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Posts Tagged ‘lemon’

 

This is a fabulous dish to start off the New Year in the kitchen.  Lemon juice and zest add a tangy brightness to the fresh asparagus and sweet shrimp.  There’s a little bit of grated parmesan cheese and butter for creamy richness. And, the white wine and minced onion yield a great depth of flavor.  The recipe, from the venerated archives of Gourmet Magazine, gives a good reminder: “the rice should be creamy and tender but still al dente — like the consistency of a thick soup.”   Solid guidance that led to a perfect outcome this time around!

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Like lemon?  Then you’ll love these zesty and moist cakes with a sweet lemon glaze. Perfect for a brunch, picnic, or taking to the office to share.  The eggy cake batter includes 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon zest, which gives a hint of tang on the inside.  But it’s the double dose of lemon on the outside that really puts these over the top:  shortly after taking the cakes out out of the oven, you drizzle a sweet lemon syrup on top, allowing the liquid to soak in.  Later, you frost the tops with a creamy lemon glaze.   Adapted from Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe here.

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Salmon

 Fresh dill. Lemon. Garlic. White wine.  A simple but delicious combination for a quick and easy weeknight poached salmon.

While the steelhead filets marinated a bit (they don’t take long to poach), I devoted my energy to swirling arborio rice over medium heat, infusing the grains with lemon, garlic, onion and chicken stock.  Then I added blanched asparagus, diced yellow bell pepper, lemon zest and a dash of freshly grated parmesean cheese.

 Risotto

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lemonoreganochic

It may not look like much from the picture, but these are some flavor-charged chicken thighs!  Lots of fresh minced garlic, the juice of two lemons, salt/pepper, olive oil and a heaping teaspoon of oregano.  These succulent chicken appendages were seared over high heat for a couple minutes before being roasted in the oven with the marinade juices on top. Definitely try this springy citrus-herb combo for your next marinade, and if you wouldn’t normally go for the chicken thighs, give ’em a try.  They’re usually cheaper than the breasts and much juicier and tastier.

I served these over white rice with the pan-roasted brussel sprouts and carrots on the side.

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dinnerplate

After a week of rich holiday eating – beef roasts, honey hams, and stuffed turkeys – there’s nothing like a simple piece of pan-roasted fish complemented with light, citrusy sides dishes. These fresh cod fillets were lightly floured, seasoned and browned in olive oil creating a crispy outer layer around the moist, mild and flaky fish.

cod

A warm medley of wilted raddichio, white beans and sautèed celery, leeks and garlic is tossed with a delicious lemon-herb vinaigrette full of fresh chopped parsley.  Finish off your presentation with a drizzle of the vinaigrette on top of the crispy cod.  Delightful!

radicchio

The lemon-herb sauce is adapted from New York’s Union Square Cafè cookbook.

Union Square Cafè lemon vinaigrette for cod, raddichio and white bean entrèe
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

celeryleeks

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orgpudcake

At this time of year, grocery store produce aisles are stocked with mounds of bright orange navel oranges and tangerines. The citrusy fruit inspired this take on a soufflé, which is delicately cakey and firm on top and creamy and custard-like on the bottom. The flavor is incredibly light, with a hint of sweetness and citrus from orange and lemon juices and zest.

This is not a difficult preparation, but it does take about 45 minutes to bake in a hot water bath. If you’re not familiar with that technique, the water keeps the heat gentle and oven moisture level high, preventing cracking in the soufflé.  You simply put your filled pan in a larger pan and add enough water to reach halfway up the side of the smaller pan. (Recipe: Gourmet, Dec. 2008)

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One of the first “gourmet” entrees my mom taught me how to make is chicken piccata. I remember her extolling the ease of preparation and suitability for a one-person meal, and how right she was! I have fond memories of making it several times when I was living alone in London and cooking for myself regularly for the first time. Makes great leftovers.

The flavors are very light and tasty – a good summer meal. And one of the things I love most about this dish is the tangy lemon-caper sauce.

Start by tenderizing two or three chicken breasts by pounding them out to a quarter-inch thickness between two sheets of wax paper. Then, season with salt and pepper before dredging in flour and shaking off the excess. Lightly fry the cutlets in one tablespoon of oil over medium high heat, about three minutes per side.

Then the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pan and add half a cup of chicken stock, fourth a cup of white wine, fourth a cup of lemon juice and a fourth cup of drained capers. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce by half. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen brown bits from the chicken for extra flavor. I also season with salt and pepper to taste.

After about two or three minutes, remove sauce from the heat. Plate the chicken and pour sauce on top, garnishing with fresh chopped Italian parsley.

-Devin

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