My Meyer lemon trees are once again overloaded with plump and juicy lemons. I give a lot away, but I keep a lot too. One of my favorite things to make is Meyer lemon curd.
Although I find the name unfortunate (curd doesn’t roll off the tongue, it plummets) the finished product is rich, sweet, tangy and buttery. Perfect for a cake filling, or a pie filling, or spread on a scone or eaten off a spoon.
I’ve posted the recipe on my Mom.me page, so click here to get it.
I think of these as adult cookies. Not that children will not like them, but the flavor is one to have with a cup of coffee or tea, not Kool-Aid. Meyer Lemon-Rosemary Bars are citrusy, floral and herbal, buttery rich and sweet cookies.
Once again, I begin with Master Cookie Dough, that ultra versatile butter cookie that seems to lend itself to so many variations. Cinnamon sugar, Nutella, coconut and chocolate, peppermint. It truly is the one cookie dough to have handy in the freezer should you need to whip up a couple dozen cookies on the fly.
Recipe: Meyer Lemon-Rosemary Bars
2 cups Master Cookie Dough
1 teaspoon fine Meyer lemon zest (preferably with a microplane zester)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Heat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9 X 9 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving the edges long so they can be used to pick up the baked bar.
In a small bowl, using clean hands knead the lemon zest and rosemary into the cookie dough.
Press the cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the baking pan.
Bake the cookie bar for 13 – 15 minutes, until baked through and light golden brown on top.
Grasping the parchment, carefully lift the bar out of the pan and place onto a cooling rack.
Let the cookie bar cool completely.
When cooled, remove the parchment and trim the edges from the bar.
Cut the bar in into 1 inch strips, then cut each strip in half, forming a rectangular bar.
Little bites of sunshine. That’s what these tasty mini gems are. Little bites of sunshine in your mouth. Sweet/tart organic Meyer lemon curd, buttery puff pastry and a burst of berry sweetness. Bliss. These are a sweet treat for a brunch or cocktail party. Their small size makes them easy to hold in one hand while you hold a lovely glass of champagne in the other! At least, that’s the way I would do it. I used my usual Organic Meyer Lemon Curd recipe, but I am not going to judge if you use a good quality store bought lemon curd. This recipe is all about easy. I always buy frozen puff pastry sheets, which are widely available in the dessert section of most supermarkets. I have made puff pastry by hand before while in culinary school, and lets just say that will never happen again! Ever. If you are not familiar with working with puff pastry, Pepperidge Farms has a great website with recipes and tutorials all about puff pastry.
Gas grills are for wusses. Oh all right, that’s not really true, but I have been a charcoal grill user since day one. Way back in the stone ages when I was a child, my father was the king of the Weber kettle in the backyard, cooking up burgers and hot dogs and chicken and hot links for all! Inside the house, mom would handle the baked beans and potato salad.
And where would little Cheryl be? Outside helping dad with the grilling, which meant being a go-fer girl when he needed something. I told you he was the king, and I was a mere servant girl. Although a servant girl would imply that I was being paid, and lord knows that was not the case! But I learned how to start the charcoal, how to spread the coals and how to grill.
Grilling over hardwood coals imparts the best flavor in my opinion, which you just don’t get with a gas grill. Of course, this is not to say I would never own a gas grill. I can imagine they come in handy, since you do not have to wait for the coals to be ready. In fact, I have been lusting over this Combination Gas-Charcoal Grill from Char-Broil. But I am happy still grilling on my father’s trusty Weber kettle grill. And I plan on teaching my daughter the proper way to BBQ, when she is old enough.
I recently agreed to write a guest post on the grilling blog over at Outdoor Gourmet, a great website that sells grilling planks, wraps and other accessories to make your grilling experience delicious. When you grill your foods on a wood plank, it stays moist and the wood imparts a subtle flavor.
The planks were soaked in water, although I bet you could soak them in other liquids to impart even more flavor. Of course anything highly flammable would probably not be a good idea. You know, something like 151 proof rum.
I like to buy my salmon in a whole fillet, which is one complete side of the fish. I then cut it into smaller pieces, and freeze them for future use. I had some wild salmon with the skin on to use, so I made a simple marinade of olive oil, Meyer lemon zest, salt and fresh ground pepper.
Salmon has such a strong flavor it can really stand up to other strong flavors. Many types of fish would just get overpowered if you paired it with fresh rosemary, but not salmon.
