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Posts Tagged ‘lemon’

Green beans with lemon

This is a Nigella Lawson recipe that she recommends for Thanksgiving but we like it with roast chicken (and lots of other things) in the summer months. It’s easy to scale down for smaller numbers. We like our beans well-done – no squeaky, al-dente beans for us please.

Green Beans with Lemon – serves 8 to 10

  • 1kg fine green beans, topped and tailed (there’s always a debate in our house over whether or not to leave the curly tails on)
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon (to prepare cut a slice of each end, then cut downwards to remove the skin and pith, then slice)

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add plenty of salt to the boiling water, then add the beans and cook until tender (start checking after about 6 minutes).

Drain the beans and put the pot back over the heat with the butter and a few drops of olive oil. Add the lemon slices, and any juice on the board, to the butter. Stir well and add the beans.

Turn the beans over in the lemony butter. Add some sea salt and lots of freshly ground white pepper (black pepper will do fine if that’s what you have).

(Original recipe from Feast by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2004.)

 

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Greek Lemon roast chicken

Sooo delicious! We never tire of variations on a roast chicken dinner and the potatoes are the best bit here which doesn’t take away from the delicious chicken! This variation has been made multiple times in our kitchen which says something as we’re always trying something new.

You need to roast chicken for 20 minutes at 190C/375F/gas 5 for each 500g, plus an extra 10 minutes.

Wine Suggestion: a rich white is the business with chicken, and Chardonnay is the usual go-to variety. For this dish, however, we’ve successfully opened oaked Godello from Spain, the Dominio de Tares Bierzo; and an oaked Alvarinho from Portugal, the Soalheiro Alvarinho Reserva. Both brought delicious nuances to the chicken and are really worth seeking out.

Greek lemon roast chicken with potatoes & oregano

  • 2.2kg chicken
  • 4 lemons
  • bay leaves
  • 2 large red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1kg small waxy potatoes, halved
  • 2 heads of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.

Season the outside and the cavity of the chicken. Put half a lemon and a few bay leaves inside and place in a very large roasting tin.

Drizzle some olive oil over the skin, squeeze over the other lemon half and roast for about 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Cut 2 of the lemons into wedges and put in a bowl with the onions, potatoes and garlic cloves. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper, ½ tbsp dried oregano and the juice of half a lemon. Toss everything together until well coated.

45 minutes before the roasting time is up, put the vegetables around the chicken, sprinkle another 2 tsps of oregano over the top and return to the oven.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

 

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Lemon, Prawn & Parsley Spaghetti

We try to keep a bag of frozen raw prawns in the freezer as they always feel like a special treat. This is good if you fancy a special treat on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…

Wine Suggestion: to match this dish you can’t go wrong with a good Albariño (Spain) / Alvarinho (Portugal). What you need to look for is a bit of body as some are just a bit thin; the best have a real depth of flavour along with vibrant freshness. Perfect for the prawns and lemon.

Lemon & Parsley Spaghetti with Prawns – serves 2

  • 175g spaghetti
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 140g large raw peeled prawns, thawed if frozen
  • zest & juice 1 lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Cook the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the prawns and fry quickly until pink all over.

Add the lemon zest and juice, parsley, 2 tbsp of the pasta cooking water and salt and pepper, then heat through.

Drain the spaghetti, add to the pan, then toss it all together.

Serve with lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Salmon Tartare

A perfect starter for the festive season. Get the freshest and best salmon you can as it will make all the difference; ours was meltingly tender while cutting it up and we were rewarded with a melt in the mouth starter.

Wine suggestion: Try an appropriately festive and indulgent Vintage Champagne like the Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blanc which has a richness and depth alongside a minerally freshness and great purity of fruit. Alternately if on a budget, but another classic match, would be a zippy and herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc or for a bit of a lemony twist a Verdejo from Rueda in Spain.

Smoky salmon tartare with lemon and capers – serves 6

  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges
  • 400g skinless salmon fillet
  • 200g smoked salmon
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp small capers
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • olive oil
  • melba toast, to serve

Put the shallot into the lemon juice and leave to soak.

Cut the salmon into tiny cubes and finely chop the smoked salmon. Put all of the fish into a bowl, add the dill, capers, mustard, crème fraîche, 1 tbsp olive oil and the shallot and juice. Fold together gently and season with salt and black pepper.

Serve in rounds with the melba toast and a drizzle of olive oil.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, December 2014)

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Meatballs with Broad Beans & Lemon

Delicious meatballs with a real summery feel. Use fresh broad beans if you can get them but frozen will work just as well. You can prepare this dish in advance and just reheat before serving.

