Tag Archives: lemon

If I only knew what that ‘something’ was

God has all the time in the world.
~ Antoni Gaudí

Medley ingredients:
Roasted kumara with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Leek rings sautéed with butter.
A handful of fresh pomegranate seeds.
Feta cubes.
Baby spinach, gently wilted.
Fresh mint, chopped.
Squeeze of lemon.
Black pepper.

Something was still missing. Or something that shouldn’t have been there was. Anyone know what? Penny for your thoughts…


Risotto with saffron and cavolo nero

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.
~ May Sarton

Risotto, the making of – in past tense:

Made steaming chicken stock in a deep saucepan with two salty cubes and two cups of water. Chucked in nine forest-green cavolo nero leaves. Left the greens to simmer in the boiling stock for seven minutes, or maybe eight. Took out the leaves and set them aside.

Swirled a pat of butter and a spot of olive oil in a skillet on a flame. Watched the butter and oil sigh and meander around the pan in shimmering golden dribbles. Added in half an onion, diced. Stirred the onion through to fragrant-hood. Added in a cup of arborio rice, a pinch of saffron, two bits of lemon peel, a sprig of rosemary… gave it all a stir.

Added in wine in stages. Added in warm stock in stages. Stirred. Stirred some more. Stirred till my arm felt even heavier than my eyelids.

Chopped the cavolo nero leaves. Added the chopped leaves, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sliver of butter to the rice in the final minute of cooking.

Dished up three portions, complete with salt, pepper and wispy yellow shreds of parmesan cheese.

Gâteau au Citron

May your apartment possess a powerful air conditioner; may your evening be filled with the best of company, and may your cakes be always light and lemony.
~ Molly Wizenberg, Orangette

Cakes have personalities. You get motherly carrot cakes; seductive chocolate and berry cakes; dreamlike chiffon cakes… you catch my drift? According to Molly Wizenberg (and I am sure others would agree), this type of [yoghurt] cake “is an old classic in France, the sort of humble treat that a grandmother would make”… I am inclined to nod and go one further – it’s the sort of humble treat that warm and beautiful grandmothers with good humour would make… also, it’s not a cake I’m prepared to wait till I am grandmother-age to bake and serve!

Like a few other recipes I’ve tried from Molly’s impressive repertoire, this cake is at once down to earth and beautiful. Nothing immediately fancy; patient, accommodating. Happy to be served alone, or adorned with fancy hats of berries/icing/whatever. Yet it’s timeless, classy – Coco Chanel in cake form.

I served it unadorned save a light brushing of lemon glaze and dusting of icing sugar. Oh, and yes, with cups of tea.

    Gâteau au Citron or French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon
    Recipe adapted from Orangette
    For the cake:
    1/2 cup Greek honey yoghurt
    1 cup sugar
    3 large eggs
    3 jars unbleached all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    2 tsp grated lemon zest
    1/2 cup light olive oil
    For the glaze:
    juice from 2 lemons
    1/4 cup icing sugar
    Preheat the oven to 176°C.
    In a large bowl, combine the yoghurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and zest, mixing to just combine. Add the oil and stir to incorporate. Keep stirring until it comes together to form a smooth batter. Pour and scrape the batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan.
    Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
    Cool cake on a rack for about 20 minutes; then turn it out of the pan to cool completely.
    When the cake is thoroughly cooled, combine the lemon juice and icing sugar in a small bowl and spoon it gently over the cake. The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.
    Serve at any time of the day.

PS. See Molly’s quote above? I am happy to say that came true for me… I ate slices of this cake with friends in our house, and left the heater off. :-) A nice feeling indeed!

Fuss-free fettuccine

    Fuss-free fettuccine
    1 bowl cooked fettuccine, cooked until al dente
    1/4 lemon
    Flakes of parmesan cheese
    Dribble of olive oil
    A pat of butter (optional)
    Dried basil (optional)
    1 egg (optional)
    Black pepper
    Over a bowl of warm fettuccine, dribble a swirl of olive oil, add in the butter if using, and give it a quick toss.
    Add in the parmesan flakes. Squeeze the lemon wedge over the pasta, rub some dried basil between your fingers over it, season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss again.
    Gently poach an egg just the way you like it (I like mine with a firm white and runny yolk, though I am no expert egg-poacher so I just have to eat what I come up with) and place it on top of the pasta.
    Serve immediately. Instant gratification in a bowl.


Finally, a chance to use the Moroccan spices I bought in Morocco in December… a dash of olive oil, garlic, spices, lemon zest and lemon juice on some fresh tarakihi – yum!

A good risotto to conclude Risotto Season

Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.
~ Mark Twain

There’re a few dishes that are lovely to cook and to eat, but not in excess – and I am fast learning that risotto is one of them. For instance, I fashion meals with eggs all the time and never tire of them, but risotto… risotto is different. It’s beautiful, elegant and comforting, but it’s absolutely smothering if you have it too often (made the third one this month tonight – oops).

I think both Matt and I were heaving wearily with the weight of risotto after a few spoonfuls of it this evening!

The recipe came from Tessa Kiros’ “Falling Cloudberries”:
#62 Champagne Risotto – Page 297

Tessa Kiros describes it perfectly with the phrase “startling honesty”… that is exactly what it is. The champagne is invisible, seemingly lost in a galaxy of rice, butter, parmesan and shallots – but its aroma penetrates your mind and its flavour arrests your tongue the moment it enters your mouth. It’s a blade of truth, transparent and pure. I do like this dish, and think it is best served in smaller portions as a prelude to seafood or vegetables.

As the risotto bubbled to cooked perfection, I stirred in a whisked egg yolk as suggested in the notes; I think I liked this and will do it again in other risotto dishes in the future.

You’re looking for photographic evidence now, I know. Well, I am sorry I am unable to post any of the pictures I took. I ran them past three people just to be sure I was not the only one who thought them distasteful, and all of them think you will be better off not seeing them… :-/

Tonight, we also had:

Matt’s Juice (version #50-something-at-least? of juices like this)… tonight’s version included baby carrots and beetroot leaves. :-/ Pretty potent.

Monkfish baked with lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper… (wrap the fish up in foil parcels and bake at 180°C for around 20 minutes. Simple).

And now we are drinking stovetop hot chocolate… always a welcome finish to the evening!


PS. Cute is this post on The God of Cake.

The wonderful world of rain

Short post tonight, since it’s really way way past my bedtime.

1. Thunderstorms, rain and wacky hail are so fantastic (when you are watching them crash and pour from within a warm room)… I LOVED watching it this evening and was much excited about it… poor Jono had to sit through my excitement :-)

2. Caramelised leek rings, fried flour-dipped monkfish, grainy bread, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice make for a pretty good 4pm lunch.