I laid some large, fresh rosemary sprigs onto the soaked cedar planks, then put my marinated salmon on top. That is three different sources of flavor: the simple marinade, the rosemary and the cedar. And then you add the hardwood smoke from the BBQ, and you have a really special salmon fillet.
When preparing your grill, set the coals up for indirect heat. That means put the pile on one side of the BBQ only, as you can see in the picture. The planks are then set on the side without the coals, so the wood does not get completely incinerated by the heat.
Once the salmon is on the grill, cover it up and let it go for about 15 minutes, until it is done to your liking.
My plank did not catch on fire, and the rosemary began to dry out a little, releasing its oils into the salmon.
The salmon was moist, tender and flaky with hints of lemon, rosemary and smoke throughout. If you are worried the salmon would taste like a cedar closet, have no fear. The cedar notes were very subtle and lent a distinct and lovely flavor to the salmon.
Grilling salmon on a cedar plank imparts a subtle flavor while helping the fish retain its moistness.
2 large wild salmon fillets
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
to taste sea salt
to taste fresh ground black pepper
6-8 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 cedar planks, soaked per manufacturers instructions
Prepare your grill for indirect heat cooking.
Place your salmon fillets onto a plate or platter. In a small bowl mix the zest, oil, salt and pepper together. Rub the marinade onto the fillets and let it sit at room temperature while your grill is getting ready.
Divide the rosemary sprigs between the two soaked cedar planks. Place one salmon fillet onto each plank.Place the planks onto the grill rack on the side without direct heat, then cover. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the salmon is done to your liking.
Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 35 mins Yield: 2 salmon fillets
It’s my one year anniversary! For my blog that is… Black Girl Chef’s Whites is a year old today! It seems as though I just began writing and posting my original recipes a short time ago, but here I am a whole year later. I thought the same thing at my daughters 3rd birthday party. One day I’m holding this tiny infant in my arms, the next I’m chasing this sassy, bossy and smart little girl around the room. It is so true that as you age time passes a lot faster! Not that I’m old…
Although lamb is one of my favorite types of meat, I do not eat it that often. Whether it is a slow braised lamb shank, a succulent lamb chop or teeny lamb ribs, I like to eat it in all forms. But a nice roasted leg of lamb is always a special treat. Bone in or out, a leg of lamb is a roast often served at Easter dinner. Spring lamb signifies rebirth and renewal, not to mention Spring is when all those cute little lambs are born. I think lambs are so adorable, and you would think I would have a lot more guilt eating the darling creatures, but no. I am a true omnivore.
While browsing the aisles of my local Costco, something I do more often than my back account likes, I found a boneless leg of lamb, all ready for the oven! It was trimmed and wrapped and calling my name. So into the cart it went, alongside the 500 rolls of toilet paper, 10 pounds of Sumatra coffee beans, multiple bottles of red wine and jumbo pack of Huggies pull-ups.
I was given a fabulous bottle of Lemon olive oil for Christmas, and decided to go really simple and just drizzle the lamb with the oil. Then I thought I should use up some of the abundance of Meyer lemons from my tree, so I zested a couple. Next thing you know my simple lamb idea was out the window, and garlic, oregano and red pepper were in. Oh well…
Lemon-Oregano Leg of Lamb
1/3 cup Lemon olive oil, or plain extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 TB fine Meyer lemon zest (I used a microplane zester)
2 tsp dried oregano, preferable Mexican
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
4 lb boneless leg of lamb, tied
2 lbs new potatoes (optional)
2 cups baby carrots (optional)
In a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, oregano, salt and red pepper.
Rub the lamb with the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.
When you are ready to cook your lamb, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Place the lamb into a large roasting pan. I added whole potatoes that I tossed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper to the pan also. This is optional, but does take care of one side dish with not a lot of extra effort. I like “not a lot of extra effort.”
Roast the lamb in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour. If adding the optional vegetable, add your carrots now. You do not need to toss them with oil, just toss them into the pan.
Continue to roast the lamb for another 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature measures at least 145 – 150 degrees for medium rare. If you like your lamb more done, roast until temperature is 160 degrees. Remember, meat continues to cook even after it is out of the oven and resting. Let the roast sit for 20 – 30 minutes before you slice it, so the juices have time to reabsorb.
A bold red wine pairs very nicely with this roast. Then again, a bold red wine pairs nicely with air if you ask me…