Wine Suggestion: The trick with this dish is to make sure the wine is medium bodied so a lighter red with ripe (not dry) tannins would work a treat. An easy and uncomplicated shiraz cabernet blend from Australia or a nice Pinot Noir would work a treat. Alternately a medium bodied white like a good Verdicchio is a great option too. We drank the Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Verdicchio which matched the dish perfectly with good depth of fruit and a great minerality which  allowed the food and wine to shine equally.

Beef Meatballs with Broad Beans & Lemon – serves 4

  • 4½ tbsp olive oil
  • 350g broad beans, fresh or frozen
  • 4 whole thyme sprigs
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 8 spring onions, cut at an angle into 2cm lengths
  • 2½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • salt and black pepper

MEATBALLS:

  • 300g minced beef
  • 150g minced lamb
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 120g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp each chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint, dill and coriander; plus ½ tbsp extra of each to finish
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp baharat spice mix (apparently you can buy this or you can use the recipe below*)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp capers, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten

Put all the meatball ingredients into a large bowl. Add ¾ tsp of salt and lots of black pepper and mix well with your hands. Form into ping-pong sized balls (you should get about 20).

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a very large frying pan with a lid. Sear half the meatballs over a medium heat, turning until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Remove, add another ½ tbsp olive oil to the pan and cook the other batch of meatballs. Remove from the pan and wipe clean.

While the meatballs are cooking, put the broad beans into a pot of salted boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Remove the skins from half the broad beans.

Heat the rest of the olive oil in the pan you seared the meatballs in. Add the thyme, garlic and spring onion and sauté over a medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the unshelled broad beans, 1½ tbsp of the lemon juice, 80ml of the stock, ¼ tsp of salt and lots of black pepper. The beans should be almost covered with liquid. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.

Return the meatballs to the pan. Add the rest of the stock, cover the pan and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the sauce is very runny you can remove the lid and reduce a bit. The meatballs will soak up a lot of the juice so make sure you have plenty of sauce left. You can leave the meatballs off the heat now until ready to serve.

Just before serving, reheat the meatballs and add a little water, if needed, to get enough sauce. Add the rest of the herbs and tablespoon of lemon juice, the shelled broad beans and stir very gently.

Serve with basmati rice.

*Baharat Spice Mix – 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 small cinnamon stick – roughly chopped, ½ tsp whole cloves, ½ tsp ground allspice, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 1tsp cardamom pods, ½ a whole nutmeg grated. Blend all the spices in a grinder or pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder. Store in an airtight jar.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)

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Roast Sweet Potatoes with lemon & paprika

This is a great accompaniment for roast chicken and we love the lemon wedges which add a wonderful freshness and impart a hint of caramelisation to the flavour mix.

Roast sweet potato with lemon, red onion & paprika – serves 6

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges and seeds removed
  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp Spanish sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

Add the sweet potatoes to a saucepan of boiling water and parboil for a couple of minutes. Drain and transfer to a large roasting tin with the lemons, onions, unpeeled garlic cloves and bay leaves.

Mix the paprika, chilli powder, thyme, mustard and oil in a small bowl. Pour over the veg, season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.

Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the sweet potato is tender and golden brown.

(Original recipe from Leiths How to Cook, Quadrille, 2013.)

 

 

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Easy lemon meringue pie

An easy version of this dish that uses digestive biscuits as a base, but doesn’t lose anything in the eating. The filling doesn’t have to be cooked either. We made this for our friend Dave on his birthday.

Lemon Meringue Pie 

For the base:

  • 175g digestive biscuits
  • 75g butter

For the filling: 

  • 397g can full-fat condensed milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • finely grated rind and juice of 3 lemons

For the topping: 

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 175g caster sugar

You need a 20cm deep fluted flan dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC/Fan 170ºC/Gas 5.

Put the  biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in a pan, then take off the heat and stir in the crushed biscuits. Press into the flan dish and leave to set in the fridge. (You can do this bit a day or two in advance.)

Pour the condensed milk into a bowl, then beat in the egg yolks, lemon rind and lemon juice (don’t worry about the mixture thickening on standing and loosening again when you stir it). Pour the mixture into the biscuit-lined dish. (You can mix this filling, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 8 hours before baking).

Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add the sugar, a teaspoon at a time, whisking well each time. Whisk until very stiff and all the sugar has been added.

Pile spoonfuls of the meringue over the filling, then spread to cover to the biscuit edge, lightly swirling as you go.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light brown. Leave to cool for about 30 minutes, then serve warm.

(Original recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, BBC Books, 2009.)

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