Sweet Potato and Asparagus with Lemon

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: A couple of weeks ago over my spring “break,” I had a conference to attend out of town, so Erik went home to visit his parents.  While I was enjoying sunny Puerto Rico, he got the tail end of winter and was able to cook some new delicious recipes, which he told me all about and promised that we would make together soon.  This is the first one we made, and even for 70+ degree weather, it was delightful.  Honestly it is sort of what I had been hoping for when we made this a few months ago (but that dish ended up being a bit on the too-spicy end for me), and I have a sneaking suspicion that because it is easy, fast, healthy, and crazy delicious, it will become a staple around here.  Seriously, with a recipe this unassuming — potatoes and asparagus! who knew?! — you will be amazed at how flavorful and filling this is, especially with a light sprinkling of cheese.

E: Don’t mind the salmon in the photo. This post is all about the sweet potato concoction on the left.

served next to some grilled salmon

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Lemon Tuna Balls

December 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

E: These are one of my favorite recipes from my mother. When posting them to the blog I decided we should do a twist on them, so we used them as a sort of meatball with pasta. I’ll include the recipe for the sauce (which, if you’ve read our coq au vin post, should seem eerily familiar—we made some slight cooking-order changes here, largely because we didn’t want to be bothered with removing things from the pan to cook other things separately) but the main star here really is these tuna balls. At home I don’t think we ever had them with pasta. They are definitely delicious on their own as the main part of a meal, but I figured they look like meatballs so why not try it.

with a little dusting of cheese

I encourage you to use them alone or in pasta. They would be a great appetizer or side dish, too—I can just see bite-sized tuna balls on a tray at a party, with little toothpicks in them! You may have to change the amounts of things to your tastes, but the combination of lemon, tuna, and mustard seeds is really a winning one. Try them both with chives (subtler and prettier) and with onions (more flavorful, but also more boring looking), or be really daring and use both at the same time. Whatever you do, enjoy another recipe coming straight from my past to (hopefully) your future!

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Pasta with Lemon, Tuna, and Capers

July 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

J: So today’s recipe is a really simple one, but still well worth making.  It’s got a lot of fresh, bright flavors, and it’s super easy but also elegant enough that if you wanted you could throw it together for a dinner party or something.  Erik and I made it once before, a few months ago, some day that we were struggling for dinner ideas and decided to just make a quick pasta.  We had all the ingredients already so it was only a matter of cooking up the pasta and throwing everything together.

fresh summery pasta

This also uses one of my favorite food combinations: lemon and capers.  The acidity of the lemon sets off the saltiness of the capers just perfectly, and the tuna comes in to play very nicely with all the other ingredients as well.  Give it a try!

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Lemon Poppyseed Scones

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

J:  Erik’s mother makes the most delicious lemon poppyseed muffins, and since I live so far away from them, I don’t get to enjoy them as often as I’d like.  Recently I was craving them, and decided that I would do an homage to her muffins in the form of lemon poppyseed scones!  I used this recipe from Vanilla Sugar (incidentally that recipe is dynamite in its original form as well) and tweaked it a bit to come up with these wonderful little pastries.

flaky, lemony, poppyseedy

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Lemon Crêpes

January 19, 2011 § 15 Comments

One of the kitchen implements I’ve been hankering after for years is a crêpe pan — after living in Europe for many years during my childhood, I have a particular sentimental fondness for these thin, delicate “pancakes”-that-aren’t.  There are so many variations on the batter, and once you’ve made them, you can top or fill them with most anything you could conceive: they can be savory, with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and parmesan, or sweet, with strawberries and Nutella.  The possibilities for deliciousness are unlimited.

The problem here is that crêpes are difficult (but not impossible!) to make without a nonstick, shallow pan: they are often marketed specifically as crêpe pans, but of course can be used for many many other things, and if you’ve got any kind of shallow nonstick skillet, you’re in business.  I hadn’t even tried making crêpes because I didn’t have any nonstick pans, but as fate would have it, my sister and her husband got me a crêpe pan for Christmas last month! (Thanks again, Julia & Matt!!) I was forced to wait to use it until I got back from my travels over the holidays, but when Erik and I returned, we broke it out as soon as we had a chance.

We decided that we would start with a fairly simple lemon crêpe recipe: it’s pretty much a basic crêpe recipe but with some lemon zest and lemon juice added in.  This was also an excellent recipe to complement my own favorite crepe topping, which is very simple but so very elegant: powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Divine.

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Lemon Chicken

November 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

I have been craving Chinese food for ages.  However, since I am a poor grad student, I decided that rather than pay $10-$15 for delivery or something, I should just try my hand at making it myself!  I went with a lemon chicken recipe, similar to orange chicken… but with lemon.  Revolutionary, I know.

Now, I have to caution you about this recipe.  It’s very good, but if you’re looking for the cloying, artery-clogging deliciousness of mediocre Chinese delivery, you’re not going to get your fix here.  It also takes FOREVER.  I got home late on a Wednesday night and started making the recipe, expecting it to take maybe an hour, but it took almost 2.5 hours and covered my kitchen (and arms 😦 ) in hot oil.  All that said, I’m sure it’ll be less horrific for you if you try it; I was already exhausted and hungry when I got home and I am also a super clumsy person.  So don’t be scared away — just know that it might take you a bit longer than you’d expect.  Also, plan ahead!  The marinade works its magic best if you let it sit for around 24 hours, so whip that up the night before you want to satisfy your Chinese craving.

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Lemon, Caper, & Zucchini Risotto

November 8, 2010 § 3 Comments

Risotto gets a bad rap.  Not in terms of taste — I’m pretty sure everyone agrees that it’s absurdly delicious — but people seem to think it’s so difficult to make!  It’s not hard at all.  And it’s absolutely magical to watch the little grains of arborio rice soak up the broth and/or wine and turn into warm, creamy risotto.  All it takes is a willingness to baby your risotto a little bit; it needs attention, that’s it.

I wanted to make a risotto, but wasn’t sure what kind.  I found a recipe for zucchini risotto, and decided that that was a great idea in principle, but needed a little kick.  Lemon juice gave it a great freshness, and I decided to take a chance and throw in some capers for a little salty bite.  Capers are close enough to olives (which I positively hate) that I can’t love them, but far enough away that I can have them in moderation, and in this risotto they worked beautifully.

So, enough suspense!  On to the recipe.

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