January 29, 2004 at 1:08 p.m.
Lemons are available to us the year round, but then what fruit isn’t these days. They should be kept in the fridge, however, if you’re going to squeeze them, let them sit out on the counter for a couple of hours and they will squeeze much easier and you will get more juice from them.
Let’s cook with a bit of sunshine! Do you ever make couscous as a side-dish with chicken or fish? It’s a nice change from rice and is super easy to make.
COUSCOUS WITH LEMON AND HERBS
1-1/2 c. chicken broth (canned or made from bouillon)
1/2 t. grated lemon peel (be sure not to grate any of the pith - white membrane of the lemon as it can be bitter if using fresh)
1 c. couscous (found with rice products on the grocer’s shelf)
2 T. chopped, fresh parsley leaves or fresh dill or fresh basil (I prefer parsley)
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
fresh lemon juice to taste (I use about 1-1/2 T.)
salt and pepper to taste
In a 2 qt. saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in lemon peel and couscous; remove pan from heat and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes; fluff with fork.
Stir in parsley, oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Serves 4.
There are many recipes for lemon chicken but this one can be on your table in just 30 minutes.
SPECIAL LEMONY CHICKEN
1/4 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/4 t. white pepper
6 skinned boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs.)
1/4 c. margarine or butter
1/4 c. lemon juice
8 oz. (about 2 c.) fresh mushrooms, sliced or two 4 oz. cans mushrooms, drained
hot cooked rice
In a large plastic bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken (a couple pieces at a time); shake to coat.
In large skillet, brown chicken over medium heat in margarine. Add mushrooms and lemon juice. Lower heat; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until tender.
While chicken is cooking, cook enough rice for six servings according to directions on package. Garnish with parsley flakes if you wish. Serves 4-6.
Make this pie early in the day and you’ll have a wonderful dessert with supper.
CREAMY LEMON PIE
1-3/4 c. milk
2 small packages instant vanilla flavor pudding and pie mix
1-6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed (don’t make it into lemonade)
1-8 oz. container whipped topping, thawed
1-6 oz. prepared graham cracker crumb crust (or make a 9-inch crust from scratch)
lemon slices for garnish (optional)
Pour milk into large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk or hand beater 30 seconds. Add lemonade concentrate; beat 30 seconds longer. (Mixture will be thick.) Immediately stir in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate four hours or until set. Garnish with thin slices of lemon (make a slit half way through the slice and give it a twist). Makes 6-8 servings.
Do you like a little taste of lemon in your hot tea? Try this instead of lemon juice.
Combine 1 cup sugar with grated peel of one large lemon. Store in covered container.
A tip I’ll share with you when I fry fish: Dip the sunny or crappy filets in a mixture of 1 T. lemon juice and 3/4 c. water before coating them with flour when frying fish. Gives the fish a subtle lemon flavor.
How much lemon do you need when a recipe calls for juice of one lemon? One medium lemon equals 2-3 T juice; one medium lemon equals 3 t. grated peel and 5-6 lemons will yield about a cup of juice.
Thought for the day: Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.