English Lemon Curd

WIN_20160303_144850After spending several days making batch after batch of magnificent French macarons, we have lots of leftover egg yolks in the refrigerator! Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we don’t waste ingredients. We considered making pasta with our egg yolks, but our sweet tooth won instead… English Lemon Curd is the winner! Sweet and tangy, silky and scrumptious, the English were sure onto a good thing when they thought to cook egg yolks, lemon, sugar, and butter into a delicious spread. Enjoy English Lemon Curd on scones, or as a filling in individual fruit tarts.

WIN_20160303_134623We’re using sweet, thin skinned little Meyer lemons today, because they are in season and steeply discounted at the market. If the larger, more common lemons are more economical where you live, no worries. Any lemons will work in this recipe. Please don’t use margarine, however… English Lemon Curd requires real butter.

Let’s get started!

WIN_20160303_140743Ingredients (Makes about 2 cups) Continue reading

Lemon Peeps Pie

WIN_20160325_113521I began today’s kitchen adventures with every intention of making a lemon meringue pie. I had a few beautiful little Meyer lemons to use up, and a ready-to-bake pie crust (no apologies) in my fridge. When I got to the part where I should have beat egg whites into meringue, I got to thinking…

It’s almost Easter…

Marshmallow is sort of like meringue…

and those little Peeps chicks are cute!

So, here we are. Lemon Peeps Pie is lemony, marshmallowy, cute, and delicious. Have a sense of humor, and have a Happy Easter!

WIN_20160325_110948Ingredients (Serves 8)

1 baked pie crust (follow directions on a refrigerated crust, or buy a pie crust from the baking aisle at the market)

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons corn starch Continue reading

Spiced Lemon Blueberry Bread

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Not too sweet, Spiced Lemon Blueberry Bread is lovely enjoyed with fresh butter over afternoon tea. This recipe makes excellent use of preserved lemons (a link to that recipe is provided below). If you don’t have preserved lemons, you can mimic the flavor in this recipe by substituting 1 tablespoon lemon juice + 1 teaspoon lemon zest + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf)

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup applesauce

3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

2 tablespoons preserved lemons, rinsed and finely diced

WIN_20160124_133922Directions

Step 1) Grease loaf pan well and coat with flour.  Set aside.

Step 2) Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.

Step 3) Combine egg, milk, and applesauce in a separate bowl and mix well.

Step 4) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until moistened.  Don’t get carried away… it’s OK if the batter is a little bit lumpy!

Step 5) Gently fold in blueberries.  Save a dozen blueberries for the next step.

Step 6) Transfer batter to loaf pan. Sprinkle top with a bit of sugar and a few extra blueberries if desired.

Step 7) Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Cool and enjoy!

Lemon Garlic Stir-Fry

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Lemon Garlic Stir-Fry with Eggplant and Mushrooms

American cooks, it seems, are in the unfortunate habit of using powerful flavors sparingly. One clove of garlic, a bit of lemon zest, a pinch of this and a dash of that… today we’re throwing that habit right out the window and making lemon and garlic the centerpiece of a meal. Yes, the quantities in the recipe are correct. Yes, we’re really using a whole lemon, peel and all. Yes, it’s delicious. Still not convinced? Start cooking, and see how long it takes for folks within sniffing distance to wander into the kitchen, happily inquiring “Wow – What’s for dinner?”

WIN_20150328_130622Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 small, whole lemon, washed and sliced into small pieces (do not peel)

WIN_20150328_1309372 cups eggplant, sliced thin (do not peel)

2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Directions

Step 1) Saute garlic in olive oil over medium WIN_20150328_131202heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add lemon and saute for an additional minute.

Step 2) Add eggplant and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 3) Add soy sauce and mushrooms. Cook for a final 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

WIN_20150328_131554Step 4) Serve over hot cooked rice. Garnish with a sprinkle of chili powder.

Moroccan-Inspired Lemon Chicken

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Remember those Moroccan-Inspired Preserved Lemons we made not too long ago?  Well, go get a jar, because we’re going to put them to good use here!  If you don’t have preserved lemons, I’ll walk you through a pretty good substitute using a fresh lemon, below.  The taste of preserved lemons can’t be duplicated exactly, but just about any combination of lemon and chicken is darn good.

picture692Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6)

1 fresh, whole chicken, cut into pieces

1/2 cup preserved lemons, rinsed*

1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

*Alternatively, use the zest and the “insides” (juice and pulp) of a whole, organic lemon – everything except the seeds and the thick white pith underneath the zest.  Also, only if you are using a fresh lemon, add 1 teaspoon of salt to the puree.

Directions

Step 1) Place lemon, garlic, olive oil, and peppercorns in a small blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth.

picture694Step 2) Score each piece of chicken several times with a sharp knife.

Step 3) Generously rub each piece of chicken with the lemon puree and set in a pan.  Sprinkle with torn bay leaves (optional) and whole cloves (optional).  Bay leaves and cloves should be removed before baking.

Step 4) Pour any remaining lemon puree over your pan of chicken, cover with foil, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but no more than 24 hours.

Step 5) Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking, and rearrange chicken so that it can bake in a single layer.

picture698Step 6) Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the meat (but not against a bone!) reads 165 degrees.  Tip:  I bake the smaller pieces (wings, drumsticks) on a their own pan, as these pieces are usually ready to come out of the oven at least 10 minutes before the larger pieces (breasts, thighs).

Serve with a salad and your choice of sides.  I’ll show you my choice of a side dish in my next post!