guest favorites!

Miniature carrot cupcakes-- spiced with fresh nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon-- and topped with smooth cream cheese icing and crunchy toasted coconut disappeared quickly. We could barely keep the buffet stocked, given the popularity of these little cupcakes!

Orenji's hand-candied orange peel completed the sweet offerings at the 2008 Celebration of Orange. We think, given the theme, it is the perfect way in which to end our review of the event!

We will next turn our attention to a gourmet pizza party we recently threw! And of course, review our Thanksgiving creations as we turn our attention to the Winter Holidays. It's an exciting time of year, and we thank you for making Orenji part of it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Celebration of Orange: Setting the Mood...

Creating a beautiful buffet is one of the many things we strive to do at Orenji when we are commissioned for an event. In this case, given the orange theme, we were inspired. The buffet was draped with a variety of orange, rust, and textured fabrics to create a flowing base on which to present our culinary creations.

The food itself was also part of the mood-- a "forest" of orange fruit and cheese trees created both a whimsical and unique way in which to serve fruit and cheese. Approaching the buffet, the eye was immediately and dramatically drawn to this beautiful presentation.

Along with the fruit and cheese forest, a selection of (orange!) cheeses was also displayed...

... along with a selection of oven-toasted and spiced flatbreads and handmade sweet potato, cardamom, and dried cherry yeast rolls.

Sometimes the manner in which food is presented can be inspiring and mood creating. Our kabocha squash, for example, was presented in a wooden box with a beautifully bare tree branch festooned with holiday ribbon.

Similarly, our shrimp and squid were served on a mirror, surrounded by a "picture frame" adorned with festive and whimsical ribbon. The bases for the shrimp, complementing the orange theme, were freshly cut orange halves. Altogether, this presentation was stunning.

Festive flower arrangements and topiary completed the theming for this interesting buffet. Fresh vibrant orange calendula flowers, arranged with dried stems and berries and presented in a graveyard-evocative urn filled with polish rocks, were finished with a larger-than-life ribbon bow.

Topiary prepared with fresh, locally-grown seasonal produce added a colorful touch to the buffet. This topiary, created out of persimmons, artichokes, and decorative kale, was topped with festive ribbon.

An additional topiary, constructed from fresh oranges and kale, and wrapped in black funeral ribbon, was a dramatic focal-point of the buffet.

Tomorrow, we focus on the sweet conclusions to the 2008 Celebration of Orange-- we're talking about desserts, of course! Be sure to check back...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Celebration of Orange...

For those of you who are long-time Orenji readers, you may recall the first "Celebration of Orange" we were involved in-- approximately two years ago. This party, hosted by a friend and client, celebrates the color orange. It also happens to be celebrated on Halloween. The challenge here is that all the food prepared needs to be orange in theme, flavor, or color. Of course, given our name, we were more than excited to again participate in the annual Celebration of Orange (or Celebration of Orenji, as we like to call it!)

We will be devoting three posts to the Celebration of Orange. Today's post focuses on the savory foods prepared for the party. Tomorrow's post focuses on "setting the stage" for the party-- that is, how we decorated. And the last post will focus on "sweet conclusions," or the desserts that prepared.

As preparing foods that are all orange can be quite challenging, we started with the basics- orange vegetables. First, we pickled carrots in a Japanese farmhouse style, with rice wine vinegar, spices, and shiso. Orange bell peppers and organic locally-grown tomatoes rounded out the vegetable platter. Accompanying the vegetables was a dip prepared with fresh edamame, chipotle peppers, and roasted onions.

Sweet potatoes are orange... and the perfect topping for a northern Italian-inspired pizza. We started with a whole-wheat crust, which we topped with a roasted garlic bechamel and fontina cheese. Rosemary-infused roasted pears and sweet potatoes, with a dusting of Parmigiano-Regianno cheese completed these crispy and sweet pizzas.

Japanese kabocha squash is a delightfully firm and flavorful member of the squash family. Firmer than acorn squash, and more complex than pumpkin, the kabocha is a perfect squash for marinating and grilling. Continuing a Japanese theme, we marinated the squash in white miso for earthy salty flavor, molasses for sweetness, and spices. Once grilled, the squash caramelized, bringing the natural sweetness forward to be complemented by the smokey molasses flavors.

