As usual, I’ve been cooking with what is in my home, doing my best to use up items that for some reason seem to multiply when I’m not looking. It’s a dark kitchen mystery to me why I have 10 lemons suddenly. For two people! Or goodness knows, how six really huge onions came to be on my counter. Hmm … wonder if it is age-related?
I love lemons. I don’t love limes the way I love lemons. I prefer lemon in my drinks; I prefer lemon pie to lime pie and lemon gummy bears over lime ones. So I did a couple of things with the lemons over a week or two. I made Greek lemon soup (avgolemono) which I had just seen on “The Chew” on TV, and I made a lemon icebox pie with gingersnap crust, and I baked chicken with lemon. So, today I’ve put together recipes that take you from cocktail to dessert using lemons with each course. No reason to pucker at that!
To use up the onions I bought a package of beef bones from the grocery store to make a broth for some onion soup. I won’t call it “French” as I made up the recipe and don’t know how authentic is it. If you ask, your grocery store butcher usually has beefbones in the back he’d love to sell you. I browned the bones in a tiny amount of oil and added water, salt, chopped carrots, onion and celery. I also had an open container of beef broth in the refrigerator so I poured that in as well. This cooked on low for two hours. I strained it and after cooling, put it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I skimmed off the fat and had a nice rich beef broth.
Next, I thinly sliced two of the largest onions I’ve ever seen and cooked them very slowly in a little olive oil for 45 minutes or so, until they turned dark golden brown. I put a tablespoon of flour on them and cooked it and then added the broth back. And, yahoo, I had onion soup. To eat, Terry just heated it up and grated Swiss cheese on top to melt.
TOM COLLINS COCKTAIL
Makes 1 drink
2 ounces gin
1 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
3 ounces club soda
1 maraschino cherry
1 slice orange
(Source: Anne Freeze, adapted from my own experience)
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup long-grain white rice (or orzo pasta)
Juice of 3 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Parsley leaves, for garnish
BAKED LEMON CHICKEN
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
(Source: “How Easy Is That,” by Ina Garton)
MARY’S LEMON FLUFF CAKE
1 angel food cake
6 large eggs, separated
Juice of 3 lemons
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin, dissolved in ¼ cup water
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Lemon and orange slices for decoration
When ready to serve, turn the cake out onto a cake plate, frost entire cake with the whipped cream and decorate with the lemon and orange slices.
(Source: “Mrs. Whaley Entertains,” by Emily Whaley)
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