Posts Tagged lemon

Smoked Salmon Supreme Plate

LoxThis is one of those appetizer plates that could easily turn into a meal if you let it. It’s spectacular when you’re too damned lazy to cook, or when you’re watching the Red Sox march to the World Series (which they are this year), or when you’re watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead.

It’s fairly simple to assemble. You do not need to smoke your own salmon. Smoked sockeye salmon is readily available (and sliced perfectly for this dish) at your local supermarket. Everything else you need for this, in my opinion, is stuff a well-stocked kitchen should have.

Serve it with your favorite wine. People will tell you that it should be a white wine, but what if you don’t really like white wine? I hate food and drink rules, frankly. Drink whatever the hell wine you want.

For serving, you need a long platter. I still have the one that my mother used when we were kids.

Ingredients

1 pkg of smoked sockeye salmon

4 tbsp capers

Lemon juice (for drizzling)

Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

2-3 tbsp freeze-dried dill (Litehouse makes a great product)

Bunch of asparagus, blanched

Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper (to taste)

Baby arugula

Directions

This is mostly an assembly project, folks. However, the first thing you need to do is trim off the hard (whiter) ends of the asparagus and discard them. Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil, place the asparagus in and just blanch them until they are tender enough to eat. Don’t allow them to become limp. Drain the asparagus and run it under very cold water. Set aside.

Line the long serving plate with a layer of baby arugula, one of the eight wonders of the foodie world.

The smoked salmon is generally layered in the package in stages. You want to spread them out a bit more, but leave them in layers, so that all of the slices can benefit for the olive oil and lemon drizzle. Place them atop the arugula on the long serving plate. Then, place the blanched asparagus along the sides.

Drizzle everything with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice, and salt and pepper (to taste). Sprinkle dill on top and add the capers. Remember to drizzle and sprinkle the asparagus as well.

I recommend serving this with Triscuits, and I prefer the olive oil and cracked pepper Triscuits. Simple and delicious.

Remember that this recipe is simple to double up on as well.

 

 

 

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Lemon Berry Trifle

Lemon Berry TrifleI don’t eat many sweets, but this is one I could not resist. When Bill made this for one of our cookouts, Susan and I ate the leftovers for breakfast for several days after. There are two key elements that make this so amazing. One is the lemon curd. The other is using Limoncello. (And here I thought only of using Limoncello in my Lemon Drop Martinis! Who knew?)

Of course, the pound cake is important as well. There are any number of great lemon pound cake recipes out there already, so I won’t bore you with that. Just remember one important thing if you bake your own: You’re not going to glaze it.

Ingredients

6 egg yolks

1 cup of sugar

4 lemons, zested and juiced

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 pint each fresh strawberries (cut in half), fresh blueberries and fresh blackberries

2 cups of whipping cream

1 lemon pound cake, sliced

1/4 cup Limoncello

1 cup (1/2 pint) of cold heavy cream

3 tbs sugar

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Fresh mint leaves (for garnish)

About a dozen fresh, whole strawberries (for the top)

Directions

Making the Lemon Curd

Combine the sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice and lemon zest in a glass, heat-resistant bowl.

Whisk vigorously over a simmering pot of water until the curd has doubled in volume and becomes very thick and yellow. This will take about 10-15 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat and then whisk in the butter.

Cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Making the Whipped Cream

Whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. When it begins to thicken, add sugar and vanilla.

Whip until stiff peaks form.

Place in the refrigerator.

Assembling the Trifle

Mix the berries in a bowl.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd to lighten it.

Line the bottom of a trifle bowl with pieces of the lemon pound cake. Brush the cake with Limoncello.

Add a layer of lemon curd, and then add a layer of the berries.

Repeat the process until all of the ingredients are used.

Finish the masterpiece with berries on top (remember to use the whole strawberries on the top of the trifle). Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Chill for at least one hour before serving.

 

 

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Boatload-o-Garlic Wings

3-LB.-PEELED-BAG-copy-copyThis is undoubtedly one of my all-time favorite recipes. No joke: You’ll need about 40 whole garlic cloves for this one. If you’re smart (and I know you are because you read this blog), you’ll buy the container of peeled whole garlic cloves that they sell at most supermarkets. It’s pretty inexpensive and saves you a ton of labor and aggravation.

There are two good reasons for using this many garlic cloves. The first is, of course, because of the amazing flavor it imparts on the wings. Secondly, you’re going to serve these wings with some great crusty bread and spread the garlic right on it.