Shrimp marinated and grilled in apricots and curry was a beautiful centerpiece of the buffet. Succulent and sweet shrimp, grilled and skewered, presented exotic curry flavors while maintaining a deliciously sweet (and orange) appearance due to the apricots. Flanking the shrimp are baby squid braised in dry Spanish wine and smoked paprika.

Next on our buffet was chicken breast slow-braised in orange juice and sherry, cooked with orange-brined green olives, fennel, and orange peppers. The meat-- tender and infused with the orange-sherry braising liquid-- was the perfect foil to the acidic olives and earthy fennel.

Wild mushroom and Pumpkin risotto cakes-- crispy on the outside and molten on the inside-- were a crowd favorite. Starting with locally grown mushrooms and sugar pumpkins, we prepared a deliciously creamy risotto infused with fresh thyme and sage. Pan fried, these risotto cakes were served with an autumn fruit chutney-- highlighting locally grown apples and pears, chili peppers, and a variety of dried fruits. Sweet and somewhat spicy, the chutney was an appropriate foil to the richness of the risotto cakes.

Chicken and vegetable gyoza (pan-fried dumplings prepared in a Japanese style), were served with a soy, orange, and sesame dipping sauce. One thing is for sure, no matter what party we serve these at, they go fast!

Thinking about foods that are orange, we realized that salmon (and particularly smoked salmon) is generally a vibrant orange color. To serve our smoked salmon, we hand-rolled and baked biscuits rich with goat cheese and cracked tellicherry pepper. On each biscuit we spread some dill butter, on which we served the Norwegian smoked salmon. Pretty and delicious!

An orenji favorite-- and one of our most frequently requested items-- are our rosemary and white wine poached apricots stuffed with gorgonzola cheese and applewood smoked bacon. These little gems are all at once sweet, salty, smokey, acidic, and rich. Bite-sized, they are a perfect appetizer for any festive holiday gathering!

Thai curry marinated pork tenderloin was grilled to perfection-- caramelized and charred on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. Served with an orange and curry reduction, this meat was delicious-- fiery spicy and sweet.

Having reviewed our savory buffet offerings, we will next turn our attention to "setting the stage" for the buffet through decorations. Come back to see what we came up with!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Seeing the World in Chocolate...

We turn our attention to chocolate today... a selection of Orenji's recently prepared chocolates and truffles. This "sampler" of chocolates, each hand-crafted, was as delicious as it was beautiful. Here at Orenji, we only use the finest Belgian chocolates and organic ingredients. This attention to detail and careful selection of ingredients is evident in taste, texture, and appearance.

Starting on the left, we have smooth sea salt caramels--prepared with Hawaiian red sea salt, enrobed in smooth bittersweet chocolate and topped with a sprinkle of salt. The salty-sweet combination is a perfect balance in the mouth-- neither overly sweet nor salty. This may be our favorite confection!

Next, our Gianduja Crisp-- a crispy layer of hazelnut praline, topped with smooth Gianduja (hazelnut milk chocolate) truffle, enrobed in bittersweet chocolate and topped with a toasted hazelnut. Rich and deep in flavor, these chocolates transport the eater to Europe... if only for a moment!

Third from the left, a creamy and smooth Milk Chocolate and Caramel Truffle with Toasted Coconut. The crunchy coconut adds a textural contrast to these deliciously meltable truffles!

Third from the right, a Bittersweet Chocolate and Peanut Butter truffle-- the bitterness of the chocolate and the sweetness of the peanut butter melding perfectly to create a balanced gustatory experience.
Next, our frequently requested Milk Chocolate & Garam Masala truffle-- sweet, smooth milk chocolate combined with the smoky Indian spice mixture redolent with cardamom and curry. These truffles have to be tasted to be believed!
Above the truffles, our signature Orenji Orange Slices-- milk and dark chocolates loaded with finely chopped hand-candied orange peel. These are the perfect combination of chocolate and orange!
The last truffle, on the right, is a dark Bittersweet Chocolate truffle infused with espresso, and rolled in ground cocoa nibs. These truffles are perfect for the most discerning dark chocolate lovers. Not too sweet, they can be paired with a bold red wine, glass of port, or strong coffee.

