I’m making homemade limoncello with the 95% alcohol I brought from Italy. (I will post about the limoncello in a few months, as it requires 10 weeks to make it.) One bottle of limoncello requires the zest of five lemons, so I ended up with five zested leftover lemons. What to do with the juice? I decided to make homemade lemon sorbet. It’s very easy to make if you own an ice cream maker: simply mix the juice with a simple sugar syrup and let the ice cream maker do the rest. Lemon sorbet can be served as a palate cleanser, or be used for an Italian drink called sgroppino, about which I will do a post later. For now, here’s how to make lemon sorbet. Continue reading
One of my favorite pies is a Key Lime Pie. It takes a bit of work as you have to make a pastry crust that has to be baked ‘blindly’ before baking it with the filling, but it is worth it. A pie that is almost as good is this very easy Lemon Chess Pie, from RemCooks.com. The texture is like velvet and it has a very nice sweet lemony flavor. I had never heard of a Lemon Chess Pie before. The difference with my Key Lime Pie is that it does not have a separate crust. The crust and the filling are one. This also makes it a very easy pie to make: just blend all the ingredients together, pour them into a buttered pie dish, and bake. It is that easy. Thanks to Baby Lady for this great recipe! When I first saw this recipe, I was surprised at how easy it looked. I tried it, and it turned out great! Of course it is very easy to substitute lemon with lime and turn this into a faux Key Lime Pie as well. Continue reading
I had invited some Italian friends from Amsterdam for dinner. I thought it would be nice to cook something for them that their grandmother used to cook for them, something that they had fond memories of. My friend Fabio said his grandmother always made meatballs that were outstanding with a bit of lemon. This post is the result of my attempt to make Fabio’s grandmother’s meatballs, without having the actual recipe. Fabio liked them a lot and he was taking lots of pictures. When we were pestering him about taking so many pictures, he said he was going to send them to his grandmother. For the next attempt, we should probably just ask her for the recipe… Whether or not they were close to her original, they were great anyway. Here’s what I did… Continue reading
Believe it or not, but after experimenting with sous-vide cooking for over a year now, I’ve just tried chicken breast sous-vide for the frist time! This is because I usually stick to chicken thighs, which have more flavor and are juicier and when properly cooked are just as tender as chicken breast. But after some raves about chicken breast sous-vide I thought I’d give it a try. The verdict: I still prefer chicken thighs, but the chicken breast sous-vide wasn’t bad at all!
Whenever you eat chicken, make sure to invest in at least some quality. You don’t want chicken that has been injected with water etc. This chicken breast was organic.
I seasoned the chicken breast with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sealed it with a drop of olive oil, some basil leaves and some very thin slices of lemon. Then I cooked it sous-vide for 45 minutes at 60C/140F. This time and temperature is enough to pasteurize the meat throughout, so there is no worry about food safety. When cooking sous-vide, always use less flavorings (in this case lemon and basil) than you would normally do, because the sous-vide method will amplify the taste. You could also sprinkle a tiny bit of garlic powder on the chicken in this recipe if you like.
Then I rubbed the breast with olive oil and did a quick sear on a very hot griddle.
The chicken breast was very tender and juicy, with a nice texture that’s different from grilled chicken breast.
I’ve been baking these cookies frequently for years now, and we still haven’t grown tired of them yet because they are so delicious! Years ago I made the first batch because I had some leftover egg whites with almonds only, and I have to give the credit to Kees for suggesting to add ground coconut as well.
150 grams (5.3 oz) white almonds
75 grams (2.6 oz) ground coconut
250 grams (8.8 oz) (vanilla-scented white castersugar (obtained by keeping vanilla beans in the sugar jar)
100 grams (about 3) egg whites (3.5 oz)
grated zest of one lemon
1 tsp natural almond aroma
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 160C/320F.
Put the almonds in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
Process until fine as shown. (Alternatively, you could also buy almond flour.)
Add ground coconut, sugar, grated lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Process briefly to mix the ingredients.
Add almond aroma and egg whites and process until mixed. The dough will be coherent and slightly sticky.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put 25 heaps of dough of around 1 tablespoon on the sheet, leaving at least 1 cm (1/2 inch) in between because they will spread during baking.
Bake for 25 minutes at 160C/320F until golden. If you prefer, you can bake a few minutes longer until brown.
The macarons will come out soft. This is normal! Just wait for them to cool off.
After they have cooled off, gently turn them over to let the bottom dry as well.
The cookies can be stored up to a week in an airtight container. They are best on the 2nd day and after that they will dry out slowly.