Ingredients

2.5 lbs party wings (these are already trimmed and separated at the joint; much easier)

40 peeled, whole garlic cloves

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Dried thyme (to taste)

Dried rosemary (to taste)

Sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper (to taste)

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Place the chicken wings in a roasting pan. Add the 40 garlic cloves. Drizzle the olive oil over the contents of the roasting pan. Sprinkle liberally with thyme, rosemary, sea salt and black pepper. Cover the contents of the roasting pan with the thinly sliced lemon.

Roast for 20 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is no longer pink, in a preheated 425 degree oven. Prior to serving, switch the oven to broil and broil for about 10 minutes.

Serve the wings in a serving plate with the garlic separate in a pile. Be sure to serve with either crusty Italian or French bread.

Place the wings in a roasting pan.

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Chicken Marengo

boneless-skinless-chicken-thighs1You know, there are always “stories” surrounding food. With this dish, rumor has it that Napoleon Bonaparte’s chef made this dish for him after the battle of Marengo. I don’t necessarily know if this story is true, because I’ve always thought of this as a Spanish dish. What I do know that this is utterly delicious. What makes it utterly delicious are the many layers of flavor.

Most of the Chicken Marengo recipes out there call for boneless breast of chicken. Again, I prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs simply because the meat is so moist. However, you will see that I have given you the option when you get to the recipe portion of this post.

I have served this over white rice, and over noodles. However, I recommend you try it over Israeli Couscous. Aside from salting the couscous, there isn’t any flavor you really need to add to it. There is plenty of flavor in the Chicken Marengo itself.

Ingredients

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 3 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes, drained (I love to use the Del Monte with mild chilis in this dish)

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 medium Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced

1/2 large red pepper, seeds removed and cut in strips

1 cup Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and cut in strips

1 cup frozen petite peas

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp Kosher or sea salt

1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh thyme, removed from stems

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 tbsp capers

Directions

Put the olive oil in a deep skillet and add the onion and red pepper strips, cooking until the onions are just translucent. Then add the chicken. If you’re using thighs, put them in whole. These will be easy to break up in to pieces a bit later in the cooking process. If using chicken breast, make sure you have cut them into bite-sized pieces. Cook the chicken on until slightly browned.

Once the chicken has browned, add the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, wine, salt and pepper, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 45 minutes.

While this is cooking, put the butter, lemon and mushrooms in a smaller skillet, and sauté the mushrooms until just tender. Remove from the heat and set aside. You can also measure out the frozen petite peas and set them aside.

After about 45 minutes, break up the chicken thighs. Add the mushrooms, peas, cilantro and capers. Give it a stir. Cook for about another 12-15 minutes, or until the peas are just tender.

Remove the bay leaf, and serve over Israeli couscous (my preference), rice or wide noodles.

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Crab Cakes With a Bite

Lump Crab CakesI love crab cakes, and these crab cakes pack a bit of a punch. You’ll need lump crab meat for this. You can either buy it in the can, or buy it from the seafood section of your local food store. Either way, be sure to pick through it and remove any stray shells that may have escaped the watchful eye of those who manufacture it.

It’s important that this mixture not come out like mush. The idea is to mix everything together loosely, adding the breadcrumbs and cilantro last.

These crab cakes are great with a simple lemon aioli (recipe provided here), and can be served with our Not Your Everyday Coleslaw.

Ingredients

1 lb lump crab meat

1 egg, beaten

1 cup light mayonnaise

1-1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup diced red onions

1.5 tsp Dijon mustard

1.5 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup Canola oil

Directions

Loosely mix together all of the ingredients, with the exception of the panko bread crumbs and cilantro. The idea is not to make it mushy. Add the bread crumbs and cilantro after the initial mixing.

Refrigerate the mixture for at least three hours.

When you’re ready to cook, add the 1/4 cup of Canola oil to a skillet and heat on medium-high. Form the crab cakes and cook on both sides until browned and crispy. This will probably take about 6 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and put on a dish lined with paper towels to drain.

Serve with a simple lemon aioli (recipe below)

Lemon Aioli

I love lemon aioli. This one, like the crab cakes, packs a punch. This is mostly due to the addition of an ingredient called Vulcan’s Fire Salt. This stuff is amazing. I stock it in my kitchen. I buy mine from The Spice House. You cannot find it in the spice section of your local supermarket.

Ingredients

3/4 cup light mayonnaise

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp grated lemon rind

1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

1 tbsp fresh chopped chives

1/4 tsp Vulcan’s Fire Salt

Directions

This is a very simple recipe. Mix all ingredients together. Put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.

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