With such variety, how does one choose which to sample first? The only solution is that one must try them all!

We love chocolate, here at Orenji. We love experimenting with flavor combinations and infusions. It's only a matter of time until we try something new... so you will have to keep checking back to see our progress in the Orenji test kitchen!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sweet Fortune's Latest Variety!

Sweet Fortune is Orenji's line of hand-crafted chocolates with exotic truffle fillings. Shaped like fortune cookies, these chocolates are a wonderful gift for the adventurous food-lover in your life!

Previous flavors in the Sweet Fortune line include:

*White Chocolate with Matcha Green Tea & Cardamom Truffle Filling
*Bittersweet Chocolate with Gianduja (Italian Hazelnut Milk Chocolate) Truffle Filling
*Milk Chocolate with White Chocolate & Lavender Truffle Filling
* Bittersweet Chocolate with Earl Grey Tea & Milk Chocolate Truffle Filling

We are pleased to announce that a new variety has joined the Sweet Fortune family:

* Bittersweet Chocolate with Chili Pepper, Mexican Cinnamon, and Smoked Sea Salt Truffle Filling

Dark, bitter, and smokey in flavor, these chocolates are perfect enjoyed with a glass of red wine, or savored on their own. The subtle heat of the chili, paired with the sweetness of cinnamon and smoky sea salt creates a complex flavor profile on the tongue. Exotic and interesting, we're certain you'll enjoy these confections!
Topped with smooth Belgian white chocolate and sprinkled with Mexican cinnamon, these gems are packaged in an eye-catching take-out container. Perfect for holiday gift-giving!

Tomorrow, a look at some more of Orenji's hand-crafted chocolates. We encourage you to come back and visit!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trick or Treat: Orenji Halloween Treats (part 2)

Our review of Orenji's 2008 Halloween treats resumes, with a look at some delightfully ghoulish hand-molded chocolates. The finest Belgian bittersweet chocolate enrobes a smooth toasted coconut and caramel filling. Shaped like pumpkins, these eye-catching sweets capture the holiday perfectly!

We also prepared pumpkins filled with a variety of fillings, including white chocolate pumpkins with pumpkin truffle filling. Wonderfully smooth and rich, these delicate molded chocolates disappear!

Another of Orenji's most popular and frequently requested items was available for Halloween. In this case, a Halloween "tea party..." Earl Grey Tea infused Madeleines with Lemon Icing are light and refreshing, while carrying the smooth and smokey undertones of tea. These teacakes are the perfect ending to a meal!

Lastly, Orenji's Hawaiian sea-salt caramels enrobed in Milk Chocolate are always a sure crowd pleaser! These confections are perfect for any occasion!

Tomorrow we turn our attention to a new variety of Orenji's line of Sweet Fortune chocolates. You don't want to miss this!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Trick or Treat: Orenji Halloween Treats!

Orenji's Halloween this year was filled with treats (and just a few tricks, as well!) We created a number of delicious Halloween-themed goodies, which we will discuss in this post...

A new addition to the Orenji repertoire was our most popular Halloween item this year (and we anticipate the same for Thanksgiving!). Dense and fudge-like bittersweet chocolate brownies, swirled with creamy spiced pumpkin cheesecake create a rich and memorable snack or conclusion to any meal. Decorated with festive Halloween sugar sprinkles, these brownies are as eye-catching as delicious!

Despite being so rich, we bet you can't stop with just one of these delightful creations!

Our popular brown sugar caramel brownies with milk chocolate, toasted coconut, and macadamia nuts were baked into the shapes of sunflowers, and decorated with smooth Belgian bittersweet chocolate. Chewy on the outside and moist and flavorful on the inside, these brownies remain one of our most frequently requested items!

Packaged by the half dozen, they make the perfect gift... if you can part with them yourself!

More Orenji Halloween creations coming tomorrow. Check back, if you dare!